On October 11, 2005, the live album "Live In Cuba", by the band "Audioslave", was released.
The album documents the band's performance which took place on May 6th of that year in front of an audience of 70,000 spectators at the José Martí Anti-Imperialist Platform in Havana, Cuba.
This show has greater historical significance than the musical imprint it left, as it is the first performance by an American "Rock" band on Cuban soil. The emphasis is on "Band" and "Rock" as back in 1979 Billy Joel and Stephen Stills performed in Cuba as part of the "Havana Jam" music festival, which lasted three days, and in 1981 the band "Fabulous Titans", which came from the reggae field, performed in Cuba.
It is interesting to note that about two months after the show took place, on July 20, 2005, the United States renewed the diplomatic relations with Cuba and re-staffed the embassy building overlooking the José Martí Anti-Imperialist compound where the show was held and closed from 1977 to 2005.
Simultaneously with the release of the album, the band released a DVD documenting the historic event and including a very interesting documentary filmed during the visit.
(Photo: Alejandro Ernesto)
At the beginning of the documentary, guitarist Tom Morello addresses the citizens of Cuba and invites them to a free performance and he promises two promises: 1. This is going to be the longest performance that "Audioslave" has ever made. 2. It will also be the best show the band has ever played.
At least the first half of Morello's promise was fulfilled without a doubt. The band played a set of over two hours that includes 17 songs mainly from the band's first two albums, a relatively long set considering the fact that the band's second album "Out of Exile" was released only a few weeks after the show. In addition, the show includes songs by the mother bands "Soundgarden" and "Rage Against The Machine", which the band previously refused to play as a supergroup, as it thought it would damage "Audioslave's" identity as a band, but in honor of the historic event, the band went out of its way.
As you probably already understand, despite the blind admiration we have for "Audioslave" and Chris Cornell, and even though it's an amazing band, there is no musical innovation on this album and it is certainly not one of the best performances by this great supergroup. We say these things with a heavy heart but the mediocre result of this performance is mainly attributed to the performance of Chris Cornell, who in most of the songs does not sound his best. Maybe it's the excitement of the historic event, maybe it was the equipment glitches that accompanied the show from the beginning (the show started with a glitch on Brad Wilk's monitor that delayed the show for long minutes), or maybe it was just not his day. No matter how you look at it and even though we write things down with trembling fingers, Chris was the weak link in this show when all the other members definitely sounded great.
At the same time, it is still an important historical record of the single appearance of one of the great ensembles and probably also the great supergroup of the 21st century.
And this time get a video link to the historic show: