Monday, July 25, 2011

Soundgarden Live in Philadelphia July 13th

Well. I made it through 15 years, 3 Chris Cornell solo albums, his rebound through rehab called Audioslave and only a few haircuts since my last Soundgarden show on the ill- fated Lollapalooza tour in 1996. Not last year's one shot headliner in Chicago, no this was in Syracuse, New York at the State Fairgrounds  SUPERUNKNOWINGLY(until I just looked it up)- ALSO on July 13. Ben was nearly AWOL, Chris was drinking deeply and darkly in his own tour bus and Matt played too fast( and he has ever since, Man that dude can really give an adrenaline bump to any mid groove PJ song), but I digress my brothers and sisters.....

I went alone as I usually do to shows. I don't need to focus on any friendships or bro- worthy high-fiving fervor in a relive- my- flanneled- youth sort of way when I go to shows. I'm there for the music, the connection to the songs that meant a fuck of a lot to me. So when I got to the Festival Pier in downtown Philly on a direct drive from a long days work in NYC. I was cocked and loaded to not put up with any shit from the mid- forties faux- tanned housewife contingent that were gonna yap their way through my show while guzzling their 8 dollar miller lites in plastic bottles. Yeah, so that happened. When one of them laughed her way through a text to her friend 10 feet away and called out the Mars Volta as "Mars Vulva", I chose to move rather than pummel. This show was too important.

The boys came out looking spry, rejuvenated, mostly sober and still very hairy. Think Badmotorfinger with wrinkles. Chris had the ticket selling hair, the happy family man demeanor, the swimmer's body,  but did he have the chops back? After keeping it low key on Euphoria Morning, croaking and groaning through those smoked out, post divorce beer bloated Audioslave albums, I was fearful. I had seen him solo in 2005 while on tour in San Francisco and he blew me away. But I had been keeping track of the setlist on this tour so far, and it was putting his 47 year old ass to the test. Well holy shit! Lets just say you point to a note in the sky and connect it to that bloodcurdling but clear bellow in the high crest of Slaves and Bulldozers...the "bleed your HEARRTTT OUTTT"  part? You know the one if you're a fan. Hit! Ding! Uppercut to the ears, baby! Yesss!!! Ahh, now I could stomp my invisible Docs on the perverbial pavement. Now I was in sing the fuck along mode, yo! The man hit every note that Halladay worshippin' crowd full of skeptics and grunge historians could throw at him. Welcome back to the Banshee King!

So, Kim had switched from skullcap to fedora, but he had not switched axes, and that Guild S-100 carved a gaping hole through my grunge soul man! Dirty and pure as always. That grey pony swinging in the breeze of the smoke machine fans

Matt played fast. Love him dearly, but he made Spoonman sound like Cakemixerman. Ratttattaattt to the tenth power.

Ben swung that bass around and stared  and gooned it up for the crowd like that loveable low note hoarding escapee that he is. I'm glad he got off of the couch surfing tour and on to this one. he's a true talent. Hiro and Jason have never been missed, but Ben was.

Here's the setlist. It couldn't have been any better except for maybe the inclusion of Kyle Petty, Zero Chance, Drawing Flies and Full on Kevin's Mom. A night of nights, with the full moon in my eye, and the 90s in my rearview.

  1. Encore:

1 comment:

  1. Damn. I feel envious but mostly just glad it lived up to what you'd hoped for. As for the bimbettes that were texting and being stupid...I HATE sitting near them. I want to spit my gum out in their hair. They need to stay home and let the music lovers appreciate the show, they are there to wear their cute clothes and high heels and get drunk. We are there FOR THE MUSIC. People should have to pass a quiz to even get through the gates. If they don't know enough about the band - send 'em home!

    You deserved a great show, Seano!!!!