Soundgarden -- Toronto, Ontario -- July 2nd, 2011
I remember the day I heard that Soundgarden had broken up very well. I was in high school and was just starting to go to concerts. Soundgarden was a solid #2 behind Metallica in my list of favourite bands at the time, and knowing that I wouldn't get the chance to see them live was like a slap in the face. Needless to say, this show was of particular significance to me.
The month of July in Ontario is typically full of hot, humid, sunny days and July 2, 2011 was no different. The weather forecast was calling for chances of thunderstorms however, and seeing as the Molson Amphitheater is an outdoor venue, well I was a little worried.
Anyway, by the time my wife and I arrived at the venue, went to the bathroom, bought a couple over-priced beers and took our seats, the opening band Coheed & Cambria were already playing. I'm not a fan of this band nor am I familiar with their material but from what I could tell they sounded excellent. They had a crushing guitar sound and everything was well mixed. I may end up checking these guys out because of this performance.
Between bands as the sky was darkening, the air was becoming cooler and the wind was picking up, generally telltale signs of a coming storm. I sipped my $12 Molson nervously.
Soundgarden hits the stage around 9pm and these guys took no fucking prisoners! Their sound was every bit as good as Coheed's was with a little more love given to the bass. Chris Cornell must be the proud owner of a fountain of youth because this guys still signs and screams and wails like he's in his 20's. Kim Thayil, giant manly beard and all, was on point all night churning out classic grunge riff after classic grunge riff. Ben Sheppard is a beast -- he must be the loudest bassist this side of Lemmy! Matt Cameron played flawlessly and really looked like he was having the time of his life up there. The band played pretty much everything any Soundgarden fan would want to hear. Classics like Rusty Cage and My Wave sounded powerful, as lightning started flashing all around the venue. As the band kicked into Fell on Black Days, the sky opened up, unleashing giant raindrops on us. Fortunately the rain only lasted about 5 minutes and the band played on as the storm raged on elsewhere. It was a pretty epic feeling to watch Soundgarden rip through Superunkown as lightning lit up the Toronto sky.
All in all this was one of the best shows I've ever been to. I really hope these guys stick around and release some new material that does the rest of their catalog justice because it's very clear they can still play. If you have the chance to see this tour, go! You won't be disappointed.
Searching with My Good Eye Closed
Blow Up the Outside World
Let Me Drown
Jesus Christ Pose
The Day I Tried to Live
Beyond the Wheel
Fell on Black Days
Burden in My Hand
Black Hole Sun
4th of July
Slaves & Bulldozers
Source: My memory, with help from setlist.fm to help fill in the gaps.
I love inside jokes, I'd love to be a part of one some day.