Concert Reviews

Soundgarden at Molson Canadian Amphitheatre

Soundgarden co-headlined a concert with another reunited band (Nine Inch Nails). While the latter have made their mark during the 2000’s as well, Soundgarden have not been around for a very long time. They came back together a few years ago and have even released a new album (the moderately received King Animal), so it was a wonder if they could reclaim their throne after all of these years. With the classic line up ready to rock (unfortunately drummer Matt Cameron couldn’t make it this show but Matt Chamberlain was a very great replacement) and an album to celebrate (Superunknown’s 20th anniversary is this year and was celebrated with a remastered release), many older fans awaited their favorite band: An opportunity that seemed impossible previously.

The show ended on a very high note; One that lasted for a large amount of songs. However, the band got off to a bit of a scratchy start (a start that was easily forgivable but one that begged to be written about by a reviewer regardless of how impressive the show ended up being). With guitarist Kim Thayil and Matt Chamberlain being consistently great the entire show, even the iffier moments of the show were tolerable through their prowess. The first slight issue is that Chris Cornell is getting older. His voice needs a lot of time to warm up. For the first few songs, Cornell struggled to hit his high notes, and then Black Hole Sun (the last vocal dud) was almost obliterated. I was worried about how the rest of the set would be. Luckily, that worst dud was the end and it opened up one of Cornell’s best songs of the night with Jesus Christ Pose. From there on, he was a beast and didn’t miss a thing. He hit some jaw droppingly high notes throughout the set, and he quickly reminded us why he’s one of the most acclaimed rock singers of all time. I’m glad I got a chance to see Cornell’s truest majesty live, even if it was at the expense of a few songs.

The second slight mishap was bassist Ben Shepard’s discontentment with the entire night. His bass levels weren’t to his satisfaction, and it even resulted in a short tantrum with Shepard. Luckily he hit all of his parts, and his anger was justified. Unfortunately, Shepard felt miserable while everyone else on stage was having a blast. At least the music wasn’t entirely. compromised because of this, though. With a few hiccups and the occasional sneeze, Soundgarden at their finest were a true sight to behold. I finally understand the following this band has (I’ve always liked Soundgarden, never loved them but now I get them): They really are a marvel. Even if they didn’t have their nice visuals (with creative images that resembled something Tool might have used back in the 90’s), the band would have been truly captivating. Despite the need to warm up and the odd lashing of anger, Soundgarden put on a great show and one that can truly celebrate their legacy and why they became a band in the first place.

About author

Former Film Editor & Music Writer at Live in Limbo. Co-host of the Capsule Podcast. A Greek/South African film enthusiast. He has recently earned a BFA honours degree in Cinema Studies at York University. He is also heavily into music, as he can play a number of instruments and was even in a few bands. He writes about both films and music constantly. You should follow him on Twitter @Andreasbabs.