at the O2 Academy, Birmingham, 14th September 2013.
With support from Graveyard.
Grunge pioneers Soundgarden certainly know how to hit that sweet rock spot. Soundgarden were active from 1984 to 1997 and at the forefront of the alternative rock scene that developed out of the underground bars and clubs of 1980’s Seattle. 2010 saw Soundgarden re-form and the release of their sixth album ‘King Animal’ followed in 2012. From the opening track of tonight’s set ‘Let Me Drown’ Chris Cornell (vocals, guitar), Kim Thayil (lead guitar), Matt Cameron (drums) and Ben Shepherd (bass) led us through an awesome night of distorted electric guitars and bass heavy rhythms. From older die-hard grunge rockers to younger festival types, Soundgarden showed how they have spanned the generations. Now classics in their own right, ‘Spoonman’ and ‘Black Hole Sun’ showed the power of their catalogue. ‘Rusty Cage’ threw up a few gremlins with Ben Shepherd’s bass seeming to give up the ghost after a few chords. This didn’t stop Chris Cornell’s divine vocal prowess from carrying on together with Matt Cameron’s seismic drumming and Kim Thayil’s engine-revving guitar riffs working through to a short break before the encore. After a thorough thrashing by the techs, Shepherd’s bass was back on form for the encore with the crowd pleasing ‘Jesus Christ Pose’ and ‘Slaves and Bulldozers’ ending with the quartet quietly exiting the stage but leaving an extended feedback running that burned deep into your bones !!
Graveyard from Gothenburg, Sweden opened the night. The group have established a growing reputation for tough, melodic songs that evoke the sound of Seventies hard rock. Think Free, Bad Company mixed with Led Zeppelin. The psychedelic, bluesy tunes from these fine Swedish rockers will captive all who come into contact with it.
See the full picture sets here:
Words and pictures by Stephen Turner