I can’t believe it took until July 10th 2011 for me to see Soundgarden. It was great seeing them at a venue back in New England (Comcast Ctr. Mansfield, Ma.) that I’ve seen many greats at. So was it worth the wait? Yes. They rocked. There was not a lot of talking, and no crazy light shows… They just rocked! I’ve seen Cornell solo and Audioslave before, but never got to see my favorite grunge band together until Sunday night. They were very solid thru and thru and just didn’t stop bringing it all night with 5 songs in the encore for a total of 22 songs all together. (Check the whole set list below.) They have so many great songs it’s hard to pick out highlights but a few would be ‘Big Dumb Sex’ (as that wasn’t on most of the set lists that I’ve seen), ‘Blow Up the Outside World’ and ‘Outshined’. Outshined was special because it was one of a few songs that Cornell didn’t play guitar on and just sang. And you could really hear and feel him in that one as there were many parts of the night his vocals were a little bit lost in the mix. I could always hear him hitting the notes, but I just wanted them to be louder and in my face more. And I got that with ‘Outshined’.

The strangest thing I noticed was Ben Shepherd. He kind of looked like a bully up there. He seemed quite a bit bigger than the rest of the band and sort of stormed back and forth on the stage as if he was mad, bored, or just looking for a little extra attention. He was excellent though as he marched around with his bass hanging down lower that Page’s Les Paul in ‘The Song Remains the Same’. Kim Thayil neither blew me away nor disappointed as he just seems to be the perfect fit for the Soundgarden puzzle. Matt Cameron though was a bit of a show stealer for me. The way that guy plays the drums, he’s like a machine. I can honestly say that just watching and listening to him play ‘Jesus Christ Pose’ would have been worth the price of admission alone.

All in all, they really sounded fantastic even though it kind of felt like they were just getting started again after such a long time apart. After all, they are only 7 shows in from being apart for 14 years aside from a couple one offs last year. I think they are just putting their toes in the water again and expect things to get crazy after a new cd and what I would suspect a much bigger tour to follow.

Comcast Center Set List from 7/10/11

1. Searching With My Good Eye Closed

2. Spoonman

3. Room a Thousand Years Wide

4. Let Me Drown

5. Jesus Christ Pose

6. Blow Up the Outside World

7. The Day I Tried to Live

8. My Wave

9. Fell on Black Days

10. Ugly Truth

11. Hunted Down

12. Outshined

13. Rusty Cage

14. Burden in My Hand

15. Black Hole Sun

16. Superunknown

17. 4th of July

18. Encore:

18. Beyond the Wheel

19. Big Dumb Sex

20. Face Pollution

21. Like Suicide

22. Slaves & Bulldozers