Reprinted without permission from The Age, January 24, 1997
BIG DAY OUT: AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND
The crowd loved the Offspring's surf-rock anthems and multi-platinum sales of their latest album may have justified their second-top billing, but they were toothless compared to Soundgarden.
Witnessing Soundgarden's performance was a religious experience. Drawing from their past three albums, Soundgarden's set of just over an hour was a compelling display of power and restraint. Frontman Chris Cornell looked like a panther waiting to pounce. His child-like whispers were just as potent as his thunderous screams, and this was most evidencwhen he exposed himself with a beautiful acoustic verion of "Black Hole Sun."