Photos and text by Seth Perlman
I showed up early and caught a few minutes of the sound check,
including a thundering version of "Mailman"
(nobody in the hall to
absorb the sound), which I was hoping they would play later. Chris
also played through a few seconds of the openings of "Burden In My
Hand" and "Black Hole Sun".
I was told that the guys were more subdued on the bus on the way over to the Aragon than they were the day before, so I assumed the show would be slightly less intense. Boy, was I wrong.
Their set was superb. They tore through virtually the same songs as the previous night (with a few changes; see below), but the energy level was much higher. And yes, that was Ben spitting on me. I looked up at him and he just grinned and spit at me. The set list for Sunday's show (which is not exactly what was on the printed set list):
The encores were "Mailman" and "Jesus Christ Pose".
The true highlight of the weekend for me was watching Matt from the stage -- Matt has cymbals roughly arranged (from his perspective) at noon, one, two, and three o'clock, and I was standing at about 2:30, watching his every move. I've never seen anyone stare at an instrument the way he stares at his cymbals. During "Blow Up The Outside World," which I previously thought had a pretty simple and uninteresting drum part, Matt showed such poise and restraint that I nearly fell over anticipating each crash. He would turn and glare right at the cymbal at 2:00, then wait until the very last second and hit it with such precision... Same thing during "Rusty Cage" -- I've never seen such intensity in anyone's eyes before.
Of course, watching Matt do "Jesus Christ Pose" is every Soundgarden fan's dream -- I couldn't follow all 15 of his limbs at once, but the few that I could see were doing totally different things simultaneously.
And the best part of all: during one of the songs towards the end of the set, possibly during "Drawing Flies" or "Dusty," the drumstick in Matt's right hand slipped out and flew towards my side of the stage. It seems that Matt keeps extra sticks right in front of his snare just for this reason. He's beating the snare violently; his right hand comes down and as the stick hits the snare it flies out of his hand; without even blinking or flinching at all, his right hand continues its trajectory downward and comes up with a brand new stick. He doesn't miss a single beat.
If you have comments, by all means let me know.
The photos on this page were taken from the floor in front of the stage using a Canon EOS Rebel G with a 35-80mm lens and ISO 1600 film. They were scanned as TIFs and converted to GIFs for use on the web. The images were cleaned up using Adobe Photoshop 4.0, though no color manipulations were done; the colors in the images are the same as the colors in the photos themselves.