U.S. Tour 1996: The Fans' Report
Fairfax, VA, 20 Nov 1996


italy@glue.umd.edu
Well its the morning after the show and i gotta say that the show was awesome! The first 2 bands Tenderloin and Rocket from the Crypt were the worst bands i have ever seen. Rocket from the Crypt was so terrible they even got booed! Soundgarden open up with "Spoon Man" which really started getting things going. You could see that they had put a quality show when they played songs like "Burden in my Hand" and "Blow Up the Outside World" which had great light shows and cool backdrop video footage playing. It wasnt hard to tell that the crowd was into it when they played "Fell on Black Days" and when Chris did a solo of "Black Hole Sun". Kims guitar skills were awsome during "Outshined" when he started playing behind his head. Finally there last song was Jesus Christ Pose which was just spectacular! Overall i gotta say that the concert was definately worth the money and i would go see them again if i had the chance.


corr@gbi.gmu.edu
Let me get this out of the way: Why do people feel compelled to throw stuff at arena shows? I will not attempt to defend Rocket from the Crypt, they annoyed the crap out of me. Tenderloin was OK. But I find shouting at the opening bands to get off the stage to be moronic, and throwing stuff at ANYONE on stage is grounds for a punch in the face. Somebody even threw a golf ball at Soundgarden. "Is this a big golf town?" Ben asked. "Did you come here to see a band or did you come here to throw shit?" asked Chris. Most of us were there to see a band, but one asshole who decided it would be fun to throw shit can really put the band in a bad mood and wreck the show for everyone. Such people should be kicked in the head. The major point is, Soundgarden rocked my freakin' world. My ears are still ringing this morning. A good mix of material from the past three albums (a little disappointed not to hear "Loud Love" or "Big Dumb Sex," but I guess they've been playing that stuff for too long). Great to hear some non-singles from BMF like "Drawing Flies" and "Searching With My Good Eye Closed." The solo version of "Black Hole Sun" was just about the best I've ever heard. "My Wave" and "Outshined" nearly made my head explode. I enjoyed flipping the bird with everybody during "Ty Cobb." Also disappointed not to hear "Superunknown," but you can't have it all, can you? Interesting version of "Helter Skelter" which probably confused a lot of the teenage contingent. The short film before "Blow Up the Outside World" was downright disturbing. Has Cornell gotten into heroin? He looked like hell. Bottom line, this band rips your head off and poops down your neck. I'll see them anytime.


bjones2@aol.com
DAMN!!!That show was freakin' amazing!!!I've been to three Soundgarden concerts and this one was by far the best. What ever vocal problems that Cornell might have recently were definitely not apparent here. With a set list that included just about every cool song that I could ever hoped for (Outshined, rusty cage, jesus christ pose, searching with my good eye closed, my wave, black hole sun, black days, and all the new stuff from down on the upside) this show freakin rocked! One problem, what was that gay fat harmonica guy doing up there?!?!


nubianempress1@freemark.com
First let me say I read the other reviews of the show and I agree with all that was said. EXCEPT I had the pleasure of meeting Chris, Matt and Ben before the show and I assure you, maybe it was the lighting or where you were sitting, but Chris looked really great to me and someone made a comment along those lines when we met them. The SHOW (I am referring to Soundgarden not whatever they allowed to be on stage beforehand. Advice, go buy a T-shirt,hang out with friends outside, take a short nap, get something to eat, but don't bother dealing with Rocket from the Crypt!!! You will thank me.) The guys rocked!!! After getting bumped around by the kids, who were so cool (except for the golf ball incident), but I really wanted to watch the band so I promptly left the pit. I stood off to the left and got into the band. Kim is probably the most awesome guitar player in the world. My moment was "Rusty Cage" That was my first intro to Soundgarden in 1992 and they made me remember why I am a big fan of the song four years later. Other awesome highlights were "BUTOW" the video footage was great! "Ty Cobb" had us all giving the sign! When they played my fave from Down On The Upside, "Dusty", The girl behind me freaked out! It was really cool. "Jesus Christ Pose" made me sad because I knew it was the end, but what a way to go!! "Black Hole Sun" done by Chris alone with his guitar made it worth sitting through those opening acts. Cool show. Catch it if you can!


rpalmer@wam.umd.edu
The show was great! As was said before, I didn't really care for the opening acts, but that doesn't mean that they suck. It was a different type of vibe though. Matt and Ben did come out and play a song with Tenderloin. When SG came on-stage, the crowd surged forward. I was in the first row of people directly in front of Ben. Chris came out with his hands in the air, it almost seemed like he was in a personable mood, but he really didn't say much during the concert. He only spoke a couple of time, like when he told people to only use Rolling Stone magazine to "wipe their asses and to blow bloody boogers into". His voice sounded great, and there was no indication that he was sick. They played basically the same set as all the other dates, with some cool inserts, like Kickstand. I can give a quick song listing, although not in exact order. Spoonman, SWMGEC, Let Me Drown, Pretty Noose, Burden in my Hand, My Wave, Ty Cobb, FOBD, Black Hole Sun, Rusty Cage, Outshined, Slaves and Bulldozers, Drawing Flies, Kickstand, Dusty, BUTOW, and the encore was Never the Machine Forever and Jesus Christ Pose. I think that was all of them. Right after they finished the main set, Chris sneaked back and out and jokingly said, "We're goona wait until all the people in the upper seating think it's over and leave before we come out". Overall it was a great performance.


dylan@ed.concord.wvnet.edu
I made the five hour trip up from West Virginia to catch my third Soundgarden show this past Wednesday, and I had a great time. I was a little worried about the show because NY and MA were cancelled because of Chris's laryngitis. I had visions of getting to Fairfax only to hear the show was off. My fears were disspelled when I heard some guy on WHFS talking about "both shows being sold out, the Patriot Center and the 9:30 Club." I assumed it was on if this clown was talking about it. (Incedentally, Cracker was at the 9:30). I got a spot at the arena one person back from the barricade, and the people in front of me were SOMMSters from the mailing list, so I was in good company. The first two bands were not great. Tenderloin, despite what you have heard, actually do rock pretty hard, although the singer is not fun to look at. And yes, he did shove stuff into his fat rolls and shoot it out at the crowd. But really, honestly, their music was pretty decent. Rocket From The Crypt were not as good. They were pretty pompous and arrogant, and had this David Spade-lookalike come out and dance all goofy. I really didn't like them much. Then Soundgarden. The show was great. I could tell there was tension onstage, probably because everyone was worried about Chris's voice. Despite this, the band was ON. Chris was being careful with his voice, but still hit a lot of the high notes. The set list was pretty familiar, but they played KICKSTAND, which is not one that they do often. They played, not necessarily in order, Spoonman, Searching..., Let Me Drown, Pretty Noose, Burden In My Hand (probably the best song of the evening), My Wave (preceeded by the "wipe your ass with Rolling stone" speech), Ty Cobb, Fell On Black Days, Rusty Cage, BUTOW, Helter Skelter/Boot Camp, BHS, Outshined, Dusty, Kickstand, Drawing Flies, Slaves and Bulldozers, and the encore was Never the Machine Forever and Jesus Christ Pose. I don't think I left anything out. Ben stood really still until some guy threw a golf ball at him. That person was given the finger right then, and then after the song was over Ben said, "You guys golf?" "Well keep your fuckin' balls to yourself!"


fucker@aol.com
I AM TEENAGE BITCH FREAK WHO WAS THE SHOW LAST WEDNESDAY NIGHT YELLING "I LOVE YOU!! CHRIS CORNELL I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE YOU!!!!!!! IIIIIIII...LOVE....YOU!!! YEAH BURDEN IN MY HAND!! YES PLAY SPOONMAN, AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BLACK HOLE SUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AH!!!!!!!! OW!! THEY STEPPED ON MY FOOT!! WAHAHA I WANT MY MOMMIE, I GOT KICKED IN THE HEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!! NO!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHY ARE YOU PLAYING THIS SONG I DON'T KNOW HALF THE FUCKING WORDS TO JESUS CHRIST POSE?!?!?!


boringman@juno.com
well, uh..they played black hole sun, my wave, fell on black days, spoonman, burden in my hand, pretty noose, and several others that i can't remember the names of...yeah, thats it....


grover@musom01.mu.wvnet.edu
First let me say I live nowhere near DC and felt extremely lucky to have been there and been able to go to this show. I like small venues, but this one had a nice intimate feel. When it comes to playing live, Soundgarden are first rate. They are excellent musicians who obviously give a damn and present their material well. Hard-driving, tight, and intense. Loud? Very! (But I've heard louder bar shows). Coolest cover of Helter Skelter I've ever heard (and I've heard a few). Chris's solo Black Hole Sun is very pretty and emotionally charged. The instrumental interlude preceding Blow Up, during which they showed images from the video, was great and got the crowd re-focused after Outshined. The visuals in general were really good, not overdone or distracting. They looked good, especially the clouds, and complimented the music well. Terrific show! Chris was in really good voice. Kim played the guitar behind his head. My main complaint? Ben was just too well-behaved. Here's the setlist (in order): Spoonman, Searching With My Good Eye Closed, Drown Me, Pretty Noose, Burden in My Hand, My Wave, Ty Cobb, Fell on Black Days, Helter Skelter, Boot Camp, Rusty Cage, Black Hole Sun, Outshined, Blow Up the Outside World, Drawing Flies, Dusty, Kickstand, Slaves and Bulldozers, and the encores were Never the Machine Forever and Jesus Christ Pose. As for the opening acts, I thought Tenderloin was pretty entertaining. Ben and Matt came out and played one song with them. It was cool to get to see Ben play guitar. Rocket From the Crypt, however, pretty much sucked. They were like a poor imitation of the Fleshtones. Let's face it, a band shouldn't have to tell the audience to dance! If you have the remotest chance to see Soundgarden, don't miss them! Get off your butt, turn off your stupid computer, and go buy tickets now!


Tranciant@aol.com
the concert rocked. soundgarden are my favorite band and this concert just made me love them more. they rock any band off the fuckin world. if anyone has a chance to see them for christ sake GO. they played 2 encores and just rocked. i will always remember that to be the best night of my life. it was so cool Kim was playin and i was up front and he stared at me for a moment then did a little head nod at me and i responded with one back and he smiled and kept playin, that made my day. and Chris and all the rest of the other guys rocked. although Rocket from the crypt SUCKED. the 1st band was ok though, who was tenderloin. anyway it ruled


Tranciant@aol.com
the concert rocked. soundgarden are my favorite band and this concert just made me love them more. they rock any band off the fuckin world. if anyone has a chance to see them for christ sake GO. they played 2 encores and just rocked. i will always remember that to be the best night of my life. it was so cool Kim was playin and i was up front and he stared at me for a moment then did a little head nod at me and i responded with one back and he smiled and kept playin, that made my day. and Chris and all the rest of the other guys rocked. although Rocket from the crypt SUCKED. the 1st band was ok though, who was tenderloin. anyway it ruled


Dylan@ed.concord.wvnet.edu
I wanted to add a couple of things gear-related. Chris now is travelling with nine guitars. He had seven Telecasters, a Les Paul (not the one he used to have) that he only played on JCP, and one last guitar that I couldn't see, though it was either another Les Paul or a Gretsch. Kim also had nine guitars: four Guild S-100's, four Telecasters, and his thinline Les Paul. Ben had six basses: three Fender custom basses (p/j pickups, tele headstock, battery compartment for active pickups) and three Music Man basses (for C-tunings). The Mosrite was no longer in his rack. He also has one 4x10 Mesa cabinet in addition to the 2x15. One 15" speaker was miked, but he was most likely running direct, too. Matt had the same setup as Lolla.


AS5871@ACSPR1.acsbrockport.edu
There isn't really much left to say that hasn't already been said about the best band on the entire planet, but.....During Tenderloins set my friend turned to me and said I think that is Ben Shepard on stage behind the amp. I wasn't really sure if it was him or not, but it was. He was flicking people off for throwing things on stage. He sat behind the amp for a lot of their set. It was cool to see him tapping his foot to the music and telling people to fuck off for throwing things up on stage. I was a little worried that the show was going to be cancelled, but it wasn't and it was an amazing show. I haven't seen a mediocre Soundgarden show yet, and I doubt that i ever will. All four guys are amazing!! When Chris walked on stage he had his arms raised in a V like "I'M BACK!!" He needed a couple of days rest from the road, and it really paid off. Anyone want to follow them to Austrailia with me???!!!!


btward@mail.wm.edu
This was the most fulfilling experience of my life. I had been waiting for two years, since Superunknown, to see SG again, and they did not disappoint. (except that they started out with Spoonman and Chris did a solo BHS with all the 14 year old girls holding lighters and screaming). Of course they played most of the new album, including Pretty Noose, Dusty, Ty Cobb, Blow Up..., Burden, No Attention(?), Never the Machine Forever (right before JCP at the end-quite a surprise), Boot Camp (this confused the posers), Never named, etc. My only gripe here is that they didn't play Overfloater or Rhinosaur, my two favorite rtracks on the album. Dusty was a little different, as Kim really layed on the distortion, and of course Chris screamed his fool head off. intense. Most of the audience didn't recognize Burden, since they started out in a different key. I don't have too much time,so I can't write as comprehensive a review as I'd like...Off Superunknown, they played Let me Drown (kicked ass), My Wave (again in a dfferent key- interesting), FOBD (the poseres moshed to this), Spoonman(the opening song-this was actually a good way to get everyone into the show-atleast we all know the song since radio has played it nine trillion times), Kickstand(high velocity moshing), BHS, (CC solo-blah, blah, boring), and off of Badmotorfinger, they played Rusty Cage which started with a jerky, out-of-time intro, and transformed into an INCREDIBLE rendition, Outshined (slightly up tempo, I really liked it), Room a 1000 years wide, which really rocked, Searching (they played this early, and the audience's response was NUTS!), Holy Water(?), JCP for the rousing encore("We'll start playing as soon as everyone who's in their seats leaves"), Slaves and Bulldozers which was the highlight, in my opinion, since they intro'd for about five minutes of bass and rhytmic feedback from Kim's s-100, and my personal favorit off BMF, Drawing Flies. Overall, I think the show was excellent, and the fact that I was on some really potent hallucinogens has nothing to do with this. If there is a spring tour, I will be right up front, once again, screaming out for Smokestack Lightining (which they played the riff for during the intro to Slaves and Bulldozers). soundgarden is truly a transcendental experience. Hope everyone else enjoyed it as much as I did.


manderto@mail.vt.edu
excellent show! good zeppelinesque version of helter skelter. the highlight for me was definitely never the machine forever. i love it when chris sings without the guitar: kickstand, ty cobb, etc. did ben seem a little pissed off? must have been the people throwing shit. thanks assholes. hope they forgive you and come back to d.c. for their next tour.


karen26584
good. great! Chris was hotter than ever. His voice was as sexy as ever and when i didn't get to meet him,it shrunk me down to the scum on the bottom of your shoe. Kim was awesome and when he played the guitar behind his head rocked. plus i was blown away and then i fell. but maybe it was cause i was on someones shoulders and he threw me.


madflowr@dcez.com
I don't know what to say about the show that hasn't been said before so I'l just say what was different from my exper


bjohnson36@juno.com
that concert was the bomb!plus they started off with spoonman! people were flying up in the air in the moshpit! man that place was crazy! peace out! Brandon Johnson