U.S. Tour 1996: The Fans' Report
Philadelphia, PA, 21 Nov 1996

JerZ jed@AOL.com
Chris and company rocked the Electric Factory for nearly two hours with powerful awesome music on Thursday night. After barely bearable sets by Tenderloin and Rocket from the Crypt(the Sha Na Na of alternative rock), Soundgarden blew the walls apart with a set that opened with Spoonman and relentlessly drove the crowd from one level of ecstasy to another. The band played tremendous versions of Searching with My Good Eye Closed/Let Me Drown/My Wave/Pretty Noose/Burden in My Hand/Ty Cobb/Never Named/Rusty Cage/Blow Up the Outside World/Slaves and Bulldozers/No Attention and JCP. Highlights for me were a mind melting version of Fell On Black Days, a beautiful solo version of Black Hole Sun by Chris and a mysterious, atmospheric, bluesy , jammin' take on the Beatles Helter Skelter. Chris was in good voice all night long and showed no lingering effects of hoarseness.Kim was astounding and Matt and Ben showed once again that there isn't a better rhythm section anywhere. Catch this tour if you possibly can. I'm heading back out to the Electric Factory tonight(Saturday) to see Tool. It's unreal catching Soundgarden and Tool at a small venue like the EF in the span of three nights.

mind riot
okay, first i leave with my friend megan to get to my dad's work so he can drive us and my brother there. it's about 4:30-5. but we get to the Electric factory at around 5:30 and fly out of the car and get in line. i couldn't believe it, but we were only like the 5th and 6th people in line! it was great! exactly how i had planned! so we wait outside fo an hour and a half in FREEZING cold weather (i have a vicious cough and flu to prove it) while i'm trying to decide how to stick my camera down my pants without the onlooking bouncers seeing me. i also have this weird thing i made, kinda of a sign, to get on stage somehow. it ended up on stage, but after everyone but kim had gotten off, so i don't think anyone ever picked it up. it said "erin, susan & Soundgarden- thanks for everything. love ya guys- SOMMS@mit. edu." i hope they got it. so we get in, my camera makes it through the really easy inspection and i look ahead and see tons of empty space and a makeshift wooden barrier. then i remember "shirts!" so we snag one each of the long sleeved ones. i'm kicking myself now for getting that and missing the JCP shirt. :( oh well, i have one at least. now, as i'm shoving money back into my wallet and tying the shirt around my waist, me and megan are bolting for the barrier and get front row spots...center stage. it was great. it was like my dream come true. okay, long wait, maybe over and hour, then i start to see movement backstage and hear people to the left of us screaming "matt! matt!" but i can't see him. then i see somebody else walking up. my god it's ben! he's so adorable! i can't believe how good looking he is in person. i eventually see matt stick his head out around a speaker and get this huge grin. i'm really at SG and that's really matt and ben. it was great. then tenderloin comes on and ben and matt and someone else, the lead guitarist for tenderloin i think, go up to the microphone. ben is staring right at me while he's saying "ladies and gentlemen welcome our friends...this is their last night touring with us..." and then matt and the other guy say "tenderloin!" at the same time. was cute. ben moves to my right and behind a speaker, but i can still see him so i watch him. matt has vanished. ben was signing some stuff to the balcony crowd above and threw a wadded up piece of paper into the crowd. i even caught him doing some ridiculous funky da ce. was funny. the TL singer is thie huge man who flicks quarters out of his flabby stomach into the crowd. blech, he was pretty gross, but funny as hell. about 3/4 through TL's set, ben and matt come on stage to join them for a song. both take off their shirts (mmm...) and ben does this funny as shit impersonation of the lead singer flicking quarters out and the lead guitarist almost loses it. i can't see the drummers for shit, i've got a huge speaker in my way. but i know it's matt cause i saw him sit down. that was it for them after that song and they vanished backstage again. ben wiped his face with a big white towel and went to toss it offstage and it landed on the edge. after it lands, i try to get the bouncer closest to me to go get it. he won't though. even after how badly me and megan had kissed his ass so he wouldn't steal my camera in the encore. :( but i got the bassist's pick, so it was okay, i guess. rocket from the crypt...ugh. they were this awful ska band with some dancing guy who looked too much like mc jagger. the guy couldn't stay still, he really needed to relax. the worst was they came out all in the same outfit, like one big joke. ugh, they were really boring. i couldn't wait for them to get off. but someone in the crowd liked them. the same damn crowdsurfer came over my head each song. then, finally, they get off. after people were throwing beer cups at them, which was seriously rude. okay, then the excitement starts and so does the pushing. idiots in the crowd are moshing with no music playing. the bouncers are freaking and standing in my way and i know SG is coming on soon. they bring out matt's drum kit, then the guitars, then the bass. it was insane, i was on edge. people are really starting to push and megan loses her spot on the wall. i'm too dedicated to this band to leave to help her though, even though i knew i should have. later on, they raised her up and out after she almost passed out due to heat and lack of oxygen. i see susan silver talking to a group of people on the side of the stage, back behind some speakers. i wish i could have taken out my camera and snapped a shot, but i wanted it for later. she's looking good. really nice, long hair. then all of a sudden i see this flash of black. it's kim! it's kim! i'm going nuts, so is the rest of the crowd who obviously saw him too. kim comes on stage followed by ben and matt goes right to his spot behind the drums. chris was kind of behind kim and ben and wow... is he ever a beautiful human. but so tiny! i couldn't believe how skinny he was! not that he looked sick at all, just so different than most of the photos i have of him. chris comes to the front and the first thing you notice is his hair. it's huge, and very distinguishing. and how pale he is, and his big blue eyes. he has on a tight gray shit and black jeans. ben has on a tight blue? or gray? shirt too and black jeans. kim has on a Corrosion of conformity shirt and just regular jeans. never did see what matt as wearing. not Bball shorts though. :) chris goes right to the mic and starts talking about how "sorry we missed you guys on lollapolooza, but that was metallica's fault" (crowd goes nuts) "but we came here on our own and had fun anyway..." then right into Spoonman and the crowd went *insane*! i couldn't believe it! i was crushed against that little board wall by at least 1500 people and it was crazy! crowdsurfers everywhere, bouncers going crazy trying to keep track of them, me trying to breathe. the girl next to me has already been pulled out by a bouncer by the time SG launches into an amazing version of Let Me Drown. wow, it was beyond what i had expected. people are exiting left and right, and i think i got kicked in the head here... i can't remember now. crowd surfers are coming faster than you can put yr arms in the air to block their dr martins. one guy is the spitting image of the 1992 BMF chris and even has the BMF wheel tatooed on the small of his back. very sexy. after Let Me Drown, they play pretty noose (he hit those notes no problem!) and BIMH. during BIHM, they played the video out of order on a big screen behind them. this is the first i notice of a background thing going on. chris sounds great, kim's fingers are lightning and ben is making serious eye contact with me. i can now sort of see matt, but only when chris speads his legs to play guitar. during spoonman, when ben sang his first four or five lines, he made one of those duck faces with his hand and it sang along with him. was funny. made eye contact then too. after BIMH, chris goes to the mic and dedicates the next song to lou? and someone and says "this is only cause they wanted to hear this, so this really is just for them...cause they wanted to hear it..." and mumbles a bit more and then the start playing. oh my god! it's hands all over! wow! i freaked out so bad, i was so excited. i was so happy they were playing this. when chris starts singing, he holds his hand up in the air and a few of us front row survivors reach out to him, even though the stage is 8+ feet in the air and at least 8 feet away. it was an intense moment for me. after that, things start to get blurry. possibly FoBD is played, i can't be sure. but i do remember chris yelling at us to shut up cause the drummer from TL comes out and brings them all these orange drinks in clear plastic cups. chris says "these are (something) friday's now... but about midnight tonight these'll be called frrr... fruffff..." and starts slurring the words really hysterically. really funny. they go into helter skelter at one point and it is *gorgeous*. chris is quiet and subdued and it's just wonderful. then they slowly slide into boot camp and it was almost enought to make me weep. god, it was such a perfect moment. "i must be tame and cool..." unbelievable. the rest of the show is a HUGE blur. plenty of photo ops, chris running over to kim and bobbing his head back and forth until kim cracked up. ben doing his high stepping. ben didn't spit once either, which was nice of him. :) and right before outshined, chris took off his shirt. wow, he really is thin. but not bad thin, he's still in good shape. i liked it. :) basically, the set list was: spoonman, let me drown, pretty noose, BIMH, hands all over, FoBD, rusty cage (neat intro, i realized what song it was before the people areound me did), outshined, helter skelter/boot camp, search & destroy (i'm not positive, because i've never heard this song before), BUTOW, kickstand, dusty, ty cobb.... ty cobb was fun. chris was running around a little, flipping off the crowd and getting us to do it back. and the tenderloin drummer sat in for this one.... my wave, slaves & bulldozers, NTMF (encore), JCP(encore), and this incredible chris solo version of BHS. wow, i would really kill for a copy of that. really beautiful. they left after playing slaves & bulldozers, i'm pretty sure, but came back out soon and started with NTMF. i was disappointed by this, because i was really looking forward to the possibility of hearing Mailman live, as that's one of my fav SG songs, but it sounded alright live i guess. i had whipped out my camera and was now bouncer dodging for shots. the one guy put his hand on it and told me to put it away, so i sort of did. but i realized that everytime they went to grab a crowd surfer, there was no way they could watch me too, so that was when i snapped shots. after NTMF, they kicked into this ripping version of JCP, but it seemed a bit short. matt intro'd it great, really good drum solo, but the song was just short. i'm snapping shots left and right and hanging on for my life, hoping to get something good out of the film. bouncer sees me with the camera again and threatens me so i pretended to put it away again but took 2 more after that. :) as it turns out, my dad and brother saw kim down by the soundboard (which is in the middle of the floor???) but didn't know who it was so didn't bug him. i got my photos back and they're nothing excitable, just one half decent on of chris and one half black one of chris and a good shot of the sign outside. SOMMSters! sorry i never found any of you guys! i bolted for that front row spot and never moved from it until the concert was long over. i looked for you guys, michele and aaron, never did see anyone to fit yr descriptions though. sorry! i got CRUSHED! front row is a good view, but extremely painful the next couple of days. i won't do it for any band besides SG. i have brusies on my elbows and knees and had a knot on my head from getting kicked and i thought i had a broken rib or two. really bad. as for contact with them, i made tons of eye contact and expressions with ben, kimmy smiled at me once, and when chris flung water out into the crowd i caught his eye. so i was happy. all in all, it was a great experience and i can't wait to do it again! love ya! mind riot

Soundgarden were amazing. They played alot of the favorites like was said before even Hnads All Over off Louder THan Love. I was really surprised to hear this since it looked like they were just sticking to BMF and after. Well, go see them.