U.S. Tour 1996: The Fans' Report
Houston, TX, 26 Nov 1996


rcguitar@flash.net
Ok, quick run down of houston show. Ears ringing like mad... (in no order) Spoonman (opener) Rusty Cage Outshined Jesus Christ Pose (last song I think) Searching With My Good Eye Closed Hands All Over Let Me Drown My Wave Fell On Black Days Black Hole Sun (Chris solo) Pretty Noose Burden In My Hand Ty Cobb ("Here's the song they always play on the radio" ummm, yeah) Blow Up The Outside World Helter Skelter I am definately missing some. The International Ballroom's sound sucks. Chris said "Doesn't sound too bad for an old Safeway". The place still has Lee Blum Furnature signs all over it. Chris got hassled by uptight Houstonians earlier today. Everyone HATED pond except me. I had words with the singer of Pond during SG and got his e-mail address. I apoligized for houston being close minded, burnout, rednecks who aren't open to something new. Anyone in cali, vancouver, oregon and seattle are in for a real treat with pond and rocket from the crypt. That was my 2nd time to see Rocket From the Crypt. On to the ben issue.... 2nd to last song before the encore. Ben gets irritated by someone in the front row... He says "You're stoned arent you". Then the fucker throws a shirt at him. "Youfuckingpieceofshitmotherfuckinasshole!!!". Afterwords ben thrashes his bass. Texas sucks. Forgive us Ben. Oh yeah, dont drink the water the International Ballroom unless you brought it from out of the venue. Its weird, that was the first time to see SG without Pearl Jam on the bill. Later, Ryan Chavez p.s. if anyone gets a copy of this show on audio or video (by some slim chance), please let me know to set up a trade.


pressler@ocean.tamu.edu
Cool concert. I thought Pond was pretty good, definitely something different but they didn't go over very well with the crowd (i.e., it was hard to mosh to). I liked Rocket from the Crypt, to; they were energetic and they had style. You've got to give it to a band that wears shiny gold scale shirts, has one band member on the stage just to dance around like a maniac, and got this motley crowd to clap their hands over their heads along with a song. SG rocked; this is my third time seeing them. My favorites were Outshined (seemed like everyone was rocking out and singing along), Boot Camp (which I wasn't expecting them to play; cool segue from Helter Skelter), and Hands All Over. This concert I was able to get to Kim Thayil's side of the stage and watch him play, which was awesome. They played a long set, with all of the tunes from Badmotorfinger, Superunknown, and Down on the Upside (except for Hands All Over). In overall atmosphere, the show was good once some of the crowd cooled out, realized SG weren't going to simply play a soundtrack for them to mosh to, and started paying attention to the show. I must include an addition about the crowd. I have seen a change at concerts in the last several years; and I know I'm not crazy, b/c other people have told me the same. Too many people come to these shows and think they are free to abuse everyone else; in fact, they think they're SUPPOSED to abuse everyone else, like that's why we pay to see the show. Most of the people who are trying to watch are pushed to the rear as a relatively smaller group of tough guys bust each other up in front of the stage. This was not the most violent concert I've been to, but two years ago when I saw SG it was rough but people were watching the band; at Houston there was a group that were only watching the people they were pummeling. I saw one guy who kept slamming in to me; I threw him off and told him to relax. I saw him again a few minutes later, and he had blood running down his face, but he was still at it. One guy vaulted himself over the crowd and hit the ground. He was carried away, out for the count apparently. I hope he enjoyed the show. And then there was the woman that was being passed over the top of the crowd above me; as she got to the front, she was held in place as 5 or 6 guys shamelessly groped her. I pulled her down and she came down in the midst of them. These guys seemed suprised that what they had been grabbing at like a piece of meat, turned out to be a real human being, who was now horrified and shrinking away from them. She disappeared into the crowd. There is no excuse for this bullshit. It has nothing to do with this music. Does anyone wonder why SG seems to be pissed off at the crowds lately (just check out the reviews of other shows)?


Aferdity@aol.com
By now everyone has heard about the setlist, what Ben and Chris had to say to the audience, and how the sound was. Well, I have to add that the show was FUCKING AMAZING and I loved every minute of it. I started close to the front but at the beginning, when Soundgarden took the stage, I got scooted somewhere in the middle. But hey, I still had a great view of the entire band and I could hear just fine. But really, who in the crowd couldn't hear??? Anyway, I survived the big empty Safeway mosh-pit and being 5'6 and 130 lbs. I'm proud to say that I held my own. To the point that I'm trying to make: in the middle of the show I stopped and looked at each of the band members and thought, "WOW, they are so extremely talented!!" Then I started thinking how God put these rare and totally different individuals together to make such a kick-ass group. I know what you are thinking, "Why the HELL is she thinking this right now!!" Well, it just popped into my head at the time and it was only for a second, then I got back into the concert. Chris's voice sounded great, Ben wasn't too playful with the crowd but he did cuss someone out, Matt did an outstanding job as always, and Kim played so awesome(can't think of a word to describe it and this is the best I can do for now)!!! Anyway, to sum it up, I would drive out of my way to hear Ben cuss at the audience and to have Chris shoot the finger at me. I'm glad that I made the drive I did because I wouldn't have missed this for all the twinkies in the world!!! I will be at every Soundgarden concert that comes even remotely close to where I live and I recomend that you do the same. Toodles & Love :)


mobawa@owlnet.rice.edu
The Houston show was mediocre at best. Having recently gotten over his concert-cancelling illness in New York, it took about half the show for him to warm up. The second half picked up somewhat. I thought the playlist was too geared towards the mallrat teenybopper crowd which was definitely present in full force. Hands All Over was the only pre-BMF song they played. A bluesy cheezeball version of Helter Skelter was a a potential boredom breaker but it wasn't successful. The members were cool though and being in the front row, directly in front of Chris was pretty cool. Pre-BMF Soundgarden, one of my favorite bands, has put on shows that were much wilder, rawer, and fun than the band that played in Houston. Pond was a nondescript trio that made some noise that we've all heard at mall surf shops and jeans stores. Rocket From the Crypt was amusing but that's all they were. I'll only see any of these bands again against my will.


trishy@swbell.net
Would I drive to Houston from Dallas to see SOUNDGARDEN again? Hell Yes!! I would close my eyes and walk a thousand miles. Spoonman kicked the show in Houston on 11/26/96 off to a great start and the infamous Jesus Christ Pose ended it beautifully. The International Ballroom, an old Safeway, was like a dream for serious SG fans because it allowed them to get as close as they wanted. I was directly in front, of course, for all 3 acts. Pond was okay at first until their songs all started sounding the same. Rockets from the Crypt were pretty exciting to watch and Matt Cameron would obviously agree because I saw him enjoying the show to the side of the stage. Getting back to SOUNDGARDEN, the rest of the set went like this: Searching With My Good Eye Closed, Let Me Drown, Pretty Noose, Burden In My Hand, My Wave, Ty Cobb, Black Hole Sun, Outshined, Rusty Cage, Fell On Black Days, Helter Skelter, Applebite, Boot Camp, Rhinosaur, Blow Up The Outside World, Hands All Over, and Slaves and Bulldozers. The only time I saw Matt's face was during Applebite since he doesn't have to drum like lightning flashes to it. Ben got angry at some stoned idiot, broke his bass on an amp, then Chris went over to inspect it and started kicking it for good measure. Chris teased the crowd saying, "Hi, we're Frowngarden" and then he proceeded to show us his characteristic, crazy faces. Kim played with such an ease that the testosterone-friendly room envied his every move. Hands All Over, Bootcamp, and Applebite were complete surprises to me but nothing topped the special ten minute version of Slaves and Bulldozers during which Ben sprayed all the twisted-limbed crowdsurfers with beer. The best damned hour and thirty minutes of my life flew by too fast but I will never forget them. SOUNDGARDEN LIVE is a sure crowd pleaser at any occasion so try to check them out. I realize I was lucky to see them because the venue sold too many tickets and 800 people with tickets got turned away at the door by the fire marshall.


BradBman@AOL.com
Great show! I was amazed that Soundgarden played such a small venue - but happy to be able to get so close. Remember when Chris said "I want everyone to smile - cause we're usually frowned upon" hehe - pretty funny. Like everyone else, I wish some people in the crowd would chill out. And what's with flipping off the band?? Why would anyone pay money to see such a great show, then constantly flip off the band? Can't they think of anything else to do with thier hands? Gotta cut this short - all in all a super show!!!


Shroom Girl (Soundgarden snob and official SOMMS hootchie)

This is the official SOMMS hootchie review of the Houston show. I had originally posted to the list... but I've edited it just a bit so the inane people who aren't on SOMMS will understand it a bit better. I'm nice like that. ;) By the way, I'm attempting to practice my HTML skills while writing this, so bear with me kiddies...
Got to the International Ballroom (from Dallas) at about 6:15pm. Like Amber, I almost couldn't find the damn place because I didn't know it was an old Safeway (grocery) store! The only reason I knew it was the right place was because there were like thirteen million people lined up out front. I parked and jumped into line. When I got inside, I grabbed a beer and scoped out the place. What a dive!! I liked it. ;-) Before long, a guy approached me and asked if I was Shroom. It was Pablo from the list!! Wow!! I was so glad to meet another SOMMSter and have someone to hang out with! Pablo flew up from Mexico just for the Houston show, which I thought was too groovy! He was there early enough to hear the soundcheck, too (lucky guy!). It was a blast talking to him... so thanks to Pablo for being such a great person and hanging out with me. =)
Ok, on to the show. First of all... one of the roadies for RFTC looks alot like Ben (circa BMF). Pablo and I spent awhile debating on whether it was actually Ben or not. Silly us, of course. The guys hair was MUCH too long for him to be Ben... but the way they carry themselves is quite similiar. And Matt's drum tech (Sean?) looks ALOT ALOT like Chris. Before SG hit the stage, people were yelling at him. "Hey Chris! Why are you behind the drum set? Look!! Chris is gonna play the drums!!" Idiots. Anyway, there were two poles on either side of the stage... and I managed to position myself right behind the one on the right side (in front of Ben), and wrap my arms around it. I had an excellent view of the whole band. =) Ben wasn't too active, but he did punch some speakers a couple times. And when someone threw something on the stage, he yelled at the guy "Hey fucker! The only things we appreciate being thrown at us are earplugs, dickfuck!" =) Ben has such a way with words.
It got *so* hot in the place during the show that water started condensing on the ceiling above the stage, and dripping down on the band. At one point Chris held his hands out, and said: "Hey! It's raining in here!" I though that was the greatest! I think the fourth song was "My Wave," and Chris pleased everyone by taking his shirt off for the rest of the show. =) =) =) At one point, Chris said something else... but I couldn't understand exactly what it was. I could only catch the end: "...yeah, it's perverse. But that's because we're Frowngarden!" Yeeeeeaaaahhh!!! Go Chris!! Oh yeah, I forgot to mention what everyone was wearing (*gasp* how could I forget that??). Chris originally had on the infamous SNL shirt (before he so kindly removed it), black jeans, and blue/gray boxers. Kim had on black jeans and a Tool shirt. Matt was wearing dark blue basketball shorts, and a lighter blue basketball jersey-tank-top-type-thing that had white around the arms and neck. Ben had on those wonderful leather pants (which he looks sooooo good in!) and a maroon t-shirt. Other people have already posted about the rest of the show, so unless something comes back to me... I'll get to the meeting part.
After the show, Pablo and I went around back to where the buses were. They wouldn't let us stand too near the buses, so we stood around a bus stop that was fairly close. We had an excellent view of everything. We hung out there with a few other people for about an hour waiting for the band. There were two girls and a guy there who I had thought were big fans like us... but when the guy urged the girls to talk about Hater to Ben when the band came out, and one girl asked him: "Which one is Ben?"... I figured out that Pablo and I were pretty much on our own. The guy: "Ben is the bassist!" The girl: "Is he the tall one?" AAAUUUGGHHH!!! Anyway, eventually Matt came out... and I already told you guys how he blew my mind by recognizing me and greeting me by name. =) I don't know if it's because he remembered me from the Hater show, or he recognized me from my picture in the member's directory... but that doesn't matter. The conversation (again):
S: "Why aren't you wearing your SOMMS hat?" M: (HUGE friendly smile) "Hey Shroom!! How are you?" S: (Totally shocked) "Whaaaaaaat?" M: (Looks at me closely) "You ARE Shroom, right?" S: "Yeah! You remember me!" M: "Yeah! What're you doing here? Do you live here?" S: "Kinda! I live in Dallas!" M: "Cool! Are you going to the Austin show tomorrow night?" S: "Of course!!" M: (Stops signing and looks at me closely again) "Do you have tickets for it?" S: "You know it!" M: "Ok, cool! I'm sure I'll see you there then, huh?" S: "Definitely! Thanks Matt!"
I couldn't believe that he asked me about tickets. Kiddies... there is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that if I had said "No, I couldn't get tickets." Matt would have gotten me some. The guy is amazing! He signed my DOTU cover "To Shroom... Matt Cameron." I was so happy that he remembered me! Pablo told him how he had come all the way from Mexico for the show, and Matt was really impressed. =) I tore apart my DOTU book so Pablo got autographs, too. Eventually Mark (SG's soundman) came out and was talking to everyone. He gave Pablo and I Soundgarden guitar picks (awesome)! Then he told everyone this really funny story about when he met Eddie Vedder. Eventually Chris left the building and got on the bus, but he obviously didn't want to talk to anyone. He had a baseball hat pulled low over his face, and he was hunched over. Two little girls who were standing with us started squealing "Chrissssss!! Chrissssss!!" He started walking ALOT faster, and got on the bus. That's the last we saw of him. Not long after that, Mark let us walk over and stand in front of SG's tour bus. Kim came off and signed all of our stuff. He was joking around with everyone... it was so cool! Some guy said to him: "How come you guys never play 'Birth Ritual' anymore? I love that song!" Kim said: "Well, we haven't played it in a long time, soooo..." Then the guy said jokingly: "Well, I guess it's pretty hard to play the guitar backwards on stage, too..." Kim just grinned at him: "For YOU, maybe. I'd just do this..." And he turned his back to us, and started jamming on some really wicked air guitar. Everyone laughed; it was too funny! He finished signing everything, and started to get on the bus. He was on the first step, when he turned around with a serious look on his face, pointed to all of us, and said: "Now I want all of you to go and get stoned." He turned to finish getting on the bus, but then stuck his head BACK out at us and said: "But don't tell anyone I told you to do that!" So , you didn't just read that. =) Chris never got off the bus, and Ben just stood at the top of the stairs, around the corner from the door. When Kim got on the bus, Pablo and I left. I dropped him off at his hotel, and drove to San Antonio.
Ummm... well.... ok... I kinda sorta ended up getting gas at the same truck stop that SG was at. Don't ask me how THAT happened, because I have no idea. ;-) (We were on the same highway for awhile ... could *I* help it that we just happened to choose the same store to get gas at??) ;-) I didn't bother them, though. They were getting back on the bus just as I started pumping my gas. I just smiled and waved at them, and they smiled and waved back. Such groovy guys! I talked to their bus driver inside the store though, and told him to drive VERY CAREFULLY because he was carrying *extremely* precious cargo. =) He smiled, and promised me that he'd take extra special care of the band. Then he told me to drive safely. =) What a nice guy! Day 1 of Shroomfest '96 was complete. =)))

*kisskiss*
Shroom

- Oh yeah... the guys from Pond are really nifty, too. =) Be nice to them.


anniemarisa@usa.net
We thought that the show rocked!!! They were so hilarious! When someone threw a shirt on stage, Ben got pissed and started yelling at him. Then, Chris told everyone to smile. When he saw some boy in the front not smiling he yelled, "Hey Hatboy! You're not fucking smiling!! But it's perverse since we're Frowngarden." It was the best concert we have ever been to. After the show, we got to meet Matt and Kim and got autographs and pictures with them. We also got a picture of Ben on the bus. The day after the concert, one of us (Marisa)wasin Austin for Thanksgiving and went to meet them after concert there. I got Ben and Chris' autographs and got a picture with Ben. It was very cool because they talked and had conversations with us when we met them. SOUNDGARDEN IS THE COOLEST BAND IN THE UNIVERSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! -Annie & Marisa P.S.-To that girl Shroom-We weren't some fucked up squealing little girls that scared Chris off. He was probably just scared of your funky-ass hair!!


Shroom Girl
Ohhhh, so Annie and Marisa were the two little girls who frightened off Chris. Thanks alot for making some of the Houston people miss meeting the guy. You kiddies were squealing so fucking loud, dogs heads were exploding on the other side of town. I don't suppose you noticed the look on Mark's face when you pulled that crap, did you? I thought not. Get a clue, or go through puberty already. By the way, I'm glad my hair made such an impression. It took me forever to put all those damned braids in my hair. Kim really liked them alot. *kisskiss* Shroom


al600297@mail.ur.mx
es el mejor grupo de rock escuchado en montewrrey nuevo leon jair


aritter.swbell.net
i'm a big fan of soundgarden. unfortunately, i did not go to their concert here in austin. i can't believe i didn't go. i love chris cornell and soundgarden. i live in a suburb of austin- leander, texas. i have a few very close friends who like soundgarden as well. when soundgarden performed this past summer at the lollapalooza tour in dallas, i had a friend take me to try and them so i could meet soundgarden personally. i didn't find them, which i was not surprised.-- if you would, please send me any info you have on the concert they did here in austin, texas at the austin city music hall. i would very much like that. friend, ladian rios p.s. this is my mother's address. i'm 22 years old. i'm a simple, conservative girl who is a capricorn.


Psuedogod@hotmail.com
The show at the ballroom was BAD ASS, it was the best concert ive evr been to.Rocket from the crypt was reallly kewl too and got me and some other people moshing, pond sucked though, they looked like the beastie boys:P.But all in all it was a super show and I think was Chris said was "weve never played in a safeway before".I LOVED being at the concert everyone was just haveing a good time, some older guys and his GF decided to let me smoke(stuff) with them during about helter I think, which I thought was really kewl of him.The worst thing there was that there was some old grannies there and they were all like "don't touch me!!!!!!"It was really amusing:).But anyway the Soundgarden rulez and always will!!!!!!!!!