U.S. Tour 1996: The Fans' Report
Austin, TX, 27 Nov 1996

Amazing...this was my first time to see Soundgarden in concert, so I can't compare it to other shows, but it was incredible. The set list was similar to others posted...Dusty and JCP were the encores...They played a LOT of radio songs, which the crowd got into, and I positively loved too, but I wish I had heard some of my favorites that don't get airplay--like mailman, tighter & tighter, and never the machine forever--three songs I think are some of the best they've recorded. Shepard was very stern through the whole thing and at times trying to hide behind his amps...you couldn't see Cameron because his drumsticks moved to fast in front of his face it was all a blur Thayil was...well...totally Thayil wearing a tool t-shirt and playing the guitar like only he can. Cornell announced he was glad to be in the "independent republic of Texas". Hell, yes. It was a great show and seemed unreal to me... actually seeing my all-time favorite band live...I had to keep reminding myself I was really there...

Made the drive to Austin from Dallas for the Soundgarden show. There was a lot of anticipation leading up to this show and I wasn't dissapointed. The Austin Music Hall was a great place for the sold out show. They basically played the same set as they have been this tour, but what a set. Highlights: dedicated Rusty Cage to the "Man in Black" and proceeded to play an ungodly heavy version the track, Chris's solo of Black Hole Sun was moving, and of course the closer Jesus Christ Pose...well it was Soundgarden...Live...doing Jesus Christ Pose! You have to set priorities for yourself in life...seeing Soundgarden live should be one of them. Don't miss the chance to see one of the greatest singer/songwriters of our generation give you the finger.

This show rocked hard. They definitely had an interest in making sure these live songs were extra heavy and crunchy versions of the studio work. When Slaves & Bulldozers kicked in, I was fucking thrilled. Portabellas probably helped. The video clip was a definite trip. The other reviews were right, Cornell had it together. The screams were clean. It was almost as if each song was an extra-heavy slightly off-key (in a good way) version of the original. I would kill for a bootleg of this show. The sound was killer. What more can I say? It's certainly motivation to check out the new release. Hope to see this act again soon!

Just like another devoted Soundgarden fan, my sister and I drove from Dallas to Austin in the pre-Thanksgiving traffic. Austin Music Hall was a damn good place for a show in my opinion, because it gave plently of opportunity to be right up front--which is exactly where I was for the whole show. Neither I nor the rest of the crowd liked Pond that much, but Crypt at least got everyone excited. A brief aside about the crowd: they sucked! Those of us who arrived early enought to feel secure in their front positions were sadly mistaken when a miserable troop of tripped-out freaks decided that where I was standing was exactly where they wanted to be. The place got so cramped that I literally couldn't move my arms around to get into the music or to let them regain circulation. Back to the show: I nearly died when I spotted Kim and Chris entering the stage. The set list was similar to other shows with the surprise visit from Hands All Over that completely kicked ass! At one point, someone threw ice up at the stage and one piece of it hit Chris square on the forehead. Chris flinched but didn't stop singing. Then, when Kim was wailing on a guitar solo, Chris went back to the microphone and (real calmly at first) said, "C'mon up here, you punk." (Then a bit more irritated) "C'mon, you punk motherfucker! Come up here; I'll fuck your shit up!" I would have loved to have the honors myself. What kind of a "fan" throws ice up at the stage? The kind that needs to get his ass kicked. The screen in the background made for a mesmerizing addition to the music, especially for Blow Up the Outside World where it teased the audience for several minutes before they decided to satisfy our NEED for that amazing song. Chris's voice was in perfect condition from what I could tell. He sounded fucking amazing! Chris is the epitome of all that is beautiful in the male form. I was enchanted by his very presence. At one point, he surveyed the audience and when he looked in my direction, I raised my eyebrows at him like, "how's it goin'?" and he raised his back at me. I was beside myself in extreme excitement. Ben hid from the crowd for most of the show and Matt went nuts on his drums as only he can. My only regret about the show was that I couldn't pay more attention to Jesus Christ Pose during the encore. I was half-unconscious from extreme dehydration and actaully had to be lifted over the barracade so I could get some water and some air. Not only was I drenched from head to toe with sweat, but I was also bruised in several places from trying to maintain my position up front. It was a stiff price to pay to be that close, but it was worth it! This was the first Soundgarden concert I've been to, but it certainly won't be my last. Thanks, Soundgarden, for an amazing performance!