I wasn’t going to see Soundgarden last night in Toronto – but last Fall, I texted Andrew to ask him if he wanted to go with me. We’ve seen them before and as usual he was dead keen. Like he always is. 😉 So this girl picked up the tickets.
It was a snowy night in Toronto (perfectly fitting with Soundgarden’s ‘King Animal’ album cover) and after an insane week of weird revelations, kicking this darn cold, big life decisions – we trekked out to Sound Academy on the island.
The show was supposed to start at 8 p.m. but didn’t until closer to 9 p.m.. The venue was heaving with lots of boys. Boys I probably went to see shows with Andrew as a teen. But now all grown up and like us a lil wiser. Andrew and I sipped our pints, caught up on life and had our usual giggles. Stone Roses at Coachella, Fleetwood Mac at the ACC, Depeche Mode upcoming tour – lots to look forward to in 2013.
When Soundgarden commenced I did my usual – pull Andrew through the mass of big men and bat my eyelashes so we could get closer to the stage. I’ve loved Soundgarden since I discovered them as a 16 year old watching new music shows in my bedroom at my parents. Then as you do, I stopped listening to them and opted for a more Brit angle. Two summers ago, Andrew and I checked out Soundgarden at the Molson Amphitheatre in Toronto. Hot summer and really an outdoor venue lost the band’s edge.
Forget Audioslave, Chris Cornell’s solo work – Soundgarden is where you drop your cash.
When the boys started with ‘Been Away to Long’ from their latest album ‘King Animal’ – Sublime to say the least. Really these guys could have played at ACC but the sweet, intimacy of being close to their fans spelled out their intent.
The Toronto Star reviews last night’s show as ‘And what concertgoers witnessed was a pretty awesome display of power; Soundgarden is a collective dynamo that always managed to sound bigger than life, rocked with intense ferocity and always delivered beyond expectations.’
Powerful indeed – ‘Rusty Cage’, ‘Spoonman’, ‘Jesus Christ Pose’ – I had memories of university and nights with friends usually laced with dancing and laughter. Buying ‘Badmotorfinger’ the first day it was released from A&A Records on Yonge Street before my first class at York U as a teen – was so long ago. I have come full circle.
Andrew and I agreed that we liked the mix of old and new tunes. The boys worked the sets like a well oiled machine. There was a cheeky moment where Matt Cameron, drummer, started to play an intro to a song by mistake. Kim Thayil, guitarist, Chris Cornell, singer and Ben Sheperd, bassist all looked cheekily at Matt for a moment and shook their fingers in error. Matt smiled and signaled his mistake to the crowd. It was perfect but yet not too perfect. There is a lot of love there between them.
It felt like they played for hours. When I looked at my watch it was close to two-hours and 10-minutes once the encore was complete. Best $80 I have spent in ages. Grunge lives. Well at least in Toronto. Then as you do in January in Toronto, trek home to the suburbs in a snowstorm.
Been Away Too Long
Searching With My Good Eye Closed
Jesus Christ Pose
Let Me Drown
By Crooked Steps
Blow Up the Outside World
Fell on Black Days
Live to Rise
Hands All Over
Room a Thousand Years Wide
Black Hole Sun