July 22, 2011
Better than: Any food item you've stashed away since the '90s
Soundgarden didn't experiment or branch out in any way in its first visit to San Francisco in 15 years: no ballads, covers, unusual arrangements, extended monologues, or breakout solos.
What it did do was play 24 songs for 140 minutes, slipping into one heavy groove after another. The greatest fear you have in seeing a band reunited after 15 years is that it's going to suck: that the members have lost their chops, gotten fat, or simply don't care anymore. Soundgarden passed all those tests.
Guitarist Kim Thayil has graying hair more than halfway down his back. But from a distance, the other three are looking more California than Minnesota. Singer Chris Cornell has hair around all sides of his head, but it does stop at his collar. Bassist Ben Shepherd and drummer Matt Cameron have the kind of clean-cut looks that would work in a marketing job if necessary. The front three all wore blue jeans, and all wore black or white T-shirts.