Seattle grunge icons Soundgarden officially reunited in 2010, but it wasn’t until late last year that they released their comeback album, "King Animal". Now they’re hitting the road to tour in support of it. Their hard hitting, marathon show made its way to Boston’s Orpheum Theatre on Sunday night. The show sold out just minutes after going on sale back in November, but the 2,700 fans lucky enough to score a ticket most definitely got their money’s worth.
Soundgarden took the stage just after 8:25 and immediately jumped into their hits, opening with "Searching With My Good Eye Closed" followed up by classics like "Spoonman" and "Jesus Christ Pose". Throughout the rest of the night the band alternated between classics such as "Fell On Black Days" and "My Wave" and newer songs like "Been Away Too Long" and "Non-State Actor". As the main set neared its conclusion Soundgarden were found dipping into some of the deepest cuts in their back catalog, such as "Head Down" and the main set closer "4th of July".
Soundgarden’s encore was one of the strongest I’ve seen from a live act in years of attending concerts. Beginning with the Black Sabbath influenced "Incessant Mace off Ultramega OK", they went on to power through the drum heavy, punk based track "Rusty Cage". One of Soundgarden’s signature songs and one of the most popular songs of 1990’s, "Black Hole Sun", was next. The final song of the night was "Slaves & Bulldozers".
When all was said and done Soundgarden’s set lasted just over 2 and half hours. A blistering, hard hitting freight train of a set really gave the crowd a night worthy of the band’s legacy. Soundgarden was forced to compete for attention with the New England Patriots who were playing in the AFC Championship game that night. Many in attendance were compulsively checking their smartphones during the show, and Chris Cornell even took some time out during the show to keep folks updated on how the game was going.
Soundgarden’s entire performance was incredibly powerful and captivating right from the start. Cornell’s voice proved to be strong as ever while Matt Cameron’s furious drumming paired with Ben Shepherds pounding bass lines laid the groundwork for the strong performance; guitarist Kim Thayil brought it all together with his work on the strings. On this night Soundgarden showed that the reunion is complete and they’re picking things up right where they left off as one of the premiere hard rock and grunge artists still performing today.