Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Eardrums Bleeding: Soundgarden / Queens of the Stone Age / Mastodon at the Gorge

It's been over a year since Soundgarden reunited to play a not-so-secret show at The Showbox, and the local heroes haven't been back since, so there was plenty of excitement over the announcement of them coming back to play The Gorge this summer. Toss in Queens of the Stone Age, Mastodon and Meat Puppets and you have an EVENT. With four bands of that caliber, there were a lot of expectations to be met, and they were met... plowed over, more like.

Meat Puppets got an early start to the night, so early that there wasn't anyone one in place to get press in through the gate, so there was no photos and we really only heard the sounds of "Lake of Fire" and the like echoing through the canyons to enthusiastic applause.

Mastodon followed, and their unrelenting metal attack pulverized listeners into submission. Bassist and main vocalist Troy Sanders ping-ponged between the dueling guitars of Brent Hindes and Bill Kelliher for their onslaught.

The Atlanta metal gods have their fifth album due in stores September 27 (my birthday, hint hint...) and, needless to say, it just moved a few notches up my list of albums I'm looking forward to. Says Hinds of The Hunter, "Our new album will inspire drunkenness and public nudity." We didn't see any of that this night, but I don't doubt their power to inspire trouble.

That left

Next up was Queens of the Stone Age, who ran through a quick set that hit most their high notes, complete with smooth banter from frontman Josh Homme. Flirtations came in the form of "Go With the Flow", "No One Knows" and "First It Giveth" then they sealed the deal with "Make it Wit Chu." Then the sledgehammer was dropped with "Mexicola." A final goodbye from Homme was had before they laid final waste with "A Song for the Dead." Not a bad lesson in how to warm up a Soundgarden set.

Soundgarden came on to a well warmed up and appreciative audience, prompting Chris Cornell to say "We finally came back around and got home, and you were here when we got here." This being their final stop on the year-long reunion tour, the band was set to play for as long as time would allow, which amounted to 22 songs in around two hours. From that, the large bulk came from Superunknown (8 songs) and Badmoterfinger (7 songs) -- the band knows where their bread was buttered. Chris Cornell, Kim Thayil, Ben Shepherd and Matt Cameron sounded a lot more in sync than the looser set they played a year prior, and hooked us in quick with the trio of "Searching with my Good Eye Closed" and "Spoonman" before reaching back some for Loud Love's "Gun." As if to head off any questions about the news that the band is recording new material, Cornell remarked "We'd like to play some new songs for you in the future, but we're here to play the old stuff."

The band ended their proper set with the under-appreciated "4th of July" before coming back for a feedback-driven encore consisting of "Room a Thousand Years Wide," "Beyond the Wheel" and the pounding "Slaves & Bulldozers." A few shattered eardrums later, and the crowd was left with dazed smiles on their faces, wandering into the night to find their car / camping space. Setlist below, with more photos to follow that.

Playlist: Soundgarden Setlist (The Gorge - July 30, 2011)
Searching With My Good Eye Closed
Jesus Christ Pose
Blow Up the Outside World
The Day I Tried to Live
My Wave
Burden in My Hand
Ugly Truth
Fell on Black Days
Hunted Down
Drawing Flies
Black Hole Sun
Rusty Cage
Head Down
Pretty Noose
4th of July
Room a Thousand Years Wide
Beyond the Wheel
Slaves & Bulldozers

1 comment:

~hechter said...

Awesome photo of green-glowing Brent Hindes (Mastodon)!