Prudential Center, Newark, NJ

by Noel Edge (July 9, 2011)

In 5 Words or Less SoundGODen!
Affiliation with KNEW GEN None
Genre Hard drivin' Seattle rock at it's best! Heavy and powerful!
Performance & Production Coheed and Cambria opened the show with a decent set and a modest response from the crowd. When Soundgarden hit the stage (opening with "Searching With My Good Eye Closed"), the crowd was in a frenzy. Soundgarden never let up through their 18-song set (and 5-song encore) and neither did the crowd. Here are some highlights from the set list for their show at Prudential Center: Spoonman, Jesus Christ Pose, My Wave, Rusty Cage, Black Hole Sun, Outshined, Superunknown and Room A Thousand Years Wide. The set-stealer of the night was "Jesus Christ Pose" - fast and tight, with amazing vocals. Cornell also had some fun interacting with the crowd...what was that overpowering herbal smell anyway?

I can't think of any rock singer to emerge in the last 20 years who has more talent than Chris Cornell. If you think he's lost his edge over time, or can't pull off the notes and sustain performing live (without studio help), then you would be wrong on all counts. Simply a spectacular performance last night. But let's not overlook Kim Thayil's guitar work; precise execution of speedy riffs with lots of flowing wah thrown in. Add a rock-solid rhythm section and you've got a perfect storm on stage (I can't recall the last time I've seen a drummer shred a 5-piece kit as well as Matt Cameron did last night).

The stage design and light show was simple and effective; no elaborate props, pyro or big screens, just backdrops and lights (check out some pics here). This is Soundgarden, not Kiss! The sound and mix were average, but there's only so much you can do with the acoustics in an arena.
What Else You Should Know While metal fans have their "Big 4", Seattle's alternative rock genre is down to 3 with the loss of Nirvana's Curt Cobain. Perhaps the stars will align for a "Big 3" (i.e. Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains) tour in the near future. If Metallica and Megadeth are willing to tour together, anything is possible.

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