Cruzan Amphitheater
West Palm Beach, FL
Sunday, August 10, 2014
Review: Matthew Pashalian
Photos: Jeff Ansari

It’s been a very long time since Soundgarden has performed in South Florida, let alone the state of Florida. With the bands last area performance being a part of the traveling Lollapalooza festival in 1996, for many in attendance at this evenings show, this was the first time to witness the band live. For those first attendees, this was far from a disappointment.

Dillinger Escape Plan made for an interesting opening act for the nights show as front man Greg Pucciatto ran and even jumped atop the sound system on each side of the stage as the band plowed through such tunes as “Milk Lizard” and “Sunshine Werewolf.” Guitarist Ben Weinman and bassist Liam Wilson grooved like madmen head banging and jumping off of their amplifiers and making faces as if they were having seizures. Even if you didn’t enjoy the bands off timed progressive metal, you could at least admit that they put on a heck of a show.

By the time Soundgarden hit the stage opening with “Searching with my Good Eye Closed,” the venue had fast filled with patrons ready to see the band that helped define a generational sound. Vocal god Chris Cornell was in fine form as he hit notes that sent chills through you, howling through mega hits “Outshined” and the incredible closer “Beyond the Wheel.”

Though the band mainly played a singles-heavy set that also included the stomp of “Outshined,” the breakneck speed of “Rusty Cage,” and of course “Black Hole Sun,” choice numbers ”A Thousand Days Before” from the bands comeback album King Animal and “Gun”were also present in the set. Before the power to the venue went out due a looming storm, Cornell was midway through sharing a humorous story about the night he wrote the title track to the bands mega-smash Superunknown. Like pros the band launched into the song; but next time we want the rest of that story!

A crowd of over 15,000 plus was left wanting more as lead guitar wizard Kim Thayil ended the show in true 90’s fashion having his fun with guitar effect insanity before casually walking off of the stage. Whether you were getting soaked on the lawn or sweating in the covered seats of the venue, this was a show that you left not exhausted, but wanting to hop in your car and travel to the next date for more. –Matthew Pashalian


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