Concert Review

Soundgarden Heats Up a Cold Night in Pittsburgh

When I heard Soundgarden was coming to Pittsburgh’s Stage AE for a May outdoor show I was ecstatic.   I envisioned a warm spring evening accompanied by killer entertainment…well, warm spring evening my ass.  The temperature was in the 30’s, not to mention the rain that occasionally spat at us.  Although somewhat miserable, it did not stop the some 4,000 fans that filled the sold out venue to see the grunge legends.  For the Seattle natives, it probably felt like a taste of home.

After waiting for 1 ½ hours from the time doors opened due to no opening act, the band finally took the stage.  The atmosphere was electric.  The set list was well proportioned to include  twenty plus songs that spanned the group’s career.  They kept a great balance by mixing songs like “By Crooked Steps”, “Halfway There” and “Eyelids Mouth” in with older favorites like “Spoonman”, “Blow Up the Outside World”, “Rusty Chain” and “4th of July”.  Cornell, who spoke little between songs, had the crowd laughing when he asked his tour manager to have the Bayer sign atop Mt. Washington turned off.   “Can we get that sign up there turned off?  It’s very distracting and I feel obliged to read it every time it changes”, said Cornell.  He also went on to state, “Those are non-effective drugs it’s advertising anyway”.

The encore followed suit with the rest of the set with a mix of classic and new with “Been Away Too Long”, “My Wave”, “Black Hole Sun” and “Rowing”.

In the end, one could never tell these guys had taken a 13 year hiatus.  After all of these years, singer Chris Cornell can still mesmerize the crowd with his seductively sultry yet powerful voice. These guys were able to take us on a musical roller coaster ranging from ‘in your face’ head banging into sweet melodic harmonies without missing a beat accompanied by some mind blowing graphics created especially for the tour.    Hard to believe it’s been over 20 years since they visited the Burgh.  The last thing Cornell promised was to not stay away so long this time.  Here is hoping Chris keeps his promise.

*A tip for collectors: At the merch booth the first four posters and vinyl copies of King Animal are autographed and sold at the normal price!

Setlist: Pittsburgh, PA  STAGE AE

  1. Encore:

All photos ©2013 AWeldingphoto & Pittsburgh Music Magazine

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