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Soundgarden

Soundgarden (Universal Amphitheatre; 6,251 seats; $ 18) Promoted by MCA Concerts. Band: Chris Cornell, Kim Thayil, Ben Shepherd, Matt Cameron. Reviewed Dec. 3, 1996. Local Soundgarden fans finally got to hear how good the platinum-selling Seattle band can sound when they play a venue with a decent audio system. And what a difference. After dragging their meaty, riff-filled heavy rock through such unforgiving halls as the Palladium and the Olympic in recent years, the band made the most of Universal's grand acoustics and turned in their best L.A. performance since 1989's coming-out show at the Whisky. Singer Chris Cornell's vocals often the most inconsistent part of the band's puzzle were crisp and clear and effective all night; guitarist Kim Thayil's latter-day Tony Iommi strains were cutting and fluid; and the rhythm section of stone-faced bassist Ben Shepherd and powerhouse drummer Matt Cameron laid down consistent, in-the-pocket grooves that held the band's charged bombast together. Songs like the angry, expletive-laced "Ty Cobb" (which Cornell facetiously called "our next big radio single") and the dramatic "Blow Up the Outside World, " both from the group's latest disc, "Down On the Upside" (A&M), came across much better here than on the album. And the band seemed to know it, smiling at each other and otherwise playing with an uncharacteristic looseness. Most improved, though, were songs from arguably their best album, 1991's "Badmotorfinger." "Rusty Cage," "Searching With My Good Eye Closed" and encore "Jesus Christ Pose" were big, fat slabs of rock that solidify the band's claim as the most enduring of the Seattle scene bands. The near-capacity crowd didn't know what to make of openers Rocket From the Crypt, though. The San Diego band's ferocious, horn-powered update on Gene Vincent-styled rock 'n' roll is made for dancing. But, much to the chagrin of singer-guitarist Speedo, few in attendance gave the band much of a chance. Troy J. Augusto Soundgarden

With:
Band: Chris Cornell, Kim Thayil, Ben Shepherd, Matt Cameron. Reviewed Dec. 3, 1996.

Soundgarden (Universal Amphitheatre; 6,251 seats; $ 18) Promoted by MCA Concerts. Band: Chris Cornell, Kim Thayil, Ben Shepherd, Matt Cameron. Reviewed Dec. 3, 1996. Local Soundgarden fans finally got to hear how good the platinum-selling Seattle band can sound when they play a venue with a decent audio system. And what a difference. After dragging their meaty, riff-filled heavy rock through such unforgiving halls as the Palladium and the Olympic in recent years, the band made the most of Universal’s grand acoustics and turned in their best L.A. performance since 1989’s coming-out show at the Whisky. Singer Chris Cornell’s vocals often the most inconsistent part of the band’s puzzle were crisp and clear and effective all night; guitarist Kim Thayil’s latter-day Tony Iommi strains were cutting and fluid; and the rhythm section of stone-faced bassist Ben Shepherd and powerhouse drummer Matt Cameron laid down consistent, in-the-pocket grooves that held the band’s charged bombast together. Songs like the angry, expletive-laced “Ty Cobb” (which Cornell facetiously called “our next big radio single”) and the dramatic “Blow Up the Outside World, ” both from the group’s latest disc, “Down On the Upside” (A&M), came across much better here than on the album. And the band seemed to know it, smiling at each other and otherwise playing with an uncharacteristic looseness. Most improved, though, were songs from arguably their best album, 1991’s “Badmotorfinger.” “Rusty Cage,” “Searching With My Good Eye Closed” and encore “Jesus Christ Pose” were big, fat slabs of rock that solidify the band’s claim as the most enduring of the Seattle scene bands. The near-capacity crowd didn’t know what to make of openers Rocket From the Crypt, though. The San Diego band’s ferocious, horn-powered update on Gene Vincent-styled rock ‘n’ roll is made for dancing. But, much to the chagrin of singer-guitarist Speedo, few in attendance gave the band much of a chance. Troy J. Augusto Soundgarden

Soundgarden

Universal Amphitheatre; 6,251 seats; $18

Production: Promoted by MCA Concerts.

Cast: Band: Chris Cornell, Kim Thayil, Ben Shepherd, Matt Cameron. Reviewed Dec. 3, 1996.

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