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Soundgarden and The Mars Volta at Penn's Landing in Philly 7/13/11


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AMAZING NIGHT!!! The Mars Volta opened up and blew the crowd away. Soundgarden came out next and rocked the house. From the very beginning, I could tell this was going to be a great show. The jams were intense and I really dug the bass player. The tone was so deep, you could feel your whole body vibrate. Chris was amazing and seemed to love the vibe of the crowd. They basically played everything I wanted too. Loved this concert. Here's the setlist:

The Mars Volta

  1. Aegis
  2. Molochwalk
  3. Dyslexicon
  4. Jewel
  5. Goliath


  1. Searching With My Good Eye Closed
  2. Spoonman
  3. Let Me Drown
  4. Room a Thousand Years Wide
  5. Jesus Christ Pose
  6. Blow Up the Outside World
  7. The Day I Tried to Live
  8. My Wave
  9. Fell on Black Days
  10. Hunted Down
  11. Ugly Truth
  12. Outshined
  13. Rusty Cage
  14. Black Hole Sun
  15. Burden in My Hand
  16. Pretty Noose
  17. 4th of July
  18. Superunknown
  19. Encore:
  20. Beyond the Wheel
  21. Mailman
  22. Like Suicide
  23. Slaves & Bulldozers

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Awww man, no Head Down, which may be my fave Soundgarden song.

And Wolfie, can you tell me what the Mars Volta lineup is like these days? It's been a few years since I've last seen them...is Jon Theodore and Ikey still with them?

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Why do I live in Los Angeles? Well, last night was just one of many reasons why.

Sorry Wolfman, I'm afraid L.A. got the best of Philly last night...hell, us lucky sods in Los Angeles might have got the best show of the whole tour.

The Soundgarden/Mars Volta tour hit the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood(LA) last night(July 22, 2011) and it was packed, the crowd was moshing, and there were notables everywhere you looked.

I was lucky to have floor fix, which was a giant general admission pit. Mars Volta opened up and played mostly new stuff I've never heard before. To be honest, I haven't really kept up with the Mars Volta since "Amputechture"...I was kind of bummed when Jon Theodore and Ikey left...but last night, I was reminded of the maelstrom of sight-and-sound Omar, Cedric and the boys can whip up. Cedric has some INTERESTING dance moves, to say the least, and Omar has always been a bad-ass guitar player, although his amps are so loud sometimes, he can occasionally overwhelm the rest of the band. Their setlist as best as I could figure it was as follows:

1. Aegis

2. The Whip Hands

3. Molochwalk

4. Dyslexicon

5. Broken English Jam

6. Goliath

Now on to the main event...Soundgarden. I've always liked Soundgarden on record, but in concert they could be hit-and-miss. First off, they weren't the most pleasant looking dudes on stage...they always had a surly, sour-puss vibe. And when they grew out of the club circuit, and on to the bigger stages, they could seem remote and distant, hardly moving about...a far cry from the wildness projected by the cover shot of Chris on "Louder Than Love".

Then, the last time I saw Soundgarden, headlining Universal Amphitheatre in 1996 on the Down on the Upside tour(with Rocket from the Crypt opening...remember THEM?), Chris' voice was shot, hardly reaching the highs I had seen him reach on earlier tours. The band hardly interacted on stage, so I wasn't surprised when they broke up.

After the mediocrity of his solo and Audioslave years, I wasn't too enthused about this Soundgarden show, to be honest. I went more out of curiosity than for nostalgia's sake. Well, against all odds, I was pretty impressed by last night's show. Chris' voice still isn't near its peak of the 80s-early 90s, but the band's vibe is much better and they make more of an effort to engage the crowd. It was loud and the crowd was into it, moshing like it was the old days again. I worked up a good sweat myself, losing two of my companions in the process.

A pretty killer setlist...I could have done without "Spoonman"; never liked that song, but at least they got it out of the way early. For me the night took off with "Jesus Christ Pose", with that killer opening storm of riffs. Hell, they even broke out "Loud Love" and "Big Dumb Sex" from the early days!

Best of all, unlike you suckers in Philly, Wolfy, LA got MY FAVOURITE SOUNDGARDEN SONG: "HEAD DOWN"!!! Far-freaking-OUT! But then, as if to say "you haven't seen nothin' yet!", they had Mike McCready of Pearl Jam come out and join them on "Superunknown". LA got 25 songs, 3 more than Philly.

All this while Dave Grohl was moshing in the pit, baseball hall-of-famer Randy Johnson was taking photos, and Jerry Cantrell, a couple of Lakers, and too many famous musicians to count were taking in the show. Hell, I bet Jack Nicholson and Bill Walton were somewhere in the house...it's the rare Forum concert that I DON'T see them. The Forum VIP club was hosting a birthday party for Chris Cornell afterwards, but I didn't have enough juice to get into that.

Obviously, the Seattle shows will be off-the-hook, but they're going to have to be really special to top the LA Forum gig. I just hope the cameras were rolling last night...they should put the whole show out on DVD.

Here's the setlist for Soundgarden...read it and weep, Wolfman. :)

1. Searching With My Good Eye Closed

2. Spoonman

3. Gun

4. Jesus Christ Pose

5. Room a Thousand Years Wide

6. Blow Up the Outside World

7. Loud Love

8. Big Dumb Sex

9. Ugly Truth

10. Fell on Black Days

11. Flower

12. Outshined

13. Black Rain

14. Rusty Cage

15. The Day I Tried to Live

16. My Wave

17. Burden in My Hand

18. Black Hole Sun

19. Head Down

20. Superunknown (with Mike McCready)

21. 4th of July


22. Beyond the Wheel

23. Hunted Down

24. Mailman

25. Slaves & Bulldozers

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