Ok, so I don't like Philadelphia. Every time I go to Pennsylvania, I can't wait to come home to New York. It's a nice city, but there's just something about it I can't quite put my finger on. Maybe it's the Amish, maybe the bad drivers, maybe my hatred for states that don't touch the ocean. Anyway, it's no good. I get the same feeling when visiting Orlando...Can't wait to go to whatever I came to do...Can't get out soon enough. It's like being trapped in a small room full of idiots. Which leads me to last Sunday night at the TLA, soon to be another in the sure-to-be long line of venues that will soon become/are becoming The Fillmore. Oooh, nostalgia.
The name of my blog comes from a line of the Soundgarden song "An Unkind" off the Down On The Upside LP. If you don't own it, shame on you. It's arguably their best work and a seriously swift kick in the ass of a swan song. You guessed it, I'm a hardcore fan indeed.
So my beautiful wife, Ana, and I met up with friendsnin Philly and got to the venue right on time. Mr. Cornell was not so prompt, so he strides out a good 45 minutes later.
The show kicks off right away with a bombastic performance of the Audioslave behemoth that is "Cochise". I know a lot of "purists" don't like Audioslave but seriously, f*ck off. It's great rock n' roll. It's like saying you don't much enjoy breathing air. Next came "Original Fire", not a favorite track of mine but it comes across great live. He spread a few new tunes throughout the set and while they are solid tunes, they might be a bit glossy for my tastes. His cover of "Billie Jean" is outstanding, but he chose not to include it in the set for this show.
He's basically been playing a similar set each night on this small club promotional jaunt, taking out a song here and replacing it with something else there. I also caught the NYC show the previous Monday, so some of the tunes were repeats, but that's to be expected and was welcome. He blazed through Soundgarden classics like "Outshined", "Black Hole Sun", "Fell On Black Days", "Burden In My Hand", an acoustic version of "Blow Up The Outside World" and set closer "Rusty Cage". Sick. Just sick. He also played "Seasons" and "Can't Change Me", as well as Temple of The Dog classics "Hunger Strike" and the epic "Say Hello 2 Heaven". The highlight of the night was easily the big send-off, "Slaves and Bulldozers"!
Anyone who has doubted Cornell's voice in the past, and trust me, he was rough there for a while in the early stages of touring with Audioslave, has no reason to anymore. His pitch and tones were dead on, hitting notes that would make Rob Halford proud.
Oh by the way, I had the unfortunate luck of standing next to the Fat Guy Jorts Club of America. Three rotund dudes beer-farting their way through the set, hi-fiving each other and singing wrong lyrics loud as sh*t. Hey news flash: Don't come to shows to talk baseball with your other stupid friends. Beer is cheaper at the corner store anyway.
Thanks to Jamie, Ana and I met Chris after the show. Very nice guy who was thankful for his fans. Got a pic too. I'm contender for the sequel to Powder, but whatever...Good times.
"Virgin eyes and dirty looks..."