The Soundgarden/Nine Inch Nails co-headlining tour finally happened! Remember 20 years ago back in 1994 when Soundgarden backed out of the planned Nine Inch Nails tour supposedly because the announced Chris Cornell had some vocal issues? "Superunknown" had just debuted at #1 on Billboards Top 200 and Soundgarden were on top of the music world and Nine Inch Nails were at the top of their game too so it was disappointing to many it never happened. So to actually be blogging about a Soundgarden/NIN tour in 2014 is a miracle! This being the last show of the tour at the White River Amphitheatre you would've thought there would've been more people there (approx. 12k) with both these bands playing, but with the recent traffic and parking woes at the White River, Bumbershoot and Dave Matthews at the Gorge also going on those may have contributed to what I thought would've been a for sure sell-out. I have a feeling people stayed away at the last minute too especially with the announcement Soundgarden are playing a free show outside Centurylink Field for the Seahawks game this Thursday. NIN was just here 9 months ago too and sold out the Key Arena. Either way still a great turn-out even though the weather went monsoon for awhile on the people up in the grass area of the venue.
Opening the show was Cold Cave, a dark synthpop act headed by Wesley Eisold and touring partner Amy Lee. Their short set feature two keyboards worth of cool synth sounds and Wesley's melodic yet intense vocals. I like that 80s synth stuff so I'm definitely gonna check Cold Cave out. Hopefully this stuff we heard live is gonna be off their new album due out soon.
In a Big Unit surprise, as I was walking out of the photo pit after Cold Cave, to my surprise my fellow photographer buddy (all 6'10 of him) Randy Johnson jumped out at me from backstage to say hi as all of us photographers were leaving. Randy has been shooting the last couple of Soundgarden shows on this tour and got back into photography after his baseball career ended. Always been great to talk photography & music with him these past years on the phone. He surprised me for sure! Check out his concert and other world traveling photography at rj51photos.com
On this co-headlinging tour, Soundgarden hit the stage first. What a spectacular light and visual show both bands gave us. For us concert photographers shooting it was heaven to the eyes when Soundgarden came out with their monster visual effects and lights. Their "A" game was on tonight!
Great to see Matt Cameron playing with them tonight too since he hasn't been with the band at all in 2014 because of his Pearl Jam commitments. Matt Chamberlain has been tour drumming for Soundgarden this year.
The band just looked primed and ready. Chris Cornell was on fire from the beginning, running around and rocking out while Kim Thayil and Ben Shepherd roamed around in their subdued yet raging ways. Shepherd showed some real emotion at the end of the set pushing over his amps on his way off stage, a sign of happiness maybe that the tour is now done? Ha! Little surprised they didn't have any special guests come out on stage this being Seattle and the last show of the tour. Soundgarden's set: Searching with My Good Eye Closed, Spoonman, The Day I Tried to Live, My Wave, Outshined, Jesus Christ Pose, Hunted Down, Fell on Black Days, Mailman, A Thousand Days Before, Burden in My Hand, Rusty Cage, Beyond the Wheel.
This time around Nine Inch Nails were scaled down to 4 members including Trent Reznor. I actually liked it better, more raw. Trent was raging tonight onstage. Rumor has it this might be the last NIN show for a long while so I think he was leaving it all out onstage tonight as if it was forever.
With the technology of today and Nine Inch Nails electronic-influenced music, is there any other band giving us this awesome live experience combo of visual/music during a concert? Think not (Steven Wilson/Porcupine Tree is my other favorite live experience), Trent's vision is just plain awesome and visual director Rob Sheridan makes it all come alive. If you have photosensitive epilepsy, this would be the last band on the planet you'd wanna go see live. It's intense! Hope this isn't another NIN hiatis, just too damn good of a band live to go away. (See pics from last NIN Seattle show)
Nine Inch Nails set: Copy of A, Sanctified, Came Back Haunted, 1,000,000, March of the Pigs, Piggy, Terrible Lie, Closer, Gave Up, Disappointed, Find My Way, The Great Destroyer, Eraser, Wish, The Hand That Feeds, Head Like a Hole, (Encore) Hurt
Check out the full show video below from last years VEVO Presents: Nine Inch Nails Tension 2013. Filmed 2 weeks after the Seattle show last November.
Thanks to Lynden for the White River audience video show overview posted on YouTube.