The song was "Kickstand," a minute-and-a-half-long punk-ish screamer from Soundgarden's 1994 album Superunknown, a tune apparently recorded in one take to capture the spontaneity from a band otherwise known for layered, complex songwriting.
Leading up to "Kickstand," the reunited Seattle grunge band had played only songs from older albums, and it would continue to play archival material for seven more tunes before reaching anything from its 2012 release, King Animal. In fact, only four songs out of its 25-song setlist would come from its latest album, an unusual tactic for a band touring to support newer work. Perhaps at this point in its North American tour, Soundgarden knows where its bread is buttered, which is primarily material from Superunknown and its predecessor, Badmotorfinger.
That's not to say the band simply catalogued a procession of its hits, although there were plenty of those. It included more than enough more obscure material, including Soundgarden's first single from the late 1980s, "Hunted Down," and "Drawing Flies" from Badmotorfinger, to suit the purists in the sold-out crowd.
For the most part, Soundgarden plowed through its set with little break between songs for banter with the crowd. The obligatory four-song encore ended with a stirring rendition of "Rusty Cage." The group may have had time for another song but opted instead for a bizarre, inexplicably long run of guitar feedback. Cornell and drummer Matt Cameron left the stage while bassist Ben Shepherd and guitarist Kim Thayil remained, fidgeting with their instruments and amps, coaxing out five minutes of drawn-out fuzz.
Fans stayed back, wondering whether another encore was in the offing, but Shepherd donned a jacket, lit up a smoke, waved to the crowd and exited the stage.
Do they always do that?
Searching With My Good Eye Closed
Jesus Christ Pose
Let Me Drown
Room a Thousand Years Wide
The Day I Tried to Live
Been Away for Too Long
Blow Up the Outside World
Fell On Black Days
Burden in My Hand
A Thousand Days Before
Blood on the Valley Floor
- Encore -