Nine Inch Nails/ Soundgarden w/ Oneohtrix Point Never @ DTE Energy Music Theatre on Saturday, July 26, 2014 in Clarkston, MI (Detroit)
Outdoor shows are entirely dependent on the weather. While the forecast called for rain and the clouds threatened us with their gloominess, not a drop of rain fell. I was beyond thankful. The back up on the freeway to get into the venue was over a mile long. I swear it took me nearly as long to make the thirty mile pilgrimage north of Detroit as it did to finally park my car. DTE tacks on a $4 “traffic control” fee per ticket for parking. They have taken the best lots and made them for VIP ticket holders only or are now making you pay an additional $20 if you don't want to park on the grass with thousands of cars with only three exit points. This is the reason that I haven't been to this venue in two years and, barring a Led Zeppelin or Buffalo Springfield reunion, likely won't ever come back. A pop and a hotdog is eleven bucks. Fuck you, DTE!
If the show wasn't sold out it was darn close, a feat made more impressive by the fact that attendance wasn't papered with steeply discounted voucher tickets. Soundgarden came out around 7:45 to Searching With My Good Eye Closed. Chris Cornell talked in between most of the songs over the course of the 75 minute set and said that Detroit is his favorite city. Spoonman and Outshined were up next, and the band sounded great. Matt Chamberlain is sitting in for Matt Cameron on drums while he plays with his side band, Pearl Jam. Chamberlain is what you call a professional drummer, serving as a hired gun or session man for half of the bands in existence. Don't believe me? Look at his Wikipedia page. Christ.
Soundgarden is the definition of doing things correctly and aging with grace. Their legacy is the most unblemished out of all the mainstream 1990s acts, bowing out when they were still a multi-platinum selling arena act and then returning with new music which stands up to their best material. Songs like By Crooked Steps are every bit as good as their classics. Unlike many veteran bands who release new music, I have never heard anyone badmouth their new material.
Black Hole Sun, Jesus Christ Pose, The Day I Tried To Live, and My Wave were all singles and had the mainly 30-40 year old audience digging it. I know that I am old when a band is celebrating the 20th anniversary of an album which I remember being released. Superunknown and Fell On Black Days made me glad that it wasn't 1994 anymore. While I still love those songs and was glad to hear them live I have no real nostalgia for that point of my life. When I listen to old stuff it is out of a legitimate love of the material, not for fond remembrances of bygone days. I am happy in 2014.
A Thousand Days Before off of 2012's King Animal was next. Chris Cornell announced that someone named Brandon requested Burden In My Hand. What the fuck, Brandon? You get the ear of the band and you request one of the standards? What a moron. I would be asking for Loud Love or Face Pollution. Rusty Cage is one of the all time jams. I love songs where it sounds like the band is going to go off of the rails at any time. Beyond The Wheel proved that Cornell still has 100% of his range. The band left the stage around 9.
I am not much of a Nine Inch Nails fan. Electronic music has always left me cold and I have always failed to see why anyone would be even remotely interested in it. I call them as I see them. I cannot fake an emotional response to material as inorganic as NIN. I stayed for a few songs and then left. Beating traffic was more interesting to me than Nine Inch Nails. Watching paint dry is more interesting to me than Nine Inch Nails.