Old rivals Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden toured together for the first time. On August 25th, they played the Hollywood Bowl to a packed audience. Both bands had their feuds and differences in the 90’s when they released their perspective albums, The Downward Spiral and Superunknown, but they learned to put their differences aside and did this tour to commemorate the 20th anniversary of both albums.
This was my first time seeing Soundgarden and with them being one of the biggest alternative rock/grunge bands, I couldn’t wait to see what their performance had in store. Drummer Matt Cameron sat out this tour due to prior commitments to promoting Pearl Jam’s new album, so Soundgarden brought in former Pearl Jam drummer, Matt Chamberlain to fill in. Soundgarden opened their set with Searching With My Good Eye Closed. Their set consisted of quite a few songs from the Superunknown album which included: My Wave, Black Hole Sun, Spoonman, and Fell on Black Days. They also threw in other hits like Jesus Christ Pose, Rusty Cage, and Beyond the Wheel.
They sounded amazing and the energy they gave off along with the crowd was an awesome experience. Frontman Chris Cornell was on point and sounded just like the albums. Cornell also noted that it was a dream come true for the band to play the Hollywood and were extremely happy that they got the opportunity to do so. I’ll definitely be checking out Soundgarden again, hopefully for a headlining tour with an extended setlist.
I had seen Nine Inch Nails last November so I more or less knew what to expect from their performance. They were on tour for the 20th anniversary of their The Downward Spiral album, yet their setlist consisted of just a couple of songs from the album. Instead, their setlist had songs from a mix of albums including their newest Hesitation Marks album.
NIN is known for their awesome light show for every song that they play. It’s almost mesmerizing seeing lights go off everywhere not knowing what surprise the next song will have. Their setlist opened with the first track off of their new Hesitation Marks album, Copy of A. At first I was confused because all 4 members were on stage but no actual instruments were being used except for 2 members using keyboards and the 4th, using an electronic drum kit so I wasn’t sure if the whole show would be like this or if it’ll change as the show went on. On the 3rd song, all members went to their perspective instruments and now they felt complete. They played a lot of hits from throughout their career which were: Came Back Haunted, The Hand That Feeds, Head Like A Hole, Wish, March of the Pigs, Hurt, and the fan-favorite, Closer.
The best part about the show is always the lights. You’d think you’re at some rave or electronic concert, but you’re seeing an industrial rock band. I loved the stage setups. The light panels would constantly be moving to either suit whatever special effects were being used, or to setup for the next song.
Frontman Trent Reznor is a musical genius and icon as he never ceases to amaze with what he comes up with and never seems to run out of ideas for music and entertainment. They finished the set with Hurt which always gives off this sad and gloomy feel right after an energetic show with all the previous songs. It makes you go from smiles and bright-eyed to feeling sad and wanting to hug the random stranger next to you. I enjoyed this show a lot and hope to catch both bands again real soon.
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