Soundgarden reunion tour relives band's '90s glory

Sun Jul 3, 2011 9:48am EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Dean Goodman

TORONTO (Reuters) - More than 14 years after Soundgarden broke up, the Seattle rockers launched their reunion tour in Toronto on Saturday, taking 16,000 nostalgic fans back to the glory days of the 1990s grunge era.

The foursome raced through 21 songs in two hours at the Molson Amphitheatre, focusing mostly on the riff-laden dark material that transformed them into MTV darlings.

In contrast to the tense final show of their last tour in 1997, the scene on stage seemed particularly more relaxed.

Singer/guitarist Chris Cornell shot some video footage of the audience, and his young son could be seen in the wings playing air drums and singing along. His traditionally stone-faced colleagues allowed themselves the occasional smile, but they rarely acknowledged each other.

Toronto was the first stop of a 20-date tour that wraps July 30 in Washington state; the band is also slated to headline a festival in New Orleans on October 28.

Beyond that, the band must take second-place to drummer Matt Cameron's commitments to Pearl Jam, which is touring Canada throughout September. Cornell will spend most of October on a solo tour of New Zealand and Australia.

Soundgarden is also working on a follow-up to its last studio album, 1996's "Down on the Upside," which is tentatively set to come out early next year. Cornell said there was no room in the set list to premiere any songs.