i never really got into soundgarden, though i always wanted too. chris cornell has that voice, afterall. but i always liked rage against the machine: lyrically interesting, musically fascinating. when they came together to form audioslave, i was pleased, even if lyrically chris cornell didn't match zach de la rocha. (i could have his name wrong there.) but hey, two different guys, and, ultimately, two different bands.
and audioslave is a band. to see them on the stage is to watch them as a band, not some media empire creation as they have been labelled. the band, especially cornell, feed on the crowd: where cornell first stepped out last night, and the crowd roared, he was grinning. it was good, the grin said.
they're a big band, with a big budget. fantastic lighting is the most obvious result of this. they're also the band audioslave not soundgarden, not rage against the machine. there was not one cover of a song from this bands, and i think, ultimately, they're better for it. (and they're songs, you know, are pretty good for screaming along with and throwing yourself into the moshing crowd; or bopping along with the pot heads in the middle of the sea of bodies, which is where i found myself after a while.)
audioslave have a huge amount of energy on stage, and it translates to the audience. at one stage, cornell had the crowd singing the australian national anthem, though for what purpose, other than he wanted to hear it, i can't imagine. (maybe we're all just chris cornell's bitches when he's taking centre stage. though maybe he just thought it'd be fun after slapping an australian flag sticker on his chest.)
probably the highlight of the show, other than some fine versions of 'cochise', 'shadow of the sun', an acoustic intro of 'i am the highway' and much others (it was all good) was the song where cornell recorded the crowd screaming on a hand held tape recorder, and then, in the middle of a song, played the screaming into the mike as he sung into it. the end product was fucking cool.
so: audioslave: if you get the chance, go. the album seems dull for the next few days, which is always the sign of excellence.