It was the coming of age of my 10 year old 5th grade self, that awkward pre-teen girl who lived in the glow in the dark Superunknown shirt. Jason and I were lucky enough to get 2 of the 700 tickets allotted for the general public thanks in part to KEXP/Slacker.com DJ Marco Collins who repeatedly encouraged people to sign up on Soundgarden's website.
I was barely alive in Soundgarden's glory days and aside from that I was in Oklahoma, but the importance of this concert wasn't lost on me. Quick peeks around online of people driving from California and catching flights from San Diego before the show was confirmed said enough. There was something new about Seattle that seemed to come alive in reverence, especially since it was a mess of rumors and possibilites of the "Nudedragons" until 12 hours before Soundgarden took the stage.
Photo by Matt Gamboa
At 10am an email went out to everyone on Soundgarden's email list. For many people those emails didn't arrive until hours after the show had sold out, myself included. Jason however got the email and had purchased tickets right at 10:08. A few dozen people who happened to sleep out on the sidewalk in front of Showbox at the Market were mostly (and unfortunately) left out since it was internet only. Doors were at 7.
Showbox has a left and right bar and the right bar was roped off for the 300 or so "friends and family" with special invites leaving no chairs for the rest of us. We took to an elevated perch in the left and drank and made new friends until the band finally took the stage at 10.
Then it was an hour and a half of Kim Thayil playing the sludge chords he perfected and Chris Cornell hitting the high notes that always set him apart. As for Matt and Ben, their constant smiles struck me more than their playing. Every single person in that building was just incredibly happy to be there, the band included.
There's a bootleg recording of the show floating around and you might be able to find it. It starts off rough as "Spoonman" had some speed and vocal edges, but the rest of it is completely solid including my favorite "Beyond the Wheel"