Friday, May 27, 2005

Audioslave at Memorial Auditorium

There is nothing particularly showy or pretentious about Audioslave as seen during the Memorial Auditorium show May 15, 2005, but they are making strong music, the fans love them and it’s just great entertainment overall. The crowds attention was entirely captivated as Chris Cornell connected with the sold out audience, which thrust devil horns into the air with a mighty and appreciative salute.

After finishing up shooting the show I took a seat in the second tier balcony to observe and enjoy. There was a definite contrast that happened over the course of the show. On the front end was the musical intensity one would expect with the mosh pit full of thrash happy fans slamming into each other. In the second half of the evening the mosh pit moved a bit differently. There appeared to be more of a swaying back and forth, red light spilling onto the audience casting a glow. One memorable moment was when Audioslave played a new song called Zero, which Cornell announced is the second time they have ever played it. Zero has an intense bass and is vocally a bit on the softer side. As the song wound it’s way through the hall a spontaneous wave of something sweet happened, illustrated by at least two unrelated couples I saw sitting nearby who began to kiss, to nuzzle and snuggle. There seemed to be a collective deep breath that lasted just a moment before everyone leapt to their feet, clapping with the beat and all jumping up and down.

Guitarist Tom Morello showed off his fancy fingering all night, showing the audience his playful side as well as charming them with his prowess on guitar.

The show was peppered with songs from Soundgarden and Rage Against the Machine, other bands this group of guys have been with. As a music commentator I did the research so I know where these guys come from. I’ve heard the music and it’s great! But there is a part of me that likes to know just enough so I can still be surprised. That said there was a particular moment when Chris Cornell came out for the first song in the encore set, Black Hole Sun. As I sat back and listened to the soulful croon I was reminded of Nirvana. Small wonder since Cornell and Nirvana are both from Seattle and were friends. For me it was one of the highlights of the show.

Although I heard someone comment that they thought the sound was muddy it didn’t seem to affect the fan enjoyment factor as they sang right along on Outshined, a Soundgarden song written for a friend who died.

Together in this new grouping Cornell, Morello, Brad Wilk and Tim Commerford put on a great show and showed the fans that Audioslave has a very strong future.
To see a gallery of images from the show click here Audioslave for eMusiConnect


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