uDiscover Music - "Best Soundgarden Live Performances: 15 Unforgettable Moments"

The versatile Seattle quartet’s illustrious body of work includes highly-acclaimed alt.rock touchstones such as Badmotorfinger and 1994’s formidable Superunknown. But while the band’s studio recordings have enshrined their legend, they can’t quite match the elemental power of Soundgarden onstage.

The group toured relentlessly and, as their newly-released Live From The Artists Den collection reveals, they had a stupendous catalogue to dip into. In celebration of this singular outfit, uDiscover Music presents a career-spanning, 15-song selection of the best Soundgarden live performances.

15: ‘Get On The Snake’ (Whiskey A Go Go, Los Angeles, 1989)

Soundgarden were the first of the Seattle grunge acts to sign to a major label, with A&M releasing their second album, 1989’s Louder Than Love. The group’s new label also gave future Nirvana/R.E.M. director Kevin Kerslake the green light to film one of the shows on the ensuing US tour. Released as the Louder Than Live video in May 1990, the hand-held black-and-white footage vividly captures Cornell and co riding their first surge of popularity. An incendiary set, performed at LA rock shrine Whiskey A Go Go, it peaks with a relentlessly heavy version of ‘Get On The Snake’. The audio recording was later released on 2010’s career-spanning anthology, Telephantasm.

9: ‘Searching With My Good Eye Closed’ (Hype! film performance, 1996)

The looming, Badmotorfinger-era psych-rocker ‘Searching With My Good Eye Closed’ was a high point of most Soundgarden live sets during the 90s, so fans are spoilt for choice where live performances of this song are concerned. The Live On I-5 cut is terrific, as is this version, which was included in director Doug Pray’s grunge movie, Hype!, from 1996, and intercut with a brief interview with Kim Thayil and Matt Cameron. Sub Pop released a spin-off soundtrack to Hype!which featured Soundgarden performing an excellent version of ‘Nothing To Say’ instead.

7: ‘Rowing’ (The Late Show With David Letterman, 2012)

In celebration of their 2012 comeback, King Animal, Soundgarden played an exclusive hour-long set for The Late Show With David Letterman. They dipped into their back catalogue for Superunknown’s ‘Fell On Black Days’ and Ultramega OK’s ‘Beyond The Wheel’, but inevitably concentrated on their new album. All of its material sounded mighty fine, though the leftfield, loops- and electronica-based ‘Rowing’ was agreeably robust in a live setting.

Videos: Best Live Soundgarden Performances

Lea Maric, who became a household name in the 90's when she was found to be living inside a Walmart for 2 months, has put together this extensive list of some of the best live Soundgarden performances between 1984 and 1997. 

All Song Titles Link To YouTube

Beyond the Wheel - song 8 of 8 (April 16, 1990 at Philipshalle. Düsseldorf, Germany)

Little Joe [Motorvision 1992] 

Mind Riot - San Francisco, CA - 4/19/92

Bootcamp 1996 Fairfax

This is a song about the bitch... fuckin bitch Pretty Noose (Fairfax, 1996)

4th of July - 15 Oberhausen 1995

Black Hole Sun (live 1996 on MTV)

Outshined with Eddie Vedder [Live Bremerton, WA 1992]

Slaves and Bulldozers LiVE TV 1992 PinkPop Proshot

Jesus Christ Pose - Lollapalooza Seattle,Wa July 22 1992

Birth Ritual 1991-09-14 Capitol Theater

Gun [Louder Than Live 1990]

Room A Thousand Years Wide [Motorvision 1992]

Searching With My Good Eye Closed [Live Hype HD this intro to the segment/Kim clip does it for me]

"Fopp" Live - 1988

"Hand of God" Live - 1988

Nothing To Say & Beyond The Wheel - 1989 Italy

Hunted Down 1988-02-11 Club Lingerie: Los Angeles, CA

"Ugly Truth" - Lollapalooza '92- Bremerton, WA

MaiLMan LiVE tv 1996 proshot UK

Burden in My Hand (SNL 1996)

Like Suicide- 1994 Beetlehem

Spoonman- Kawasaki, Japan Feb. 8, 1994

The Day I Tried To Live - 1994 Berkeley

My Wave- 4 Oberhausen 1995

Rusty Cage -June 8, 1992 PinkPop Festival Landgraaf, The Netherlands

Fell on Black Days- live from Japan in 1994

Let Me Drown - 2 Oberhausen 1995

Blow up the Outside- 1996 MTV

Flower (Live - 1990 Düsseldorf, Germany

Hands All Over Live 1990

Superunknown- 10 Oberhausen 1994

Drawing Flies - San Francisco, CA - 4/19/92

Ty Cobb- 6 Oberhausen 1995

Face Pollution- Live Hippodrome France June 6th 1992 03

Room a Thousand Years Wide (Live in Toronto '92)

Loud Love 1990

I Awake from the Louder Than Live performance 1990 Whiskey Go Go LA

---Wild Cards ---

Chris Cornell - Scream Live Acoustic on a Denmark TV Show 3-5-09

Chris Cornell- Mind Riot Sydney Opera House 22 October 2011

Chris Cornell 1/29/10 Troubadour - Ticket to Ride

Chris Cornell - Seasons - Backstage Chile 2009

Burden In My Hand - Bridge School (October 25, 2014) Only time you'll see Kim on an acoustic


Head Down - London, England, 16/04/1994

Get on the Snake Live 1990

Full on Kevin's Mom - (April 16, 1990 at Philipshalle. Düsseldorf Germany)

Rhinosaur- Oakland, CA - 1996

Dusty- Toronto 1996

"Somewhere" Live 1991 "Tiki Bun Chris"

Fresh Tendrils (07/02/94) Live w/ Natasha Shneider

Never the Machine Forever Toronto, 1996

Limo Wreck - Live London 1994

New Damage- New Damage 1991-09-14 Capitol Theater

Mood For Trouble 1989-11-28 Fitzgerald's: Houston, TX

Fopp- Live - 1988

Blind Dogs (self-pollution radio)