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Hard Rock Calling

'Let me hear you scream!' was Chris Cornell's war cry to the pumped audience on Friday night at Hard Rock Calling. The downpours did nothing to deter these fans from seeing the band they have waited 15 years to see back on stage, Soundgarden fans are made of stronger metal!

Seeing these originators of grunge back together did not disappoint. For those that missed their UK reunion gig at Download, Hard Rock was the place to be. Their appearance on-stage for Searching With My Good Eye Open was met with a roar from the crowd. It took a

few numbers for the band to easy into the performance, perhaps due to a slight reservation about how they would be received after such a long period of absence. But once they got going these accomplished musicians gave an unrelenting set, they were playing like their life depended on it. When their most well know chart hit Black Hole Sun followed on from crowd favourite Jesus Christ Pose, I heard some fans saying that it was 'too soon' to play these songs in the set but they revelled in hearing them just the same.

If Jimmy Page was still around for their set (he was watching Iggy Pop earlier in the day) he must have given a smile to see the Zeppelin influences has rubbed off on these Seattleites. Exceptional lead guitarist Kim Thayil and powerhouse drummer Matt Cameron, help give songs such as Rusty Cage (the band's first encore number) their driving force.

Lead singer Cornell still has his extraordinary range allowing him to rank alongside Ian Gillan and Robert Plant as one of the most powerful rock voices ever.

Also playing on Friday were Iggy And The Stooges who managed to escape most of the rain for their set. Iggy at 65 is still working the stage and the crowd just as much as he did back in his youth. His performance of I Want To Be Your dog was one of the high points of the sadly short set. Iggy was jumping in the pit so much to connect with the crowd that you almost wish that the security were not there so he could have done his trademark stage dive. That would have added something to brighten up the very wet Friday afternoon.

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