Soundgarden's first ever(official) live release comes better late than never, and probably the good news is that it's recorded from 1996 when arguably they were at their best. This album was planned to have been released back in 1997 but it never came about so some 15 years later it's finally here!
Most times live albums/DVD's fail miserably especially when they are taken from just one show but thankfully they recorded many of the shows from the West Coast leg of their 1996 tour so the best performances are chosen.
The album opens with the brilliant Spoonman and sets up the whole album nicely. Kim Thayil guitar playing on the whole album is amazing and shows what a talent he is, the rhythm section of Matt Cameron and Ben Shepherd are real tight and add in Cornells trademark voice back when he was in his pomp and you are on a winner. Badmotorfinger is well represented on this album and it's great to hear Outshined and Rusty Cage played together, "Outshined" still sends a shiver down my back when i hear it played live! If you have seen Soundgarden live(or audioslave for that matter) you will know that Chris Cornell usually performs "Black Hole Sun" by himself, it sounds better this way as it shows off his range and this might be the highlight of the album, even though I'm sure casual fans would prefer the full band treatment.
There is two cover versions one by the Beatles "Helter Skelter" and the other by The Stooges "Search and Destroy" both work well. We also get treated to a nine minute plus version of "Slaves & Bulldozers" The album finishes with a loud live version of "Jesus Christ Pose".
You can't really fault this live album and it does seem some bit of effort has gone in to the track listing, there's stuff there to please both the casual and die hard fans, now all we need is a new album!