I knew that Mike Patton had made some strange strides in music making since his Faith No More days and after catching up on what Chris Cornell has been up to since leaving Audioslave, I wasn’t getting my hopes up for anything special from Day 2 of Santiago's Pepsi Music Fest. But special is exactly what I got.
(itemId=7753 Photo by Carla Pasten)
The crowd wasn’t as pretty as Day 1’s refined, pastel-clad attendees, but it was a lot cooler. Hipsters, scene-sters and rockers in black leather invaded Movistar Arena in a frenzy.
(itemId=7756 Photo by Carla Pasten)
Opening the night was Patton with his turbulent demon war cries and seizure-inducing effects, who joined forces with the wild Italian metal band Zu to bludgeon the crowd with a musical performance that'll keep attendees awake for a week.
Patton, also lead vocalist of Mr. Bungle and Fantômas, whistled, beat-boxed, barked and screamed noises I never thought could be produced by a human throat. (Granted he was hooked up and working with more electrical apparatuses than the Millennium Falcon.) The metalists Zu complemented Patton’s wackiness with bone-jarring drums, bass and a saxophone that was played like a percussion instrument on the Ship of the Damned.
While I stood stunned at the barrage of sounds coming from the speakers, the crowd was entranced, standing and following every melodic command until the very last note.
(itemId=7722 Photo by Carla Pasten)
During the intermission I shook myself back to reality from the trip I’d taken with Patton, then Chris Cornell stepped onstage and swooped us all off to a completely different dimension with a nearly three-hour set of songs from Soundgarden, Audioslave and his solo project, as well as covers.
“Black Hole Sun” and a remake of “Spoonman” (with a drum solo and a brief cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Good Times Bad Times” in the middle) took me back to the good old days. “Set It Off,” “Show Me How To Live,” “Like a Stone,” “Be Yourself,” “Gasoline” and “Cochise” made me wish he’d stayed with Audioslave. Covers of Michael Jackson’s “Billy Jean” and Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” made me very glad that I stuck this concert out.
Though Cornell has been on an uphill climb since the recent release of Scream and his solo endeavors, his Santiago performance hit hard and left little else to be desired, quite possibly because he played so much of his older music.
Two Pepsi Music Fest days down, five to go.