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Soundgarden The Pretty Reckless and Truckfighters rock Quebec City

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Soundgarden The Pretty Reckless and Truckfighters rock Quebec City


It was a hard rock fans dream come true on the Plains of Abraham in Quebec city last night. Over 30,000 gathered to see Seattle rock legends Soundgarden play on the massive 224ft UNISSON stage, where Cornell dedicated ‘Rusty Cage’ to the Ramones late drummer Tommy Romone.  New York’s Taylor Momsen and The Pretty Reckless went on second and warmed up the crowd.  Truckfighters from Sweden opened the night.

Truckfighters: 7.5

Truckfighters are considered by some in the hard rock/stoner rock communities to be Sweden’s best kept secret. So there’s no surprise that the band was invited to play the “Best Kept Secret Festival” in the Netherlands last month.

Guitarist Niklas “Dango” Kallgren showed intense stage presence, running all over the stage and doing heel kicks every second song. He entered the photo pit at times to high five fans and even dove into the crowd once near the end of the bands set. Bassist/Vocalist Oskar ‘Ozo’ Cedermalm also displayed intense energy, running down stage between each vocal break and engaging the crowd near the front through hand gestures. Axel ‘Enzo’ Larsson filled in the the drums to make the trio sound like a giant four piece rock machine.

While Truckfighters may not have a catalog of hits to pull from, they compensate for it with raw hard riff based Rock N Roll, a full sound and tons of energy.

It didn’t take long for the crowd to become fully engaged clapping and headbanging along.

“Thank yo so much for having us here! “ said Ozo as he watched the crowd’s reaction to their music. Truckfighters was an excellent start to what was warming up to be a night of powerful rock n roll.

Truckfighters will be touring Europe until mid November with the next Canadian stop being Heavy MTL in Montreal August 9th.


The Pretty Reckless 8.5

The Pretty Reckless walked on stage with AC DC’s ‘Highway To Hell’ blaring out of the PA. Sexual moans and groans came next and the band broke into “Follow Me Down”.

“Quebec city! What the fuck is up we are the pretty reckless and it’s so good to fucking be here!”

‘Cold Blooded’ from 2012’s Hit Me Like A Man EP was the first display of Ben Phillips guitar prowess. The song started with a two minute guitar intro that led into the song where Momsen and Phillips shared lead vocal duties. The end guitar solo was a full 3 mins of bluesy riffage bliss.  In fact Phillips was upset because his normal axe (Gibson 335) arrived at the festival with the headstock broken off. He was yielding a new axe (another 335) but the audience couldn’t tell the difference as his solos were flawless throughout the set.

‘Miss Nothing’ started off with an intro that was very reminiscent of Sabbath’s ‘War Pigs’, followed by ‘Heaven Knows’ with an intro that was influenced by Pink Floyd’s The Wall.

Momsen mentioned the crowd a total of seven times throughout. The drum solo by Perkins after ‘Fucked Up World’ was another highlight of the set.

Overall The Pretty Reckless did a fine job warming up the crowd for Soundgarden without over welcoming their stay.

After a blistering 60 minute set Taylor Momsen addressed the crowd one last time:

” Quebec city – thank you so fucking much! We fucking love you and have a nice fucking night! “



Soundgarden 9.5


With things running a little behind schedule it didn’t take long for FOH engineer Ted Keedick to get things up and running.. While most sound guys take 2-3 songs to work the mud out of the mix, this was not the case with Keedick and Soundgarden. From the very first note it was loud and clear that Soundgarden had arrived. The backing track from Badmotorfinger’s ‘Searching with My Good Eye Closed’ set the stage “a rooster says, here is a pig, the devil says…” screaming vocals and the band came in.

If the B side from the bands seminal first effort with Ben Shepherd was a blur for some, the top 10 hit ‘Spoonman’ which came next woke everyone up.

“This is amazing! I need to record this for posterity, put your hands in the air!” said front man Chris Cornell as he pulled out his iPhone for a quick crowd shot.

The magnanimity of the concert was starting to sink in. ‘Flower’ from Ultramega OK came next followed by Outshined which was a nice set up for the die hard fans before the band broke into their breakthrough hit ‘Blackhole Sun’.

“Thank you! Thank you very much Quebec City” said Cornell, who was obviously impressed with the crowd.

Jesus Christ Pose, Blood On The Valley Floor (from King Animal) , I’ve been away for too long (King Animal) and ‘The Day I tried to live’ were played straight through without a break.

“2014 marks the 20th anniversary of our album Superunknown so we re-released it and we are out here kind of celebrating that, it’s the 20th birthday, as well as our new album King Animal but we’re not going to do alot of songs from that, this next one is the last song we wrote for Superunknown, it’s called “My Wave” This is about a live and let live as long as nobody tries to stop me and I won’t try to stop them from doing whatever they want.  If they try to stop me then I will rip their arm off and I will cook it and eat it, that’s what this is about.” – said Cornell to cap off what was the quote of the night.

‘My Wave’ was follow by the obligatory shout out to the band.  Thayil had temporarily left the stage.

“This is Matt Chamberlin on the drums, this is Ben Shepherd on bass. Where’d Kim go? My name’s Chris and Kim Thayil on guitar.” – said Cornell

Unbeknownst to many in attendance, Matt Cameron who also drums for Pearl Jam, was not available. So another Matt, Matt Chamberlin (session drummer for Tori Amos, Elton John and Saturday Night among others) filled in.

It was impossible to tell the difference, as Chamberlin, held his own with the nuances on songs like Blackhole Sun and the tricky timings of The Day I tried to live and Fell On Black Days.

A few more well known singles followed: ‘Superunknown’, ‘Blow Up The Outside’ and ‘Fell On Black Days’.

Then came the highlight of the night. The band stopped to pay tribute to the original drummer of the Ramones, Tommy Ramone who passed away from cancer at the age of 65 the night before.

“This song is for Tommy Ramone.” said Cornell as Thayil ripped into the famous riff for Rusty Cage.

Passing off the guitar, Cornell looked out at the crowd and clenched the mic stand for one last song.

Ultramega Ok’s ‘Beyond The Wheel’ was a fitting end, that die hard fans could appreciate.

A five minute outro of noise and feedback followed it all, with Tyaill being the last one to exit the stage.

Music was what this show was about and music was what the fans on The Plains of Abraham got. The only thing missing was anything from their major label debut, 1989’s Louder Than Love. The crowd looked stunned for the first few minutes shouting for an encore. There would be no encore, no gimmicks and no bullshit. Soundgarden came and conquered, clocking in at just over 90 minutes with a knockout punch.




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