The venerable NYC rock 'n' roll institution CBGB is sadly long gone, but the makers of Guitar Hero relocated it to the West Coast on September 27 - when reunited alt-rock legends Soundgarden played a private gig at a faux CBGB, erected on the faux New York streets of the Paramount movie studio backlot in Los Angeles.
Along with a prefab "CBGB 313 Gallery" with vintage black-&-white photos of CBGB pioneers like the Ramones and Suicide, plus salvaged artifacts from the original club (including a urinal that was surely pissed in by many punk greats back in the day), the outdoor block party - held to celebrate the new "Warriors Of Rock" game that is being packaged with Soundgarden's new best-of collection, Telephantasm, and features an animated replica of the club - boasted faux NYC street vendors passing out tacos and pizza slices and Hollywood actors dressed as buskers and transients.
It wasn't exactly authentically punk-rock, but it was still cool, especially because Soundgarden were there, playing an eight-song greatest-hits set.
Performing for cast members of Glee, Gene Simmons of Kiss, Carmen Electra, and Clem Burke of CBGB veterans Blondie, among others, Chris Cornell and company were in fine form. (All I want to know is, what's Cornell's secret? Caviar facials? Antioxidants? Macrobiotics? Wheat grass? The blood of virgins? What? Because the man still looked like he hasn't aged a day since he had his badmotorfinger on the pulse in the grungy early '90s.)
The band also treated the party crowd to their first-ever live performance of "Black Rain," the "new" song off of Telephantasm that is in fact an old track, circa Badmotorfinger, that never came out till now.
Who says rock is dead? At least for one night only, Soundgarden and CBGB lived again in L.A.
Soundgarden's full setlist was:
"Hands All Over"
"Burden In My Hand"
"Black Hole Sun"