The following is an excerpt from the book No Slam Dancing, No Stage Diving, No Spikes: An Oral History of the Legendary City Gardens by Amy Yates Wuelfing and Steven DiLodovico. All photos by Ken Salerno.
Voivod/Soundgarden/Faith No More – March 16, 1990
Alex Franklin (City Gardens regular): Faith No More and Soundgarden. I’m not a real big fanof either of those bands but let me tell you about that night and the show they put on. It was incredible. It was so packed at that show that I couldn’t even get to the bathroom! I don’t know what happened. I don’t know if Faith No More had a problem with their road crew, but we got picked to help load and unload their equipment. City Gardens was a huge club and most of the bands that played would come in on a small bus or with a small trailer. They had a ton of gear. To load that kind of equipment out of a huge 18-wheel trailer was really cool because they had all these huge lighting rigs and ridiculous audio equipment. These guys had multiple stacks. We had a ritual: The doors at City Gardens would open at 6 or 7, but we would get there at 2 or 3 in the afternoon and hang out. If it was spring or summer, there would be a keg of beer in the parking lot, people would have their boom boxes out, and you’d be listening to punk or hardcore, drinking and hanging out and waiting for the show to start. Everybody did that. This show was different. It wasn’t a punk or hardcore show. It was before either of those bands got really huge, but it was right on the cusp of those guys blowing up.
Todd Linn (City Gardens security): There was a bouncer at City Gardens named Big Ed and [City Gardens owners] Patti and Tut had a Doberman… at least one, if not two, at all times. Before the shows, Big Ed—being a 6’10” black man with a security hat on—would take a Doberman, go through that back parking lot before the gigs, and fucking take kids’ weed or beer. He’d confiscate stuff. If you’re a kid in the parking lot smoking pot, and this large man with a Doberman comes up to you, and says, “Give it up,” a kid would give it up. He would literally end up with fucking stockpile of weed and beer. He’d throw the beer in the back of my pickup truck, and then he’d keep the weed! It was hilarious! He’d say, “Look how much weed I got tonight!”
Alex Franklin: We met all the guys in Faith No More. They treated us like the road crew. They were really nice to us. They shared their food with us and everything. They played a killer fucking show. The crowd was different. There were punk and hardcore kids of course, but overall it was a different crowd. It was a great experience. [Soundgarden’s] Chris Cornell jumped up and was swinging from the ceiling. I’m sure Randy had a heart attack over that one.
Scott Foster (1124 Records): Chris Cornell climbed up into the rafters and was hanging upside down. He was crawling around up there and the bouncers were chasing him and trying to grab him by his hair, but they couldn’t get him down.
Nancy Leopardi (City Gardens regular): At one point, Soundgarden were having technical problems, so there was a delay before they could play. Chris Cornell came out and sang Freebird a capella. Up until that point I didn’t believe that any of the rock stars that I liked could actually sing! But he sang it so beautifully. I remember him climbing up into the lighting rig, up in the rafters. He was climbing around and swinging around like a circus performer up there. That was an amazing show.