"Live on I-5" is the first live album by US alternative rock/metal act Soundgarden. The album was released through A&M Records in March 2011. The album was recorded at various shows during their late 1996 US West Coast tour supporting the "Down on the Upside (1996)" album. It was originally planned for release after the tour, but as Soundgarden disbanded, the live recordings were shelved. The decision to release the recordings now, is probably due to the band´s reunion in January 2010 and the subsequent select live shows in 2010 and 2011, which sparked interest in fans to hear new material from the band.
...even though the band were, at the time, touring in support of "Down on the Upside (1996)", that album is only represented with 4 tracks out of a tracklist of 17 tracks. The band´s arguably most popular albums, "Badmotorfinger (1991)" and "Superunknown (1994)", are each represented with 5 tracks. The remaining 3 tracks are "Nothing to Say" from Soundgarden´s 1987 debut EP "Screaming Life", the Beatles cover "Helter Skelter" and the Stooges cover "Search and Destroy". That means, that there are not a single track from "Ultramega OK (1988)" or "Louder Than Love (1989)" present on "Live on I-5".
The performance isn´t the most inspired thing I´ve ever heard. Especially lead vocalist Chris Cornell sounds tired and used. His voice often cracks and his pronounciation and delivery of the songlines are sloppy. The rest of the band don´t deliver the most exciting performance either, but it´s the vocals that drag my rating down the most. The sound quality is thankfully professional and well sounding. All in all this isn´t a very interesting release despite the good sound quality. Maybe the fact that the band were on the verge of disbanding at the time when the tracks were recorded has something to do with it, but I expect much more from such a high prolific act as Soundgarden. A 2.5 - 3 star (55%) rating is warranted.