Saturday, August 05, 2006

Alice In Chains at Starland Ballroom

This was my first time seeing Alice In Chains- although I've been listening to them for over 10 years. Obviously I was used to hearing Alice fronted by Jerry Cantrell and Layne Staley… Their music was always haunting, but after Staley's death it seemed to take on a darker meaning.

Some time after losing their original singer, AIC decided to keep playing and hired William DuVall to take Layne's place onstage. DuVall is a member of Comes With The Fall, who were reviewed in 2002 by Rolling Stone:

“The Year Is One (DVL Recordings, CD) by the L.A. power trio Comes With The Fall is a record of vintage kicks: fat melodic riffing and heroically sung vocals. It's no accident that ex-Alice in Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell has used CWTF as his backing band on tour.”

Yeah, it was no mistake. DuVall has presence. His voice meshes beautifully with Cantrell’s, but lends a different edge than Layne’s, bringing something sexy but still brooding...reviving the music. Did I mention that he’s fine? That too.

B and I saw the band perform at Starland Ballroom, which, for those of you who have never had the pleasure- is only one of the finest rock venues on the east coast. Starland is located in the lovely Sayerville, New Jersey, (hometown of Jon Bon Jovi) where time has stood still and preserved 80’s rockers and metalheads for all eternity. Those who made it to the show were there because THEY FUCKING LOVE ALICE IN CHAINS. Everyone was pumped— and drunk.

We positioned ourselves to the right of the soundboard and I stuffed some TP in my ears (drumming has made me sensitive to loud noise!) and suffered through the opener, Modern Day Zero...they don’t deserve a review or a link. Around 10pm Jim Breuer took the stage and introduced Alice with his best metal yell...

The band was obviously feeding off of the insane energy of the crowd- there were several moments where they let their rock egos fall away to reveal a genuine appreciation for their fans. The only flaw in this performance was something the boys couldn’t help- a good portion of the vocals were lost in the mix because the sold-out crowd was singing at the top of their lungs. A truly memorable performance from Jerry Cantrell, Mike Inez, Sean Kinney and William DuVall.

Whale and Wasp

Sludge Factory
Dam That River
Rain When I Die
Love, Hate, Love
It Ain't Like That
Down In A Hole
No Excuses
We Die Young
Them Bones

Angry Chair
Man In The Box

Images and video thanks to the Alice In Chains official site and message board


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