Alice In Chains Better Without Staley in Toronto

September 15, 2009
The Opera House
Toronto, Ontario

Alice In Chains

Let me just start this off by saying something that may offend some of you reading this. Alice in Chains is a better band with William Duvall as the lead singer… Period.

The entire time I watched my favorite band from the grunge era disintegrate before my eyes in the late 90’s, I had a major resentment against Layne Staley…as did the rest of his band, I’m sure….although he wasn’t the only one who had his demons to deal with in the chain gang. His were ones that seemed to really stop him from doing anything whatsoever.

I remember seeing them in 1992 in Montréal, and he could barely stand up by the end of the night – they were great then, but something was missing – a solid, reliable front man. Well, that has all changed.

When this new version of AIC took the stage in Toronto; there was no denying that Jerry Cantrell and the boys made a solid decision in Duvall. Often criticized as being a “good AIC cover band”, classics such as Would, No Excuses, We Die Young and Angry Chair sounded better then they ever had. When the band steamrolled through Check My Brain, from the forthcoming Sept. 29 release, Blue Turns To Black, we in the crowd all collectively knew what time it was.

The band was hungry, and played with a true sense of purpose. Cantrell was at the top of his game, and showed the lucky 600 in attendance why he is one of the top guitar players to emerge from the Seattle grunge scene. Note for note on everything, and groove to last for days…Ladies and gentleman, AIC are back, and if this Toronto show is any indication, they are very much here to stay.

By Jason Rockman
Slaves on Dope
Special to RockStar Weekly
photo: Alice In Chains Flickr