I have been fortunate enough to see this line up of Alice In Chains twice in the last 6 months ( the other time being the now classic opera house show in Toronto, just weeks before the release of BLACK GIVES WAY TO BLUE). And now six months later, the band shows no sign of slowing down. In fact they seem to be getting better as time goes on. Assuming this trend continues, at the end of this tour we should be left with a band better than the original and stronger than any other Seattle has ever been.
Singer William DuVall led the charge, giving the fans what they want……a singer who can do justice to the old standards we have grown to love, while bringing to life the new songs that are sure to stand the test of time.
B.G.W.T.B is as strong an AIC record as any, and sets the band apart from just being a “reunion circuit” band. The tracks from the album really work live, and Lesson Learned, my personal favorite, was the highlight of the evening for me. Jerry Cantrell has never looked so healthy – having had his fair share of substance abuse problems – and played his guitar like a man possessed! Being the true voice of AIC, Cantrell’s vocals were strong and true, while Mike Inez and Sean Kinney (probably one of the most proficient and solid rhythm sections to come out of the whole grunge scene) did not miss a beat.
When all was said and done, AIC have managed to do the impossible – replace a irreplaceable singer, overcome inner demons, and write a record that holds up to face-lift, dirt, and jar of flies all at once. Well done, boys!
An honorable mention goes to Middle Class Rut, an unbelievable power duo from Sacramento, California. The performance made me pick up their six song EP. They are most definitely a band to watch.
By Jason Rockman