photo by Justina Villaneuva
As I watched Alice in Chains power through their amazing 90+ minute set at Irving Plaza this past Tuesday, I couldn't help but think of how many modern rock radio bands ripped off Jerry Cantrell's signature sound. There probably wouldn't be a modern rock radio if it wasn't for Alice In Chains. In fact, I tweeted "All shitty new radio rock bands need to bow down at the alter of Sir Jerry Cantrell. Lookin at you Shinedown!"
The band started the show with crowd pleasing classics "Rain When I Die", "Again" before kicking into their new single, the incredibly infectious "Check My Brain". The crowd was going wild. New(ish) vocalist William DuVall commanded the stage with confidence and belted out the songs like they were his own. DuVall really deserves credit for stepping in to what could have been a very nasty situation and hitting a homerun. The dude can sing.
What I found added to the atmosphere was it was clear that the band was not just cashing in. They looked like they were having just as good a time as the crowd was. Smiles were everywhere. It felt like a casual jam sesh, with all the members except DuVall grabbing a quick smoke between songs, sometimes even playing with a cigarette hanging from their lips. It was true rock and roll.
And ultimately, that's what you get with Alice in Chains. No bullshit, just pure rock and roll, with thick riffs and great melodies. After hearing the 3 new songs, and seeing the camaraderie amongst the band I have no doubt their new CD, Black Gives Way To Blue will be amazing and Alice in Chains will reclaim their spot amongst the metal elite. Full setlist at the bottom.
'Rain When I Die'
'Check My Brain'
'Dam that River
'A Looking In View'
'We Die Young'
'Down In A Hole'
'Man In the Box'