Photos: Chris Besaw
Review: Kelly Besaw
Alice in Chains brought a perfect blend of classic and new hits to a near capacity crowd at the Turning Stone Casino and Resort on Friday July 22. Alice in Chains, who recently opened a few of the Guns N Roses reunion shows, is currently headlining a North American Tour that is scheduled through early October.
Alice in Chains, despite the passing of lead singer Layne Staley in 2002, has been forging ahead with William Duvall as their full time lead singer and has been touring since 2006. The new line-up has since released Black Gives Way to Blue in 2009 and The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here in 2013. Alice in Chains is beginning work on their next studio album with a TBD release date. This is my third time seeing Alice in Chains with DuVall and if you haven’t seen them yet, you are missing out.
Alice in Chains opened with “Hollow,” followed by “Them Bones” and “Dam That River.” William DuVall and Jerry Cantrell flawlessly traded off vocals reinforcing that authentic Alice in Chains sound. The band continued with more hits, “Check My Brain,” “Angry Chair,” and “Man in the Box.” Bass player Mike Inez attempted to get the crowd revved up by playing at the edge of the stage and motioning for the audience to cheer. Cantrell worked to engage the audience as well by yelling come on and pumping his hands in the air. The crowd fell a bit flat despite the best efforts of the band members to get them pumped. Cantrell took the time to thank fans who were engaged by flipping a guitar pick to them between songs.
Drummer Sean Kinney took a short break from pummeling his drum kit to joke around with the band and the fans by making a circle with one hand and poking a finger through it with the other to indicate the band was about to play “Down in a Hole.” Kinney despite being an amazing drummer clearly has a sense of humor and finds creative ways to interact with the fans from behind his drum kit.
The evening continued with “We Die Young,” “Got Me Wrong,” and “It Ain’t Like That” before the band took a short break. The encore included some of my favorites with a powerful version of “Rooster,” “No Excuses” and an in your face “Would?” Alice in Chains bid the crowd goodnight; Cantrell, DuVall and Inez tossed out handfuls of guitar picks as Sean Kinney handed out a few drum sticks to select fans he had engaged with throughout the set. Alice in Chains created a memorable night of music from Cantrell’s haunting guitar riffs to DuVall’s perfectly sung harmonies, Inez’s energy and smile intermingled with Kinney’s constant backbeat; these guys know how to get it done.
Set list: Hollow, Them Bones, Dam That River, Again, Check My Brain, Nutshell, Angry Chair, Man in the Box, Your Decision, Down in a Hole, Stone, Last of My Kind, We Die Young, Got Me Wrong, It Ain’t Like That
Encore: Rooster, No Excuses, Would?