Alice in Chains at The Avalon

The Avalon, Hollywood
September 30, 2009

Alice in Chains at The Avalon

Alice in Chains at The Avalon

I never saw Alice in Chains perform before Layne Staley passed away so I have nothing to compare this show to, which is probably a good thing.  I wasn’t upset that the band didn’t live up to some pre-conceived standards some fans may have held them to.  I simply saw this show for it was – the return of Alice in Chains after a long hiatus.

They were good.  The music is consistent, they sounded great, and watching Jerry Cantrell’s guitar solos never got old.

Cantrell Guitar Solo

Cantrell

The crowd, on the other hand, I’m not so sure about.  Theoretically, this is one of their favorite bands, making a return after several years, playing some of their favorite old songs and debuting long-awaited new material.  There were a handful of fans giving off the amount of energy I would expect for an event like this – screaming, jumping, fists in the air.  But the majority of people seemed moderately excited.  “Give us some fucking energy!” the band demanded on several occasions, leading the first 10 rows of fans to jump and scream while everybody else nodded.  Having just come off of seeing fans go absolutely insane for Nine Inch Nails, Portugal. The Man, and Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros, perhaps my expectations were too high. Yet, it seemed the band was disappointed as well.

AIC Acoustic at The Avalon

AIC Acoustic at The Avalon

I can only imagine it’s hard for fans to witness the reformation of their favorite band, without the lead singer they’d come to fall in love with.  I’m not sure I’d be interested in seeing any of my favorite bands perform live (as the same band) after their front man passed away, so I understand.  Or perhaps Alice in Chains fans are more reserved in expressing themselves.  Although, I doubt that’s the case, based on some of the conversations I heard. . .

But regardless of the crowd’s expressed (or unexpressed) enthusiasm, I thought the show was great. Willam DuVall, Alice in Chains’ new lead singer, is a compelling performer and delivers these songs with passion.  I went to the show with a friend who had seen Alice in Chains previously and he too seemed very pleased with the show.

Anyway, here’s some video from the show.  What do you think?:

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Response to Alice in Chains at The Avalon

  1. I really enjoyed the show and most of the people surrounding me were really into it. Were you standing in the back where the industry people usually are, thumbing away on their Crackberries? The other thing to remember is that AIC fans, generally-speaking, are older than, say, Edward Sharpe fans. They’ve got jobs and kids. There’s only a certain level of craziness you’re gonna get out of them ;)

    I thought the new singer totally held his own, they were super-tight, they were smart to play mainly ‘the hits’ along with a few new ones, and I’m really glad they just came and did what they do best and left (no plugging their Kimmel performance, Facebook pages or Twitter names – THEN I would’ve been bent.)

    • I was standing up on the side, but yes – there were several people on their Blackberries. In fact, I noticed that most of the AIC crowd seemed to be on Blackberries as opposed to iPhones (THAT’s how many BBs I saw!).

      Happy to hear you enjoyed the show as well!!

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