The Avalon, Hollywood
September 30, 2009
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.
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.
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?: