Grunge gods Alice In Chains brought their unique brand of music to the Start.ca Performance Stage Budweiser Gardens in London on Tuesday night (April 23) for a 21-song assault in support of their latest album Rainier Fog.
The new album is a return to the famous Seattle sound and point of reference for the band, having been mostly based in L.A. the last couple albums. The album is named after Mount Rainier, the massive active volcano that looms over the city of Seattle.
Alice In Chains began the show with Bleed the Freak from their debut album Facelift in front of a very loud and appreciative crowd of about 3,000. After performing the radio hit Check My Brain from the 2009 album Black Gives Way To Blue and Again from 1995’s self titled album, it was evident this was going to be a well rounded show from the band’s catalog of six studio albums. Throughout the night, AIC dove into Rainier Fog four times, starting with the third single, Never Fade.
The main set ended with two of the band’s biggest hits, Angry Chair and Man in the Box. Cantrell coaxed the fans in attendance to get loud and loud they were, creating a deafening roar worthy of a crowd twice the size. The boys returned for a five-song encore beginning with the heavily acoustic Nutshell from 1994’s Jar of Flies, joined by Dallas Green (City and Colour/Alexisonfire).
The band’s new music lacks some of the heavy darkness of the early Staley years, but that can be forgiven considering the rampant drug use surrounding him and the ultimate price he paid. Rainier Fog still delivers and the tunes show the maturity you would expect from a band that has been through the incredible highs and lows of 32 years as a unit.
William DuVall has been a worthy replacement these past 13 years, doing a competent job of filling shoes that are all but impossible to fill. Much of the classic AIC sound comes from the guitar work and vocal chops of Jerry Cantrell – and he didn’t disappoint. Cantrell delivered those trademark guitar solos fans have come to expect.
The stage production was fairly simple, but slick, with four banks of spotlights that transformed to LED video screens for various background video effects during the show.
For the Canadian tour dates, AIC was joined by City and Colour (better known as Dallas Green, who’s known for his work with Alexisonfire).
The Rainier Fog tour takes a three-week break before starting a month of shows in Europe.
Alice In Chains
- Bleed the Freak
- Check My Brain
- Never Fade
- Them Bones
- Dam That River
- It Ain’t Like That
- Rainier Fog
- Down in a Hole
- No Excuses
- Red Giant
- We Die Young
- Angry Chair
- Man in the Box
- Nutshell (with Dallas Green)
- The One You Know
- Got Me Wrong
All photos by dan Boshart: