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A concert for me?

Posted in Crazy Wisdom on Friday, February 26, 2010 at 9:58 am by flerly.

Alice in Chains - 2010

After a long hiatus the members of ALICE IN CHAINS have decided to honor their musical legacy by taking their beloved songs to the road this spring/summer. JERRY CANTRELL, MIKE INEZ and SEAN KINNEY will be joined by WILLIAM DUVALL, who will handle lead vocals for the group’s five U.S. club shows and overseas festival performances in Europe and Southeast Asia.

KINNEY told Reuters, “We’re not trying to replace Layne…We want to play these songs one more time, and if it seems like the right thing to do, it’ll happen. I don’t know how long it will go or where it will take us. It’s kind of a tribute to Layne and our fans, the people who love these songs.”

Alice in Chains - 1992

After the 2002 death of LAYNE STALEY, the members of ALICE IN CHAINS continued on with their projects until a 2005 benefit in Seattle. Overwhelmed by the Tsunami, they were moved to put together a charity show for CARE. It was the first time the band performed together in eight years. Five months later, KINNEY posed the question, “Should we go round the world and play these songs one more time.” Their March 2006 performance on the “VH1 Decades Rock Live” tribute to Heart in Atlantic City confirmed that their fans still wanted to hear them live. This year, JERRY CANTRELL, SEAN KINNEY and MIKE INEZ are thrilled to be reunited and returning to the music they created and the legacy that is ALICE IN CHAINS.

Obviously the original notion of “one more time” and “we’re not replacing Layne” has turned into “these songs are a part of us, so we will play them even though we have a new album”. I guess this was still the concert for me, as they played everything I loved. I understand, though, that in 2007 they did a tour opening for Nine Inch Nails in Australia… now that would have been my concert. Just kill me afterwards, since I couldn’t top it.

I’d been actively avoiding information about AiC 2.0 for a long time, and only really started listening to their new release lately. As James put it “it sounds like all the AiC I don’t care for” — which is, of course, all the AiC I play over and over singing, and apparently that much is true for at least Bruce, too. I like the new stuff because it sounds like the old stuff — which just adds to the jive punk doing his Layne Staley impression vibe to me. I keep calling him “jive” because that massive fro — though cool as hell — does not the lead singer of a “grunge” band make, and “punk” because the dude had so much energy he made the rest of the band look like they needed wheelchairs. The Atlanta born Duval, I discovered, is 42, a whole year younger than Jerry Cantrell. So, obviously the “vibe” being  off is just visually to me. Close your eyes and for the most part, those old songs sound like those old songs — hell probably better than the latter years drug-attled Staley would have sounded on tour — or so I continue to tell myself.

I guess bottom line, these guys have the Alice in Chains sound that I loved, Duvall has the voice, I’m enjoying the new stuff and happy to hear the old stuff, so Layne or no, I’m a fan. Wish I had tickets for tonight, too.

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