Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Week of Concerts 2: Alice In Chains - 013 Tilburg Show

The second concert I have been to last week was of a band that some critics put it in the grunge metal genre, others just categorize their music as plain metal band.

That is Alice in Chains

That was one hectic show to attend, because I had to drive a long way from Amsterdam. Traffic was horrible and thought that I would not make it to the show as the clock was ticking after 8PM when I arrived in the southern city of Tilburg.

I was lucky! For unknown reason there was an hour delay till the band came up on stage. Crew members kept on moving left and right organizing and setting up stands, microphones, placing paper sheet (I think the set list) in designated places, with a big screen in the background where the Dutch flag kept on it for the whole time...etc The resentment in the faces of many attendees was obvious, I even heard someone standing behind telling his girlfriend that the staff of 013 were not happy with the delay of show from 8PM to 9PM.

Lights were dimmed, a big heart appeared slowly over the Dutch flag on screen, and with the same slow pace each member of the band walked out, and the hall was on fire.

The sound was horrible, I know it is a metal concert, but it was too loud for such a concert hall, and part of the joy listening to the songs was lost. Yet, that didn't ruin the a show of a band full of musicianship whom their focus was to please its fan base.

Highlights of that show were "Them Bones", "Again" and "Dam That River". The band did a great job of Promoting songs from their new album, by playing four of 5 songs, I don't remember. By the way, I didn't like "Black Gives Way To Blue", but after the show, I have second thoughts. Songs like "Rain When I Die" and "Check my Brain" are typical AIC songs that any fan would love to listen.

The band played three acoustic songs on that show: "Heaven Beside You", the beautiful "No Excuse", and "Black Gives Way To Blue", which ended with a big picture of late singer Layne Staley with peace sign and a cigarette hanging from his lip

"Sludge Factory" was the beginning of a second leg of heavy, powerful section of that show. Another three songs followed from old and new that rocked the house.

No Alice in Chains can be complete without the masterpieces "Would?" and "Rooster". The two songs were the finale for a very loud and good show.

Jerry Cantrell, the driving force behind the band, a man who looks much younger than his real age when watching him from a distance, a great and professional guitarist. Yet, watching AIC on DVDs, TV and now live makes me always think that Cantrell is influenced by the attitude on stage of no one but the master of the riffs, Tony Iommi. His quiet presence just reminds me of that, but that was not the case on a number of occasions as he did some headbanging on one song, or jump up on another.

This of course has its impact on the public and set more fire to the show

Someone asked me "what do you think of the new singer?"... "is William DuVall the right replacement?" I confirm, he is the best and closest to the way Alice In chains songs should be, it matches the style these songs are written, most importantly the harmonization with Jerry Cantrell, but I won't compare DuVall with Layne Staley, because Staley was unique. Mind you, that doesn't mean that DuVall is not a good or up to the AIC songs, to the contrary, he is one of few singers with high tone and long range voice, just fantastic singer.

I don't think anyone who write a review on Alice In Chains would ignore mentioning the band's bassist, Mike Inez, the great and one of the most energetic musicians alive. Simply, he is excellent. A man playing with power, the smile and interaction with the public remained during the whole show, and he ensured that he greet and thank the public at the end of the show with a big thank you.

To summarize all, it was a nice evening after all, despite delay, hectic traveling, I did enjoy seeing an great metal band, and enjoying listening to their music.

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1 comment:

Athena said...

If you like Alice in Chains, check Before the Rise at http://illuminaspotlight.com/

You will also like them!!