Alice In Chains Live At Hammerstein Ballroom

Opening the evening was Seattle band Walking Papers. Known more because of their regular members Duff McKagan and Barrett Martin, this is an act too good to miss. Even down a few guys and playing with some fill-in musicians, the band won over the anxious crowd with incredibly soulful rock music. No BS, no self-depreciation: just rock and proud to be rock. Amazing songs and performances, especially by frontman Jeff Angell, who is incredible. They have a recent EP out from 2018, and you should all go get it now.

 

 

As for AIC, you know what’s coming next. Opening with ‘Bleed The Freak’, the band just slayed with hit after hit. Even the new song released a day earlier, ‘The One You Know’, had people singing along to the chorus. Deftly changing from rock to metal, to acoustic ballads and back again, there is almost nothing they cannot do. From the first lick to the final notes of closer ‘Rooster’ it was an emotional experience for every single second with no let-up.


You already know Jerry Cantrell is a master killer songwriter (Curtis’ words, coming through my fingers) and player, but live something just takes over his fiery lead playing and kicks it up another level. No one loves Layne Staley more than I do, but it’s time for everyone to give William Duvall his due. He is the frontman and leader of one of the best bands ever, and live he has few living equals as a singer. He also played some killer guitar and even took a solo during ‘No Excuses’. Sean Kinney and Mike Inez continue to lay down the grooves at all times, with Kinney making it look so easy. The band also have an amazing stage set with both rotating lights and cool videos which bring to mind iconic AIC imagery from their videos, yet didn’t resort to just playing charades with the videos for songs playing at the same time. All in all, it was an amazing experience. Check out these live photos by OJC Photography from night two!

Set list:

Bleed the Freak

Check My Brain

Again

Them Bones

Dam That River

Hollow

Last of My Kind

Voices

Down in a Hole

No Excuses

Stone

We Die Young

Nutshell

Heaven Beside You

It Ain’t Like That

Man in the Box

Encore:

The One You Know

Got Me Wrong

Would?

Rooster

WORDS BY KEITH CHACHKES

PHOTOS BY OMAR CORDY