The first leg of Alice In Chains’ 2016 U.S. tour wound down last night in New York City after playing a pair of sold out shows at the Beacon Theater. Did I just actually say “wound down?” What I meant to say was that Jerry Cantrell & Co. came out last night and revved it to the redline for an hour and 45 minutes straight, melting the faces of OG fans and millennials alike.
The show started off with fan favorite, Hollow, which was set to a row of blinding white floodlights that blasted straight through the crowd on Sean Kinney’s cymbal smash. William DuVall and Jerry Cantrell were really nailing the harmonies and just as the crowd was ready to erupt with cheer and applause, DuVall let out his best Staley-esque yell, “AHHH!!” and they went right into Them Bones, then Dam That River; back-to-back tracks from Dirt.
Sampling from each of their studio LP’s, they unleashed 8 more fan favorite tracks, playing Again, Check My Brain, Nutshell, Angry Chair, Man In The Box, Heaven Beside You, Down In A Hole, and Stone. The crowd was honestly one of the best concert crowds I’ve seen since the dawning of smartphones. DuVall did a great job working the audience and the entire crowd sang Layne Staley’s part in Down In A Hole, which was actually really beautiful. Afterwards, Jerry thanked the crowd, speaking into the mic for maybe the first time all night, followed by the full room chanting, “Jerr-y! Jerr-y! Jerr-ry!”
Next they played from Facelift; Sunshine and We Die Young, again with the entire audience singing the chorus for Sunshine. Got Me Wrong was next, with DuVall playing lead guitar. However, after the first chorus, DuVall came back into the clean channel way louder than Jerry, who shot him a couple of looks that I interpreted as, “what the hell do you think you’re doing, rook?” Actually, William is a great guitar player, and he surprised me a couple times with his lead work.
“This next song… is about pain.” As one of my all-time favorite AIC songs I was ecstatic to hear the intro of Love, Hate, Love. As much as I wish that Layne were still here to sing it, DuVall did an admirable job, exuding much of the same raw emotion as is in the original, and ending the set for a little break before the encore.
After about 3 minutes of claps, whistles, and whoooo’s, Alice In Chains reemerged from the darkness. Sean Kinney took center mic, hilariously (as always) thanking the road crew for their hard work throughout the tour, and brought them out to take a bow. As the roadies disappeared back behind the curtain, Jerry started playing Rooster.