Saturday, August 25, 2007
Alice in Chains
Any Alice in Chains fans out there? Anyone love that 90s grunge sound?
Last Thursday, I seized a once in a lifetime opportunity: I saw Alice in Chains live, but, of course, without Layne Staley as their lead singer. I know that many people are outraged that Alice in Chains is still performing under their band's name without their lead singer who passed away on April 20, 2002 (the same day that Kurt Cobain died, but a different year).
Layne Staley and guitarist Jerry Cantrell formed the band together, later becoming a famous grunge band. Then, years after their popularity and hiatus since Staley's death, they choose a new lead singer and tour under the same name. Is this right?
A friend and I were discussing this, and she said to compare it to Pearl Jam. Would it be right if Eddie Vedder died, and then Pearl Jam kept touring under the same name, even though Vedder started and lead the band?
Personally, I tried to get over this difference and enjoy watching them play. I think it's awesome and legendary that they did tour, so take advantage of it. Their new lead singer, William Duvall, sounds extremely similar to Staley. He had the vocals right on, and as my friend Matt said, "he did his homework."
Alice in Chains played well-known songs like "Down in a Hole" and "Them Bones," but the absolute highlight of the show was their encore. They transitioned from "Angry Chair" right into "Man in the Box," then to "Would?" and lastly to a mellow song, "Rooster." The last four songs had this incredible energy--each song was met with anticipation and excitement. That had to be the highlight of the concert.
The following band, Velvet Revolver, really wasn't as exciting as I expected. I really wanted to see Slash perform, because I think he's one of the best guitar players around right now. He's a legend, and I can't believe he's still alive. He really is a crowd-pleaser with his tall signature hat, ripped black jeans with red stockings underneath, and jam sessions where he played inches from a screaming crowd. He was a good show himself.
Scott Weiland really scared me. I knew he was energetic and flamboyant, but I guess I didn't know how extreme he really was. I think he's more feminine than me. He dances and sticks out his chest, rips off his shirt and struts around like a teenage girl. It's really bizarre. I found my brother and I laughing at times more than we were rocking out to his vocals. At least he kept us entertained.
Velvet Revolver is more of a super-group than an actual band, in my opinion. Their songs aren't really all that amazing. I like their old bands much better (Stone Temple Pilots and Guns N Roses). To tell you the truth, I was craving their old songs more than I was anticipating their new songs on Libertad. They did play "Big Empty" and "Vasoline" from STP, and "Patience" from GNR, which were some of the best songs of the night.
Bands like Audioslave, who also bound together from incredible previous bands, came together and created good music. They have a good, solid sound that creates great new music. You're not always conscious of who they were, just more on what they're creating now. With Velvet Revolver, I feel like they're not really making good new music; they're just still hanging on to their old bands so they can still perform and be rock stars. I think they're all talented, but as a group, they're not really that amazing.
So, I'd like to hear some opinions on Alice in Chains replacing Lane Staley, and super-groups like Velvet Revolver banding together, but not really meshing all that well. Any reactions?