From Aural Innovations #34 (August 2006)
It had been 1992 the last time I saw Alice in Chains. The gig had been sold out for months and Silvana, my friend from Berlin, came up for the show and we were on the guest list as she has a friend who is the road manager for Blood Simple. Anyway, we met up with the Gas Giant guys and Peter at the park across the way and then headed in on the balcony and got a seat dead center in the top. A great view but damn hot and smoky up there. 35C on the thermometer on my phone! Anyway, we caught 3 songs by Blood Simple and they were nothing special at all. Very loud, snotty, aggressive punk metal. This was all done in the later 80s by bands like the Accused, DRI, Agnostic Front, Crumbsuckers, etc. After a short break Stone Sour was up. I had never heard of this band but they had a huge following in the crowd, who clearly dug them a lot. It was also some sort of screaming aggressive angry metal with crunching guitar riffs. Some of it was quite psychedelic at times and I liked this best but for the most part they stuck with the heavy shit and the crowd loved it. I just found out this is the Slipknot singer's side project.
By the time Alice and Chains hit the stage at 10:30 it was hot as hell. The crowd just exploded when they came out. The new singer was amazing. Very good clone of the old guy, probably even better. Jerry Kantrel is a master of the heavy guitar riff for sure. Hard not to admit he wrote some killer songs. The crowd knew the words to everything and were totally into it. They played a great set for sure and I enjoyed it but I wish they would try to experiment or play a new song or something. Anyway, two of the guys from Stone Sour joined them on the third track of the concert and later, Lars Ulrich from Metallica came out and played drums on Man in the Box. The crowd went insane. They went off for an encore after only 50 minutes but came back and played 3 extra songs, two of which were ballads and one had a great guitar solo. Alice in Chains is still delivering the goods. Let's see if they are just doing this to come back and make some cash or if they will put out some new records or not??