Even though we don't get DOWNLOAD here in Queensland, there were many positive outcomes from this year's festival. Not least among them was some very worthy sideshows. As a result this I managed to see grunge legends Alice in Chains perform a magnificent set at Eatons Hill Hotel
Eager fans quickly packed front of stage to welcome the Seattle band back to Australia. After a long absence, they did not disappoint. The band started with ‘Bleed the Freak’, followed by ‘Check My Brain’ and then ‘Again’.
One of the big reasons Alice in Chains were on tour was latest album, Rainier Fog. Leading single ‘Never Fade’ was included in this set and very much enjoyed. That said classics ‘Them Bones’ and ‘Dam That River’ proved crowd favourites. Songs from the William DuVall era such as ‘Hollow’ (but heavy), ‘Your Decision’ and ‘Rainier Fog’ were also part of the show. The band gave their fans an opportunity to sing along as they belted out ‘Down in a Hole’, ‘No Excuses’ and beautiful ballad ‘Nutshell’. Each member bore a noticeable grin as a result of the crowd's participation.
Requests from yelling fans for ‘Rooster’ occured after every song. This was something Jerry Cantrell kindly addressed, explaing that it would be their very last so unless fans wanted the band to wrap up early they needed to stop. The packed crowd quickly disagreed, but the band continued regardless with ‘Angry Chair’ and ‘Man in the Box’.
After a quick break the band returned to play heavy opener to their latest album ‘The One You Know’. This was followed by one of their first ever singles ‘Got Me Wrong’. At this point William removed his guitar and introduced Mike Inez as bass player. With one of the best bass tones of all time the band played classic ‘Would’. Everyone had a strong crack at the chorus, however, it was best left for William who most definitely had the vocal ability.
Lastly, putting an end to the constant requests, Jerry and Mike played the opening to ‘Rooster’. The crowd sung the falsetto intro and after this the iconic song was performed in full. Just as imagined, it was the perfect end to their set.
Alice in Chains may all be in their 50s but they sure can play. They put on just as good as they did in the ’90s. While William DuVall is one of the most criticised vocalists’ in rock music, there is no one more suitable for the band after the late, great Layne Staley. Alice and Chains are one of the last living bands to break into the mainstream from the Seattle era. They are still representing grunge very, very well.
Words by Christian Kafritsas
Photo Credit: Alicia Scott