AliceInChains-Press3.jpg
Alice in Chains rocked KeyArena with a little help from some friends Friday night.
Alice in Chains

KeyArena

Friday, Oct. 8

It was impossible to

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Alice In Chains Rocked the Key in 3D Along With Deftones and Mastodon Last Night

AliceInChains-Press3.jpg
Alice in Chains rocked KeyArena with a little help from some friends Friday night.
Alice in Chains

KeyArena

Friday, Oct. 8

It was impossible to not sense the late Layne Staley's presence last night during Alice in Chains' two-hour, 20-song set. From song dedications to song selection it was clear Staley is gone but not forgotten.

"We haven't played this in a while so bear with us," Jerry Cantrell said before beginning the title track last year's Black Gives Way to Blue.

He addressed the crowd again when the song ended while standing in front of a large image of Staley displayed video screens. "We love and miss you very much Layne."

Cantrell wrote the song to honor his Staley who died of a drug overdose in 2002. Its performance was a touching moment and it nearly overshadowed everything else the band did during its biggest hometown show since reforming in 2005. Following "Black Gives Way to Blue" Willam DuVall, Staley's replacement in Alice in Chains v 2.0, dedicated "Love Hate Love" to his predecessor. The two songs were a powerful beginning to a four-song encore that concluded with "Man in the Box" and "Would?"

For his part DuVall brought a bit of his own flair to the role of Alice in Chains frontman. He slightly shuffled around the stage and stomped at times and it even looked like he was close to dancing during some songs. I never had the privilege of seeing the old Alice live but those are moves I don't envision Staley attempting. His approach shows that although DuVall is replacing Staley he isn't trying to be Staley. He is comfortable being himself on stage and that has not only helped the guys in Alice in Chains heal; it also helped rejuvenate their careers

The rest of the set was a predictable combination of hits and new material. The band played so loud during "Again" and "Them Bones" that confetti stuck in the ceiling from a Storm playoff game was jarred loose. If that isn't proof Alice in Chains is meant to rock arenas I don't know what is.

The show was filmed in 3D for a purpose to be announced later which meant there were cameras everywhere. They were only a distraction when cameramen popped up on stage to get close-up shots of drummer Sean Kinney. Fortunately that didn't happen too often.

Earlier, Deftones reminded everyone they're still a relevant hard rock force with a powerhouse 50-minute set. Chino Moreno ran all over the stage releasing guttural screams while the rest of his band played loud and fast, likely loosening up that confetti for the Chains gang. They're supporting Diamond Eyes but only a few songs from the album made the set. Three songs from White Pony and four from Adrenaline, including the classic "7 Words," were the highlights.

Openers Mastodon were also impressive. Guitraist/singer Bret Hinds pulled off some exciting power moves including soloing on a double-necked guitar while on his knees. The band is already a big-name player in the metal world so I'm sure it won't be long before they're headlining an arena tour of their own.

BTW: Jerry Cantrell said the band played a lengthier set compared to other shows on the tour last night.

The crowd: A mix of old grungers and younger fans in their teens. Although the upper bowl was closed off, the crowd was bigger in size than the one that showed up at the Key to see Arcade Fire last week.

Overheard in the crowd: "These songs are just too good to keep buried," Said by the guy sitting behind me from Colorado who traveled to Seattle with his teenage son for the weekend specifically to see Alice in Chains play to a hometown crowd.

Random notebook dump: I don't remember Deftones having a DJ but apparently they've had one since White Pony. I'm just glad Chino decided against going the Linkin Park route with his band because that would've been one painful career suicide to watch.

Alice in Chains set list

Them Bones

Dam That River

Rain When I Die

Again

Check My Head

Your Decision

No Excuses

Last of My Kind

Grind

Rotten Apple

We Die Young

Acid Bubble

Down in a Hole

Lesson Learned

Junkhead

Rooster

ENCORE

Black Gives Way to Blue

Love Hate Love

Man in the Box

Would?

 
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