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BLACK GIVES WAY TO BLUE
By Janelle Kidd
October 7, 2010
It's difficult to know what to expect from a band recently reunited after years on hiatus. Their career spans two decades and was shaped by personal demons and tragedy. Alice In Chains has a different look, but the rebellious spirit of metal artists who grew out of Seattle's brooding grunge era remains intact.
A revived Alice In Chains, comprised of Jerry Cantrell, Sean Kinney, Mike Inez, and William DuVall filled Rogers Arena Thursday night with old and new fans alike and managed to put on a show that fulfilled everyone's moshing needs.
Headed by DuVall, their new frontman, the band is forging ahead, releasing their fourth studio album - first in over ten years -
Black Gives Way to Blue
, last year. Shaped by their past but looking forward, the group isn't concerned with replicating themselves.
To his credit, DuVall brings his own energy and style to the band, embodying the undertones of rock and blues that play well with their metal sound. A distinct personality, the musician didn't try to imitate the late Layne Staley.
Staley, who co-founded the band with guitarist and vocalist Cantrell in 1987, endured a long battled with addiction eventually killed him. He served as the lead singer until his death in 2002. Honoring his legacy, the band recorded the single "Black Gives Way to Blue" as a tribute.
Not simply living off the avails of nostalgia, the band didn't shy away from their classics, opening with "Bones Them" as a swelling floor crowd moshed along with every pulsating beat of the music.
In town with a monstrous, three-headed lineup for their BLACKDIAMONDSKYE tour, which includes openers Mastodon and Deftones, Alice In Chains returned in heavy metal style.
Mastodon opened the night with a 40-minute set - hard and heavy - the music pulsating through the building. By the time Deftones took the stage with "Rocket Skates" the mosh pit was taking on a life of its own. The crowd was primed for the main act.
The set list was composed of new material, but Alice In Chains didn't avoid the hits that propelled them to international fame, including "Rooster" off 1992's
, and "Grind" and "Again" off 1995's self titled effort.
The group enjoys a solid following of fans, but has also received a fair amount of critical acclaim, dating back to their debut album
in 1990. They've sold 35 million albums worldwide and have received seven Grammy nominations. The internet is already buzzing with rumours of future albums, and after tonight's show it would be a shame for them not to continue.
So it seems that Alice In Chains lives to play again.