Alice in Chains @ Casino Rama, Sat Aug 23 2014
by Bill Kwan
Alice In Chains played to a capacity crowd in Orillia @ Casino Rama on Sat., Aug 23rd, 2014. This writer had a chance to meet the members before the show. The band members I heard are fan friendly and it showed when I introduced myself to each of the band members. I was sporting a Jake E. Lee’s “Red Dragon Cartel” t shirt and bassist Mike Inez recognized it right away, saying “Alright Jake E. Lee Tee.” Jerry Cantrell was hospitable to the people who met him as he gave a guitar pic to each person he met.
A great start to the night before the concert with all eyes on so called new lead vocalist William DuVall. It appears that the fans and record sales have showed the acceptance of DuVall who strikingly sounds like former singer Layne Staley. Sure it’s been 12 years since his passing and the band regrouped in 2005, but it looks as though DuVall knows how to work a crowd and his enthusiasm really shows with his presence on stage.
Jerry Cantrell’s harmonies are a staple for their sound and he showed his talents not only with harmonizing but taking the reign singing solo. This multi-talented “A-lister” guitarist paid homage to one of his influences when he said “Joe Walsh is one Mother-F……” and played a short interlude of one of Walsh’s songs. Mike Inez bass playing was in fine form during the set which began with “Them Bones”. The crowd then roared with excitement as DuVall leaned into the audience sporting a “shades” leather jacket and a vintage Van Halen t-shirt.
In tradition with their dark, moody, and nocturnal side, the stage lighting was set up to reflect that tone. All of their fan favourites were played; Man In A Box, Check My Brain and No Excuses. The encore ended with “Would”, a great tribute to former lead singer Andrew Wood of Mother Love Bone from the Seattle scene and the “Rooster”.
Graduating from the 90’s grunge scene, Alice In Chains has sustained their popularity without compromise. Their traditional sound has matured and with the addition of William DuVall, they’ll be touring, making albums and be in the spot light for along time to come. An amazing show, loud, proud and in your face Rock music with great harmonizes! Can’t wait to see Alice In Chains again.