CONCERT Review: ALICE IN CHAINS – Back on all Cylinders

ALICE IN CHAINS – Back on all Cylinders
Patriot Center, Fairfax, VA.
All Access FAN Review:  A

Having seen Alice In Chains over a dozen times, and seeing every tour since William DuVall assumed the microphone, I can say that this performance was the culmination of the band working their way back up the ladder to achieve greatness once again.

The event began with myself and a friend showing up at 4:15PM to get our VIP laminates and having the meet and greet in a small conference room at the venue. It was very coordinated and orderly. The assembly line of fans first walked along the table getting items signed and saying their hellos. I spoke with William about the various DC shows over the last year and we agreed that the show this past spring at DAR Constitution was odd on many levels (that is just not a good venue for a proper rock show). After shuffling through the line and having a polite chat with each of the guys, we made the second lap to get our pictures taken with the band. The fans were either stiff, or amusingly animated for their photo snaps, which is a fun thing to watch. After all of the fans had their pictures taken, we were let go to kill some time before the show started.

The show began a little after 7:00PM. As far as the support performances, Mastodon was a lot of fun to watch, but as with most support acts, their mix was very muddy. Deftones were also on their game and I was beginning to get excited for the main event.

AIC hit the stage with an almost perfect sound mix and light setup. They blazed through most of their popular repertoire and pulled out a few old school favorites like “We Die Young”. As is their new standard, they always take a minute to praise their fallen brother, Layne Staley. They said their peace, and went into a beautiful performance of “Nutshell”.
The rest of the set was peppered with tracks from the new record, and they absolutely shredded what is my favorite AIC song, “Dam That River”. The encore included “Got Me Wrong” and “Rooster” which had the audience singing along as loud as their throat muscles would allow.

Seeing the slow build since the 2007 acoustic tour, and watching William and the band gel over the last few years, I can say that the band has never sounded better and that they are clearly enjoying performing and interacting with the fans.

The only downside to the experience was that the company handling the VIP packages (Artist Arena) needs to work on logistics of the package. We were to receive a limited edition vinyl release and a t-shirt as part of the deal, however, about two weeks before the show, a stock email revealing instruction on the meet and greet indicated that those items may not be received prior to the show date. Given that tickets were purchased in June and the show was in September, I feel they should have better expedited these items…it would have been nice to get the vinyl signed by the band.

-Doug S.

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This review was submitted by a Backstage Auctions VIP. If you have a great story to tell about a recent concert experience, let us know. 

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