Alice in Chains coming to the Bell
I get excited when I hear about bands I love coming to our area: Atlanta, Charlotte, Greensville, all getting amazing headliners. To Augusta’s credit, we do get a fair share of great national bands, but there are not many times that it’s a band that you consider one of your top three bands of all time, at least when it comes to rock music. Just two weeks ago I wrote about my “wishes” for 2013 and one has already been confirmed, a major rock act to come to Augusta. I was ecstatic to see that Alice in Chains will be gracing Augusta with its presence on May 1.
As one of the most iconic bands in rock music, Alice in Chains burst on to the music scene when music was looking for a change. With the likes of Soundgarden, Nirvana and Pearl Jam, the ‘90s alternative scene was plastered with their faces. Alice in Chains’ 1990 debut album, “Facelift,” put the band on the map, but it wasn’t until their 1992 quadruple platinum album “Dirt” that they became defined as one of the best in alternative rock. But for the genre known as alternative, there was something different about Alice in Chains. They had an intense sound lead by the guitar of Jerry Cantrell and raspy voice of Layne Staley.
A brief history note for you kids out there: MTV used to play music videos. That’s right, music videos. In the early ‘90s Alice in Chains was a staple of the channel. Headbangers Ball, 120 Minutes, every night you could see great bands. For my formative years finding my personal music taste, Alice in Chains was at the pinnacle. With most successful bands of this time, drugs quickly became a problem, and unfortunately it became a huge problem for Layne. By the late ‘90s, Layne’s problems had started to take effect on the band. From cancellations of tours, no progress in making new albums, and inner turmoil, Layne eventually became a recluse. He wouldn’t leave his Seattle home and wouldn’t accept any help. Then the worse news that could come out did, in April of 2002 Layne Staley was pronounced dead of an apparent drug overdose, combination of heroin and cocaine.
If the band wasn’t officially broken up before this, they definitely were now. Unfortunately for radio there were bands out trying to be Alice in Chains, bands that make you want to punch yourself in the face like Creed and Day of the New.
To most music lovers, we thought that we had seen the last of Alice in Chains. The band, or what was left of the band, Jerry Cantrell, Mike Inez and Sean Kinney, decided to get together and do some shows throughout the late 2000s. After the band had rotated through a handful of lead singers, something fit right with Comes With the Fall lead singer William Duvall.
This chemistry lead to the band’s 2009 return album, “Black Gives Way to Blue,” 14 years after their last. “Black Gives Way to Blue” produced three top rock singles, and peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Top 200. In the back of everyone’s mind, we all know that no one will ever be able to replace Layne Staley as the frontman for Alice in Chains, but let me tell you, William Duvall comes pretty damn close. I saw the band open up for Velvet Revolver in 2009 and Alice stole the show.
Now I wonder if one of my other “wishes” for 2013 will come true; will people actually buy tickets and show up? I guess we’ll find out pretty quick. Tickets go on sale, Friday, January 18, at noon, ranging from $39.50 to $49.50. This is the only show for Alice in the southeast, so I advise buying tickets early. Don’t forget that Augusta also has some great live music every week at some amazing bars downtown. From Metro Coffeehouse and First Round to the Loft, I hear about bands playing every week. Email me if you want them mentioned. I’d love to see more local acts. Jesup Dolly did, so plan on seeing these guys on February 9 at Sky City.
Do it. Free advertising is good isn’t it? Email me at matt@themetrospirit. You Might Also Like: