Who: Alice in Chains
When: Monday, May 12th, 2014
Where: Landmark Theater, Syracuse, NY
Last night heavy hitters and grunge/heavy metal icons Alice in Chains rocked Syracuse, NY for the first time ever in their career. They performed to a near sold out show at the Landmark Theater, one of Syracuse's finest and oldest music venues. The concert suffered from sound issues with the lead vocalist microphone, but other then that, the band performed as well as they could.
New lead singer William Duvall had something to prove to fans that filled in the Landmark. Those fans grew up on the bands hits like Man in the Box and Rooster. While Duvall has energy and tries his hardest, he doesn't really fit in with the rest of the group. It may be because of the sound issues (you could barely hear what any of them said in their microphones as they talked to the crowd), but something just doesn't fit in. Duvall does however, has energy and is a true showman. He is a reminder of Lenny Kravitz (not just because he's African American).
Other then that, the rest of the group (who still has all its original lead members besides the first lead singer), jammed and rocked out powerfully together. They know how to play their music well and bounce off with one another, and it was clear that Jerry Centrall is the man behind the new Alice in Chains. The crowd chanted his name as his popularity soured and sung that night. He blasted away at his guitar, showing his unique skills to the Landmark.
One thing the band was on top of was playing their new material, which sounded better live than most of the older songs. They nailed the spot on several new tunes, including Stone. In these cases Duvall's voice was powerful and worked well with everything else. Duvall did manage to pull off Rooster well at the end of the band's set, which is of course something that matters.
The crowd for the most part was surprisingly tame and well acted, despite people crowding the isles in a chance to get closer to their favorite grunge group. Many "Chainheads" had beer but there wasn't any obnoxious people in the crowd or any fights, which is always a good thing. It was no doubt a no surprise to see a 4-1 guy to girl ratio there at the concert, as Alice in Chains is mostly a 'mans' band. Most of the men were the large and muscular college bikers in their 30s and 40s but there were some college kids there as well. The girls in the crowd were pretty tough looking and grungy as well for the most part, but that's to be expected at an Alice in Chains concert.
The concert was also an early one, even though the band played a powerful set that included both new songs and their familiar older hits.
Although the new lead singer tried his absolute best to be part of the show, his best moments were playing the newer material and songs the band hand.
Jerry Centrall is one of the mighty guitar gods of our generation, and it was an absolute pleasure to see him live, along with the band Alice in Chains. It was an especially unique experience to see them at the Landmark, a beautiful and old venue in the heart of Syracuse.
3 out of 5 stars (solid B+)
1) Them Bones
2) Dam that River
4) Check my Brain
6) Rain when I die
8) Man in the Box
11) It Ain't like that
13) We die Young
15) No excuses
16) Got me Wrong