Sunday 17 November 2013

Alice In Chains // Live Review, O2 Academy Leeds

Since the death of singer and founding member Layne Stanley some fans and critics have tried to turn their backs on Seattle rockers, Alice In Chains. However, their successful comeback cannot be argued.
They are back in Leeds tonight and Est.1987 headed down to O2 Academy, excited to see what their live show had to offer. Click below to read our review…

Both the floor and balcony are full as Alice In Chains take to the stage. The crowd, a mix of generations, fills the Academy with a buzz as the band, and without saying a word, break into percussive opener ‘Again’. The song speaks for itself and the entire room is gripped. “Leeds, England, let’s hear ya”, shouts lead singer William DuVall and the crowd liven up even more. The set continues in a varied mix of old and new as they pace through songs such as newer single ‘Hollow’, with its intricate instrumental breakdown, and ‘Grind’ taken from the 1995 eponymous third album. With a huge back catalogue there is something to satisfy everyone. The set slows down a little; ‘Acid Bubble’ with its progressive, minimalist introduction and the beautiful and pained ‘Nutshell’. Crowd interaction is kept to a minimum and, whether that’s on purpose or not, it allows the music to speak for itself; well that.

Filled with discordant and disjointed intros and riffs Alice In Chains’ set is relentless and gripping and it totally works. They have had a career spanning over two decades and are effortless at what they do which is why the Academy is full tonight. The set comes to an end with the anthemic ‘Down In A Hole’ and unsatisfied fans are luckily allowed a few more tracks in the form of a much welcomed encore. Chants of “Yorkshire, Yorkshire, Yorkshire” bring Alice In Chains back to the stage. The stirring and gritty ‘Man In A Box’ gives fans one last chance and a mosh-pit ensues before the classic and fan favourite, ‘Rooster’, concludes the set with a waive of grandeur.

The audience tonight is awash with long standing, devoted Alice In Chains fans who have loved them since their heyday. There appears to be two types of fan here; a few are still cynical, wanting to see the band they remember from the early days but for most fans tonight who are right in the thick of it are loving every single second. One thing is certain though; haunting, beautiful, powerful rock at its finest, Alice In Chains put on one enjoyable show. 8/10