“We’re shaking off the jet lag, shaking off the rust” joked Alice In Chains’ singer William Duvall before the band’s driving force Jerry Cantrell led the quartet through Again. The guitarist was very much the star of the show tonight, shifting from mic to mic adding his unmistakeable vocals to most songs, dispensing dark heavy rock riffs with an effortless ease.
For all his stage-managed histrionics, Duvall seldom commanded the crowd. His presence at times was entirely superfluous, not that it detracted from their overall performance.
Unfortunately most tracks taken from the bands comeback album Black Gives Way To Blue lacked the kind of hook or crowd-lifting change that made the band the huge success they were when original singer Layne Staley was still in place (Staley succumbed to long-term drug abuse eight years ago).
It’s little wonder then that early material like Them Bones, Angry Chair and Man In The Box stood out so much. But overall it was Down In A Hole, a song steeped in poignancy given Staley’s dark, ominous lyrics and untimely demise, that made tonight more than just a rock show.