Alice In Chains descended on the Grand Sierra Resort in waves of distortion and overdrive on Saturday night. One of the grunge genre’s most successful bands, it filled the house and then tore it up.
Originally considered a metal band, Alice In Chains rode the success of local peers Nirvana and became swept up in the Seattle grunge movement that ruled in the early to mid-1990s. Good timing never hurts.
In Reno, it started off strong with a sonic avalanche of mammoth proportions with “Hollow,” from the band’s 2012 album “The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here,” along with “Them Bones” and “Damn That River” from 1992’s “Dirt” and one of its biggest hits, “Check My Brain,” from the 2009 album “Black Gives Way To Blue.” Sometimes volume seems like it’s a fix for faltering skills. Not the case with Alice In Chains. It is one of those bands that need to be turned up. Volume is an essential ingredient.
Fans packed the Grand Theatre. The orchestra pit was open with standing room only (there is tiered seating that can be rolled out of the way under the stage, depending on the show), and it was filled with middle-aged fans sweating together, jumping up and down, and thrusting the required hand gestures high into the air.
There are four sets of steps that lead into the orchestra pit. For some reason (attributed to the fire marshal) two of them were limited to entering and the other two were limited to exiting the pit area. All evening long, there were unhappy concertgoers turned away as they attempted to traverse in the wrong direction. Multiple disruptions in viewing pleasure ensued as debates took place between security and guests in front of the seated audience.
The musicianship was top notch. The vocals of original member Jerry Cantrell and William DuVall (member since 2006) were fantastic. Both of them played amazing guitar solos throughout the show. Original drummer Sean Kinney brings a powerful and tight style to the band. Power is the key word here. It’s no wonder he’s been the one and only drummer for Alice In Chains. Bassist Mike Inez (member since 1993) is the band’s second bass player. He is a perfect matchup for this heavy handed grunge style of music.
Late in the set, Cantrell took time to introduce and thank the entire stage crew, bringing each onstage to take a bow explaining that this was the last show of the tour. For the encore , the musicians played “Rooster,” “No Excuses” and “Would?” The audience was spent by the time the show ended at 11:40 p.m.
I decided to cover this show at the last minute. I wasn’t sure I would like Alice In Chains, but I was won over instantly. I am now an Alice In Chains fan. Not only did the band members deliver musically, they were having fun, smiling and interacting with the crowd. I expected a much darker demeanor on stage than they presented. I would go again, but with earplugs to protect my old, tattered ears.
- Alice and Chains
Oct. 8, 2016
Grand Sierra Resort
Dam That River
Check My Brain
Man In A Box
Down In A Hole
Last Of My Kind
We Die Young
Got Me Wrong
It Ain’t Like That
- Alice In Chains
Jerry Cantrell – Guitar, Vocals
Sean Kinney – Drums
Mike Inez – Bass
William DuVall – Vocals