Alice In Chains first tour in three years rolled into the Washington DC suburbs for a mid-week show of their powerful music that reminded everyone of just what they had been missing.
Alice In Chains – Jiffy Lube Live, Bristow, VA. 5 October 2022
Words and Photography: Mike Sprouse
A cool fall evening in suburban Bristow, Virginia, was made even cooler when Alice In Chains opened their set with the chugging riff of Again, from their eponymous album. Then the vocals kicked in, and Alice In Chains were off and running for the next hour and a half, playing a 15-song set chock full of hit songs from throughout their 32-year history.
The hypnotic swirl of Check My Brain followed, with co-lead vocals by Jerry Cantrell and William DuVall singing about ending up in California after a life of running and fighting and tears. DuVall has fronted Alice In Chains since 2006, death of original lead singer Layne Staley in 2002.
The band continued with Grind, followed by the songs Them Bones and Dam That River, from their masterpiece second album, Dirt. With six songs from their album Dirt played tonight, it was a 30-year celebration of an album which has been certified five-times platinum by the RIAA, making it band’s highest-selling album to date.
Tonight was a hit-filled set, wonderfully expressed by Hollow. From their fifth album, The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here, Hollow is a song that spent 20 weeks on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock chart and reached number one.
The middle of the night’s set was a crushing powerhouse group of songs consisting of Down In A Hole, Angry Chair and Man in The Box that had the crowd fully under the Seattle band’s spell.
The band slowed the tempo to let the audience catch their breath with Nutshell, from the Jar of Flies EP. Cantrell then took lead vocals with DuVall providing harmonies on the lurching The One You Know.
Got Me Wrong, from the Sap EP and No Excuses, from Jar Of Flies, led into the crowd favourite, Would? Mike Inez’s rumbling bass line locked in wonderfully with Sean Kinney’s pounding drums and the co-lead vocals of Cantrell and DuVall.
The epic finale of Rooster, the song Jerry wrote about his father’s experiences in ‘Nam, capped a great evening of rock and roll.
With sales in excess of 30 million records worldwide, tonight was filled with the sound of fantastic music ringing in the ears of a crowd who went home with smiles on their faces.
Alice In Chains – Setlist
Check My Brain
Dam That River
Down in A Hole
Main in The Box
The One You Know
Got Me Wrong