Alice In Chains at the Pearl Theater, Palms Casino Las Vegas @Jo Anna Jackson/Stardogphotos

Alice In Chains at the Pearl Theater, Palms Casino Las Vegas @Jo Anna Jackson/Stardogphotos

Alice in Chains  opened their two hour long sold out show at the Pearl Theater in Las Vegas,  just two nights into the tour, with Junkhead, a song with lyrics that lent a nod to the ghost of Alice past –  of original vocalist Layne Staley and the heroin use that ended his life in 2002. Alice in Chains reformed in 2006 with vocalist William DuVall, who gave the group new life and kept the legacy of AIC alive, blending his vocals seamlessly with Jerry Cantrell to continue to embrace the harmonies that the band was noted for along with continuing their signature grunge-induced sound.

AIC blasted into “Again”, “Check My Brain” and “Angry Chair”, and standouts were hard to pick from the long set of classic faves the band poured out to the Vegas fans. “Them Bones” started the beginnings of a pit, but never came to much fruition as the crowd stood more in awe of the power coming off the stage. “Got me Wrong” switchbacked as DuVall took lead guitar duties while Cantrell led the vocals, with the haunting melodies raising the hair on the back of your neck.  “If I Could Would You” had every arm in the house raised for the song’s final chant.

AIC’s classic understated Seattle vibe still stayed true to the 90’s no fuss, no fanfare style, with solid chops and pounding rhythms, mixed with the intricate vocal weavings of Cantrell and DuVall, and was easily the loudest concert the Pearl has seen in years. Cantrell joked and talked between songs a little, and the garage band mentality showed through even 25 year later with the laid back stage, attitude and easy crowd interaction. No rocks star egos here, just four guys making big big noise on a minimalist stage with about 5000 close friends. You could feel the pounding vibrations in your throat and and the sound blowing your face off all the way up in the balcony.

The AIC of this decade shows more maturity and thoughtfulness in their delivery, hammering out the AIC hits of earlier years with the same force we remember but with a deliberateness and purpose worthy of the tenured musicians the’ve become. The ghost of Staley will always be there, now reincarnated in a new just as intense version of AIC, as Duvall holds steady for a new face for the grunge icons. Layne will always be there somewhere on the edge of your mind watching the AIC of today, his charismatic presence and haunting soul is hard to follow, but AIC power on in a new and solid way and a different presence as they pound into their third decade.

Alice In Chains at the Pearl Theater, Palms Casino Las Vegas @Jo Anna Jackson/Stardogphotos

Alice In Chains at the Pearl Theater, Palms Casino Las Vegas @Jo Anna Jackson/Stardogphotos

AIC Las Vegas Setlist

Junkhead
Again
Check My Brain
Angry Chair
Man in the Box
Nutshell
Hollow
Them Bones
Stone
Rooster
Got me Wrong
Down in a Hole
Grind
It Ain’t Like That
Would?
Your Decision
No Excuses
Last of my Kind
We Die Young

About The Author

Jo Anna Jackson
Photographer | Writer

Jo Anna Jackson, Photographer | Writer