Although not touring this summer to support a new album, Alice in Chains kept it simple and gave the fans what they wanted to hear at the Ogden Theater, Denver, Colorado Monday night July 28. After walking onstage one at a time Alice in Chains ripped through the first few songs that included “Rain When I Die” and “Check My Brain”. Lead vocalist William Duvall then made a point to stop for a minute and declare “This is just like a house party” as the crowd roared. He was referring to the sold out crowd and venue for the night. I was surprised that the Ogden Theater was picked for this tour as Alice in Chains is used to playing in larger venues in the area. It did not matter to the crowd as they were treated to all the Seattle band’s grunge favorites hitting on more than three decades of music including the MTV smash “Man in the Box”. “Them Bones”, “Hollow” and “Stone”. Hard to believe is has been almost 10 years since DuVall has replaced the iconic frontman Layne Staley but he continues to fit in comfortably and adds a lot of depth vocally blending with Jerry Cantrell’s harmonies. One of the most spontaneous highlights of the show was when the band in between songs breaks into a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Mr Tambourine” to the crowds delight. They only got about a minute in and stopped Cantrell saying “We have never played this song in any form until right now”. Cantrell also said “We are going to do something a little different tonight”. Adding “Instead of taking a break we are going to just play through if that is alright?” Of course the crowd loved that and the set continued with “Your Decision” and “No Excuses. The show ended with the audience getting to vote via the loudest response to which song they should end with. Cantrell shouted the first one “Bleed the Freak” and got the audience response. He then shouted the second song “Love, Hate Love”. The roars seemed equal but again the fans got what they wanted this night. Cantrell then said “We don’t have to play just one of them” breaking into “Bleed the Freak” and then right into “Love, Hate, Love” ending the evening pleasing everyone.
Photos and review by Jason Bullinger