Alice In Chains

Copenhell - 2013

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Alice In Chains may have been a bit outside, a bit on the nice side, of the otherwise very metal program of Copenhell, but they were nonetheless one of the bands I was looking the most forward to.
Having been a fan back in the day I never got around to seeing them with original vocalist Layne Staley, and this would mark not only my debut with seeing them live, but also with hearing their “new” vocalist William DuVall.

“It’s good to be back, Denmark!”
- William DuVall (vocals/guitar)

I wasn’t the only one looking forward to this softer side of hell either, it was packed in front of the Helvíti stage as we stood and waited for the old Seattle quartet. Strangely, the main act of the day was at the same time the most anonymous one – they didn’t have in the way of gear on stage, they entered clad in everyman clothing and they didn’t even have a backdrop with them.
Instead, they let the music and the feeling speak for itself and you know what? That worked just fine!
The show was kicked off with the heavy, catchy Them Bones and followed with the equally fan-friendly Dam That River, both off of the acclaimed sophomore album Dirt from 1992, and then took a turn for Alice In Chains’ heavier side with Again from their eponymous third album from 1995. All in all, the show would show mostly the historical side of Alice In Chains, with only four songs popping up from the two newer albums, Black Gives Way To Blue and The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here (a quite silly album title if you ask me), and that decision seemed to play well with the audience which was happily singing along to all the old classics!

A thing that really worked in Alice In Chains’ favour was that they were the first band so far at Copenhell with a competent and well-balanced sound, a thing that really heightened the experience for me.
Well, straight up to Stone that is, when a generator back-stage decided to blow out, and an almost twenty minutes long break ensued during which the band members, who were as much at a loss as to what to do as the rest of us decided to spend the time throwing a truckload of guitar picks out to the audience. Even when the generator was finally operational again (or maybe it had been replaced, I don’t know), nothing new happened except that we could finally be told what was going on; you see, the generator had taken the mixing table with it in the fall, and that thing had to be rebooted and configured again before the show could go on...
The show did go on though, and without losing any of their total stage time Alice In Chains used this long overdue encore to play some of their most beloved material, including Would? and the ending track Rooster. I had feared that the spark might have been lost during the long break, but the band brought the show right back up to the same level almost as if nothing had happened and the concert got the end it so rightfully deserved.

Vocally, I enjoyed DuVall very much and the harmonics between Cantrell and him were just as awesome as they were with Staley. The performance didn’t lack anything, and DuVall proved his all-round use in the band as he donned a guitar for Again, and played rhythm guitar for many of the tracks to come during the evening.
Let’s not forget the rest of the band though, they certainly deserved all the applause they got as well. As I mentioned above, the show was very low-key as the band kept true to their roots and forwent all manner of flashy equipment and antics. Instead, we got songs delivered with heart and soul which could be felt all the way up the hill in the back. DuVall spoke from time to time, but it was mostly standard comments and it wasn’t that which made the concert stand out, but rather the way they all delivered their songs.
Alice In Chains was definitely living up to and surpassing each and every expectation I had for the show and delivered the best concert so far of the day, and easily qualified on my top 4 of the entire festival! More of this soon, please!


Them Bones
Dam That River
Check My Brain
We Die Young
Down In A Hole
Acid Bubble
Angry Chair
Man In The Box

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