Alice In Chains at Toyota Music Factory

Photos and Blurb By Velton Hayworth

IRVING – It was raining in Dallas-Fort Worth Saturday night, and Alice In Chains were in town.
 
A fitting circumstance from the heavens. An exuberant celebration from the concert floor.
 
The line of enthusiasts wrapped around the Toyota Music Factory, eager to re-live, or maybe experience anew, the sludge, the sound that emerged from the Seattle upheaval a generation ago.
 
But first, a warm greeting.
 
Altanta-based Starbenders (influenced by bands as disparate as Blondie and the Killers) opened with a short, powerful, guitar-driven set.
Kimi Shelter of Starbenders
By their last song, ‘ZERO,’ Starbenders had the capacity crowd’s attention, leaving them primed for the headliner.
 
Alice in Chains performed a 19-song set, taking their time to establish the atmosphere, rope the audience into the journey, and pull the ripcord on the fourth song, “Them Bones.” Momentum was seized, throttled, tossed aside, mourned, crushed, kicked up and reincarnated for the duration.
 
While the show was dominated by classic material, the band, long Jerry Cantrell’s baby, offered a few songs off their new album, Rainier Fog. Highlights were  “Red Giant,” “So Far under” and “The One You Know.”
William DuVall of Alice In Chains
The headliners closed with “Man in the Box,” paused, and ripped through an encore highlighted by “Rooster,” the seminal hit that helped launch Alice In Chains to legendary status.
 
It’s been nearly 20 years since Layne Staley passed. A couple decades ago he sang his notion that it would rain when he died. Cantrell carried on.
 
It’s raining as they both live.