Monday, March 22, 2010

Alice In Chains - 03/21/2010 - Roy Wilkins Auditorium- St Paul, MN


For the second time in 6 months I'm convinced that the
current line-up
of Alice In Chains is more than 'for real'.
They are in fact, "very real" and
perhaps, churning out
the most powerful music of their careers, despite
tragic, and premature loss of one Layne Staley almost
eight years ago.
This time around it was the last stop
of their current US leg in support of
their 'Black Gives
Way To Blue' record. Previously in Sept 2009 they

played the legendary First Avenue in downtown
Minneapolis, melting the
faces off a jammed-packed
w/regards to the Sept 09 performance: I have NEVER
been at a show
before where those in attendance sang
back to the band like they did at
this particular performance.
Maybe I'm mistaken, but I don't think so.)

Frontman William DuVall has not tried to replace Staley,
for nobody could
do that. What he does bring is a huge
stage presence, killer voice, and
guitar skills to the mix
in a very convincing way. He may not be as meteoric

a star as Staley, but he doesn't need to be. He's a nice
fit, and Alice In Chains
is better off because of it. Dark
and compelling harmonies along with big riffs
always been their calling card; it still is based on what
I heard last night.


I was once again blown away by Jerry Cantrell's
fretwork in this 2 hour show.
Jerry is still the band's
current day *star*, however, the whole unit was

road-tested and tight on this nite,as you would expect.
Mike Inez on bass and Sean Kinney on drums may not
have done any
stage diving into the pit on this night,
but there was no need to do so.
Rock-solid perform-
ances in all regards!

The crowd was not subdued by any means, but maybe
not quite as crazy as the
Sept 09 performance at First
. Maybe it was the larger hall that took the edge
off the crowd a bit on a late Sunday nite. That's the
perception I was struck with
anyway. At times Cantrell
seemed like he had to coax reaction from the crowd.
Perhaps it was the newness of the songs, because they
did play a lot from the
new record.


I thought the show was a nice mix of current material
and past hits. It kicked off
with 'All Secrets Known'
from the current effort, until the encore finale' of 'Rooster'.

(3-song encore set)
'Check My Brain', 'Last Of My Kind', and their current
radio-track 'Your Decision'
all included in the main set,
and rightly so! ('Last Of My Kind' my official new-fav)

Usual high points for me were 'Again', 'Them Bones',
'Would?', 'Angry Chair',
the set-ending 'Man In The Box',
and the aforementioned 'Rooster' during the


They're taking a short break and then jumping back
to the
road in mid-April thru the end of May stateside,
onto Europe,
and even Istanbul, Turkey during June
& July.

(see tour schedule )
The concert go'ers to RockFest in Cadott, WI
July 18th 2010 should be 'thrilled'
to be rounding
out their 4-day annual fest with Alice In Chains.
Who knows,
but maybe that's the act to get me
back to that hillside in the cow pasture!

Steve Richards (aka:madman)
Rochester, MN


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Hammon, OK tornado - first in the US for some time

I can't wait to check 'storm chasing'
(tornado filming) off the bucket list!

Friday, March 5, 2010

MonteMontgomery SOUND CHECK - at Fitzgeralds - Berwyn, ILL

Recorded Friday March 5th 2010 at SOUND CHECK.
Berwyn, ILL, Fitzgeralds, now a regular stop whenever
Monte Montgomery rolls thru the midwest. No MN or
WI stops this time around, which is somewhat odd.
No road trip for me this time around. I'm happy to get
my 'fix' right here this time, as long as it doesn't become
a regular thing. I guess I can't complain. Monte brought
his fretboard magic right here to 'Med-City' last July.

NEW Little Big Town - (the making of) Little White Church