Alice In Chains played Vienna’s Open Air Arena on Saturday, June 30th in course of their 2018 world tour. The Seattle grunge legends were supported by local rockers Mother’s Cake.
Mother’s Cake started out in 2008, signed with Gab Music and released their debut Creation’s Finest in October 2012, which was produced by Georg Gabler and featured by Ikey Owens of The Mars Volta. After playing support shows for Iggy and the Stooges, Deftones and Limp Bizkit, they can now tick Alice In Chains off their list as well.
It is not hard to see why the band enjoys growing success – the stage suits them extremely well. They behave in the same way their music works. Very straight-forward, but then again psychedelic, dreamy and slightly off track. Mother’s Cake are an unpretentious, talented and very sympathetic bunch of musicians with lots of potential yet to be reached, and set the perfect mood for the main act of that evening.
After Lane Staley’s tragic death in 2002, the band went through a rather long pause. In 2006, the singer William Du Vall joined the group. Together they recorded the well-known studio albums Black Gives Way to Blue and The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here. Their newest studio album Rainier Fog, from which they played the song The One You Know, will be released on August 24th.
Of course, the expectations were extremely high. The pressure has been on Du Vall to live up to what became Alice In Chains‘ trademark, the twin vocals, from minute one. Yet in my eyes, he masters this task superbly. The audience’s opinions on the topic definitely differed. Some fans felt he failed to transport the feeling of Staley. But imagine having to step into shoes like that – and still performing the entire set without a single mistake, which is exactly what Du Vall did. He was not only very present and attentive to the audience, he also delivered 100 percent. My assumption is that in fact his natural timbre is warmer and fuller, yet he mastered the technique he needs for the songs‘ vocals, which tend to be colder and flatter, fully, which makes his performance even more impressive.
Props to mastermind Jerry Cantrell
There probably is not one single negative thing that can be said about this show. All musicians performed on an extremely high level. There were no uncertainties, allures or bad vibes coming from this band. Ex-Ozzy Osbourne-bassist Mike Inez was at least as energetic as drummer and founding member Sean Kinney. Yet the most inspiring was guitarist, singer, lyricist and mastermind Jerry Cantrell.
The four-piece opened their set with Bleed the Freak from their album Facelift, but most of all played songs from the Dirt album, including Them Bones, Dam That River and Down in a Hole. Toward the end of the set, Cantrell announced Nutshell, dedicated to Staley, former bassist Mike Starr and Pantera-drummer Vinnie Paul, before concluding the show with Would? and Rooster for the encore’s finale shortly after.
And even though they decided not to play one of their most famous songs Angry Chair, it certainly was an evening that let all fans‘ hearts beat faster, so fast each of the musicians was presented with a flower bouquet by one fan at the end of this truly brilliant show.
Author: Robin Frank