Kicking off first with their set were Walking Papers. The Seattle rockers had the added appeal of Guns N’ Roses bass legend Duff Mckagan in tow. Musically quite impressive, their short thirty minute set was rather enjoyable with frontman Jeff Angell’s vocals especially being on point. As we all know, support groups can be a little hit and miss…however, Walking Papers were a perfectly respectable first support and the crowd seemed to think so too.
Next up were metal Swedes Ghost, who appeared not to everybody’s tastes. Papa Emeritus and his group of nameless ghouls seemed to divide crowd opinion, understandably down to their more theatrical appearance (possibly seeming a little out of place for some) and rather creepy and haunting sound. Nevertheless they delivered a good set playing their more recognisable tracks and live favourites such as Ritual, Con Clavi Con Dio, and Prime Mover. After a bit of a sing-a-long and a rather eerie performance it was time for their exit and Alice In Chains to appear on stage.
As soon as Alice in Chains arrived on stage the crowd went understandably berserk. Their set list was truly brilliant with a great mixture of both new and old material despite their latest album The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here being released earlier on this year. Personal favourites included Man In The Box, Love, Hate, Love and Them Bones which appeared in their main set, as well as Rooster and Down In A Hole which were real crowd pleasers included in the encore. With vocals and guitar solos bouncing to and from lead singer/ guitarist William DuVall as well as guitarist/vocalist Jerry Cantrell (whose name got chanted a few times from the crowd, purely for being a legend) the pair brought a brilliant energy to the set and were on form the whole night. Overall, the musicality of the band really showed, with seamless solo’s, vocals, and of course rhythm brought by drummer Sean Kinney and bassist Mike Inez.
Awarded with a great round of applause plus a standing ovation from the seated balcony, it’s clear that fans weren’t disappointed. With DuVall’s impeccable vocals (especially apparent in Love, Hate, Love and Down In A Hole) and Alice’s overall brilliant musicianship, their live performance cemented the fact that they are just as good live than on record. A definite must see.