As I look through the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's web site trying to find the review from the Alice in Chains concert (that I attended last night), I wasn't sure there ever was a concert. I understand that in the last run of corporate buy-out, most of the Entertainment department left, but to go on as if nothing ever happened is a little disappointing.
Therefore once again, a genuine news item is left to the hands of an unpaid, unjournalist....
Review: Alice in Chains concert, Eagles Club Ballroom, Sunday, September 20, 2009.
The Eagles Club is a crappy excuse for a concert hall, with horrible acoustics and bathrooms that are disturbingly moist. Heavy metal concerts are almost by definition a loud, distorted, shouting, LOUD and inaudible experience (Side note; I did read once about a Metallica concert review, and the reviewer asked the rhetorical question "How can you have loud if you have no quiet in which to compare?" This is a very true question, as I can still hear the concert 12 hours later.) But the sound system was so bad that even songs that I knew took a few seconds before I could recognize them.
In 2002, Alice in Chains lead singer Layne Staley died of a heroin overdose. His replacement, William DuVall, sounds so much like Staley that it is eerie. Close your eyes, try to tune out the distortion, and you would think it was Staley. Spooky.
The only other thing to add was that the show was much shorter than I would have guessed. Few of the songs had extended solos, and they finished one song and started another. They began around 8:45 PM and had finished their 17 songs by 10:15 PM. About five years ago, I saw Huey Lewis and the News at Potawatomi, and they played every single one of their hits and were done in about 75 minutes... and I knew why. They wanted us back on the casino floor. But I don't know if I've ever left a concert so early in the evening.
If you comment, please use ALL CAPS so I can hear you over the pinging in my ears.