I haven't even recapped the Rocklahoma event and I'm already going to new events in LA. Monday night I got a text from a friend inviting me out to a listening party for Alice in Chains' new album, Black Gives Way To Blue, scheduled for a September release.
I landed back in LA Tuesday morning and then that night 4 of us went out to the listening party. The set up was nice, free open bar, free In 'N Out Burgers, and was set up in what looked like a modern multimedia theater. Two small screens flanking both sides of the stage and a very large screen in the middle.
I had never been to a listening party so I didn't know what to expect. As we walked in they had the video for "A Looking In View" playing on the big screen over and over again. One of either the marketing or label people got up and stage, welcomed everybody and then they played the CD with accompanying still visuals on the large screen.
The artwork accompanying the songs was distorted views of reality. My favorite was of an eclipse of the Moon covering the Sun, however the Moon was much larger than the Sun which is not a perspective you can see from Earth. Other distortions included two people sitting around a table with a child standing on the table that looked to be only 10" tall. Very fitting artwork for this band.
The CD is fairly steady consisting of heavy, dark material and material that started in the acoustic world. You would never notice that Layne Staley isn't on this material. Will DuVall, their new singer blends perfectly with Jerry Cantrell, and this material is fidelity wise an evolution of the band although the songs may not be.
After the CD the screen lifted and revealed Alice In Chains on stage in an acoustic setting. They were a five piece featuring Derek Sherinian, from Dream Theater fame, on keyboards. They ran through three songs and then left the stage. One classic, and the performance premiere of two of their new tracks.
Alice In Chains
July 14, 2009
The Ricardo Montalban Theater
CD Listening Party
Down In A Whole
Black Gives Way To Blue*
* Debut Performance
They took our phones at the door so unfortunately I don't have any pictures from the event itself, although I was able to get a poster promoting the album, and a guitar pick.