Well, I never got to see Alice In Chains with Layne, which always made me sad. I always remember Jerry saying that it would never be AIC without Layne, so I've been in two minds ever since I heard about the reunion. Mates, who I respect have told me how great London gigs and Sonisphere were, but yet still I wasn't wholly in on the whole idea. Yesterday afternoon I finally got round to listening to the new album on spotify. Pretty good - sounded like AIC should sound, but didn't blow me away. New guy sounded deliberately placed low down in the mix. Friday I listened to the whole of Music Bank, and reminded myself how much I blooming LOVE Alice In Chains. Could they live up to any sort of hope that they'd achieve greatness in my mind on stage? It's a hard job.
So, the gig then. Caught the end of the two-piece support, and thought good enough - kinda american power-rock-esque - not really my cup of tea. Further, the between band music was a bit cheesey... the stuff that grunge-like bands were supposed to have blown away. I don't want to hear Def Lepord!
So, some relief that AIC take to the stage late - with the crowd getting restless. They opened solidly enough, but their was something in my head missing. I don't know what. It could just be that with the age of the crowd I was completely surrounded by couples. It could be that despite the refit, Academy will never be as good as the Apollo for the view. So when the band started faffing I went for a loo break, grabbed a beer, and then couldn't find my mates again.... so the advantage of it being an older crowd, there was no rush to get to the front, so I pretty much walked to the front. Excellent view. Much improved. Everyone loving it and an ideal atmosphere, as the band went through a MTV-Unplugged like mode for a few great tunes. Now I was in the right mood, and so it seemed did everyone else. New guy seemed to be much more than holding his own, and was adding an lively feel. Awesome. Would? and Rooster in the encore, after a brief chat to a lovely lass with pink dreads & bumping into a mate in the middle of the crowd, all added to the experience. New guy leaving the stage saying 'This is just the start' and it made me feel that I could agree now, and I could watch them again, and this time without the scepticalness! Suppose I might just go and learn new guys name now :)