ON THE ROAD TO UPROAR FEST
By: Jimmy Fuson
This was a show I had really been looking forward to, Alice in Chains and Jane’s Addiction together on the same bill on the Uproar Festival. The concert was taking place outdoors at the Oklahoma City Zoo amphitheater. What better way to enjoy some great music than under the stars. Well at least Alice in Chains would perform under the stars, Jane’s Addiction would take the stage just before the sun set.
Even before Jain’s Addiction took the stage you knew it was going to be a show. From the two beautiful girls suspended on swings above the stage down to the 2 large led panels on each side of the stage it had the feeling of a main act not just an opener.
Once Jane’s Addiction themselves took the stage you knew you were in the presents of veteran’s who knew how to work a stage and a crowd. Perry Farrell’s voice was spot on and he roamed the stage with his own unique saunter and swaying in rhythm with the music that in itself was captivating to watch. Dave Navarro is without a doubt in his own element when he plays live. He worked the stage and laid down the heavy guitar riffs like the pro he is. After seeing Dave’s guitar work at this show I must agree with many that Dave Navarro is a very underrated guitarist. I do believe live is the best way to enjoy Jane’s Addiction. On the bottom end Chris Chaney and Stephen Perkins kept the bottom end solid. It was Dave and Perry who held the audience attention though. As a whole I was very pleased with the performance. As a plus for the band they have seemed to age very little over the years. They do not look like rockers from another age, they looked fresh and ready to roll and sound as good if not better than ever.
And now for the main attraction, Alice in Chains. Although the band has gone through changes both big and small, from the death of iconic front man Layne Staley to Jerry Cantrell cutting his hair they still sound like the Alice in Chains I have always loved. The band was polished and spot on from start to finish, although I would have liked to have seen a bit longer set. At a little over an hour long it seemed over way to soon. Then again I think if they had played twice as long it would have still seemed over to soon. This was the first time I have seen them with William DuVall fronting the band. I must say he did a very good job and while no one can replace Layne Staley I think William does a very good job at walking in those shoes. Jerry Cantrell played each song note on like the true professional musician he is. His vocals were also strong helping give Alice in Chains the sound that is so recognizable as there’s. There have been many bands since Facelift first came out that have tried to copy that vocal style but it always was and still is a sound that belongs to Alice in Chains. Mike Inez was a beast on bass what else can I say. He was laying down that heavy signature tone like no tomorrow. He worked the stage very well using the raised areas on the stage like a true pro. I had heard that on some of the shows his bass almost buried Jerry’s guitar in the mix. I did not feel that was so at this show. Both seemed to come through very well in the mix from where I was. Sean Kinney laid down the foundation for each and every song spot on, this is a very polished and professional band start to finish even if as I said before think the finish came a bit too soon for a headline act. One other thing that I did like and notice was the lettering on the bass drum head, LSMS was lit up in big bold letters. I believe that was there way of paying homage to past now deceased members Layne Staley and Mike Starr. Although I will always think of Alice in Chains as missing something without Layne they are still Alice in Chains and well worth the price of a ticket.
Photos and review submitted by: Jimmy Fuson/Fuson Photography
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