Legendary US alt-rockers Alice In Chains arrive in West Yorkshire as part of a whistle-stop UK tour.

It’s been five years since the seminal grunge outfit last performed in the North of England, and on the strength of the reception the band receive this evening, it’s fair to say that they have been sorely missed. A full house in attendance at the O2 Academy Leeds to welcome their return. Subsequently, it doesn’t take long for things to get hot and sweaty inside the room tonight.

Over the course of their formidable career which spans in excess of 30 years, Alice In Chains have racked up multiple Grammy Award nominations as well as generating album sales of in excess of 30 million worldwide.

The four-piece recently reunited in the studio with producer Nick Raskulinecz and engineer Paul Figueroa where they have been working on their currently untitled follow-up to 2013’s The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here. This short run of shows in the UK being the precursor to the album’s eagerly anticipated arrival.

Tonight Alice In Chains delivers a show which focusses largely on their early to mid-90’s work, with roughly half of the setlist lifted from their first two albums Facelift and Dirt respectively.

Alice In Chains set is packed full of wall to wall classics including huge renditions of the likes of “Bleed The Freak”, “Them Bones”, “Dam That River” and “We Die Young”. The band even takes the opportunity to go a bit left field and tease the audience with a few bars of Van Halen’s “Runnin’ With The Devil” and The Who’s take on “Summertime Blues”; the latter of which being a nod to the classic Live At Leeds album. Complimentary visuals on video walls at the rear of the stage further enhance tonight’s musical extravaganza.

Alice In Chain’s setlist ebbs and flows, from outright mosh pit inducing anthems to some of their more slower and mellower moments such as the emotive “Down In A Hole” and “Nutshell”. Of course, there is also room for several tracks from the band’s last two albums featuring lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist William DuVall including the hard rocking “Check My Brain”, the groove-heavy “Stone” along with an emphatic performance of “Last of My Kind”. The crowd wholeheartedly sings every word of every song all night long.

Despite a new album being in the pipeline Alice In Chains choose to keep their freshest cuts under wraps until their forthcoming release receives its full unveiling. As part of the band’s four-song encore, the crowd are given a taste of what is to come with the inclusion of Alice In Chain’s first new single in five years “The One You Know”. On the strength of this track alone the band’s new album is certainly going to be one to watch out for when it drops.

From the new to the old, timeless anthems “Would?” and “Rooster” round out the band’s colossal performance in Leeds.

Tonight Alice In Chain’s carefully crafted and somewhat glorious 90-minute set transports those in attendance to a time when the underground sounds of Seattle ruled the airwaves. Let’s just hope that the band’s return to our UK shores comes sooner rather than later.

Alice In Chains
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Event Date: 16-June-2018

About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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