Lethbridge is a suburb of sorts to Calgary to give you, the reader an idea of the towns size. Usually the Enmax (where this show took place) is host to more country oriented shows with a rare rock show. So it came as a surprise when i noticed Alice in Chains would be playing at this particular place.
As the crowd ambled in The Pack A.D. opened with a set of midtempo garage rock jams. Not unlike a version of The White Stripes only without the joyous messiness or dark lyricism. While the band played well they seemed not nearly energetic enough to ccarry off their style. While they did seem to be enthusiastic to be present their stage presence didnt share that impression with the audience.
The main support act, Vancouver's own Monster Truck, Brought more than enough energy and enthusiasm for both of the openers. While their style is a well worn version of the classic hard rock most of the audience (and world) has grown up with the band managed to play as though they were the first and only band to do it. While that may not sound like an endorsement i can say the band managed to win over nearly everyone in the crowd. Between the soaring forceful vocals and catchy as a cold riffs the band played to their strengths with each song. The major complaint i could make is that the sound was mixed as well as it could have been. At points the bass went missing and for most of the set the keyboards were non existent. Even with these low points the band played a strong set of heavy rock.
So finally the time came for the headliners to take the stage. It was impossible not to wonder how William Duvall would make these songs his own, what the set list would look like and what an AIC show in 2014 would look like in general. What i can say is that there is good and bad. William Duvall certainly has the pipes to carry most of the AIC catalog save for the rare moment Jerry Cantrell took over lead vocals. The band was certainly note for note perfect throughout the night. The downside in some ways would be Duvall's perfomance. Duvall is a more than capable frontman where it may seem to be a downside is in missing Layne Staley's inmittable presence and the atmosphere he carried the songs with. Where as Staley would usually seem aloof and depressive Duvall is a rock and roll frontman the screams the crowd goading and all. While it may seem off considering the depressive nature of the songs this helps the message in the songs go down a bit easier and make the show feel more like an event. The true beauty is when one gets to see the interplay between Cantrell and Duvall and realize that while it may not be the same as before it is something of a second coming in it's own way.
Alice In Chains Setlist: