I felt the same way that I feel when I’m going to see any of my teams play at the Garden-there’s half as many people as capacity and everyone’s drunk and loud, only the product in front of us all tonight weren’t a bunch of sad losers! What goes on people, welcome into the 36th installment of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert series (I’m dead serious about the “Never Ending” part of that if you didn’t know by now) which has me feeling a bit sporty I must say. I mean come on, we’re at the Mecca of sports-The world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden to check out the legendary Alice In Chains with Deftones and Mastodon rounding out what is billed as the BLACKDIAMONDSKYE tour..Like I said, so happy to be coming here to see something good and not the New York Rangers sad excuse for a hockey team or the dreadful basketball team that plays there who’s name is not worth the proverbial ink. But by the looks of the arena, you’d thought something crappy was going on. That place got half full at best. Upon arrived, the early comers were re-routed to different sections leaving a full empty row in between every row. When I made a pit stop during Deftones, event staff was just telling people, and I quote “There’s tons of seats, it doesn’t matter what your ticket says just find an open seat”.. So I paid $38 plus fees for this thing to not be near capacity? That doesn’t make me proud of my NY peers at all. And why not just charge $25 for these seats I’m in now and you’ll sell the place out.. We’re at least twice the distance I was when I first saw Alice In Chains with DuVall in 2007 at an outdoor venue in NJ that I paid $20 for tickets. It just bewilders me that this thing isn’t crammed full-and later when AIC came on and everyone was standing up it looked like the place was packed-trust me when I tell you it was far from that.
Anyway, on to the tunes shall we? Mastodon played from 7PM to about 740PM, they were actually on when we were walking in, so I missed the first tune. They were heavy, they were dredging, did I mention they were heavy? I wondered if the sound got this loud for the first opener how much was it going to elevate throughout this night.. and these guys are REAL metal-they have the duel vocalists going on-the regular singer AND the screaming singer dude.. That’s how the real metal acts roll.. their light show (not much bright lighting) vs my camera was a losing battle for us, so I apologize for not putting a crappy picture of nothing up here, as all night I had problems with pics considering the distance..Of the few of us that were there, there was a group of dudes really getting into it-skin head dudes doing heavy metal air guitar-fun from a far, but certainly not a collection of swings I want to get in between.. That’s the thing about metal-the fans. I’ll be the first to admit that they were a little heavy for me, I mean I enjoyed it but wouldn’t blast their records all day long-I’d go deaf… But the thing about metal is the fans. They come out strong every time, they spend money. You know they spend money because they know all the words to all the songs that came off the latest record.. They come to shows, far and wide, rock out they buy albums and shirts and are not afraid to show how into it they are- This is unlike some people, who just find ways to listen to music on the internet without buying/owning it.
Deftones went on shortly before 8PM…Deftones rocked it out… Enjoyed them a little more because, compared to Mastodon, they were at a much more manageable volume. They had the nu metal thing going on-some songs it seemed like they were like a way better version of like, Korn or something and then at times they went to a totally different place..Also, Chino (vocals, guitar sometimes) had this table set up in front of him, that he would climb up and down during portions of songs.. he would jumped up there to do one of his deep screams and then jump down off of it-and hey he does not shy away from the occasional “F” bomb, using occasional in a sarcastic sense of course…. and way more Deftones fans then expected, much like with Mastodon, we had air guitaring skin heads-not the mean skin head tho, I’m just calling them skin heads because they were bald and I don’t know their names. I highly doubt any of the fun lovin’ Deftones fans beat women or ride Harley’s religiously-c’mon now what do you think this is Slayer or something? They worked it til ten minutes before 9, that’s when a curtain went up in front of the stage, and the army of roadies began to set up for Alice In Chains..
Let me mention the huge middle finger I gave society by smoking cigarettes right in my seat while ducking event staffers, whom of which the Garden seemed to be light on tonight… pot was being smoked everywhere-it was great. So suck on that James Dolan!
The sheet that was in front of the stage was used as a prop for Alice In Chains’ intro, there was some cool effects going on there, including a beating, blackened throbbing veined heart, like from the front of their record Black Gives Way To Blue.. Roars of the crowd (it’s about 9:30 when the intro started ) as you can see the silhouettes coming out on stage. Then the drapes fell, and “Them Bones” was what they chose to kick things off with. Awesome from string one-what makes this band is the professionalism, the musicianship they bring to the table. I mean, I can rave all day about Jerry Cantrell’s sick ridiculous guitar skills, as I did back in May. Tonight lets take a look at Sean Kinney, who is drumming in a different league than most others. He’s off doing some other stuff over there with free flowing ease that was reminiscent of something out of the Ginger Baker handbook.. His drums were set up a foot or two up from the floor. A screen a few feet high ran effects from one side of the stage to the other, and under his drum kit in the middle… this was attached to a platform where Jerry, DuVall and Mike could climb up and play on during songs, which they did. I just wish one of them would have done the ‘Slash’ leap off that thing mid-riff. That would’ve been epic, but it didn’t look so high anyway, so maybe it just would have been stupid I guess. And in further comparison to the show in May, DuVall seems to winning over more and more fans every time.. They love him-shit I love him. He rocks. Mid set when I stopped working for a few songs and was sitting back taking it all in, I remember just looking at that stage oh so far away, and thinking about oh how far gone this band was before they found this dude. And Mike keeping it in step over there on bass, with the hair swinging every which way yet always landing down and perfect-maybe I could get whatever shampoo he uses. Also remember, I have Mike and Sean’s autographs on a bootleg ticket I bought to an AIC show at Irving Plaza last year, on Sept 9th. (Didn’t have a show to “review” for that, but the night’s events are here ). Anyway so they felt bad, and signed my ticket that I paid $50 for and turned out to be phony. So not only am I enjoying these tunes but I know these dudes aren’t dickheads in real life. Whats better then good people who play great music? And I mean great- I mean you should’ve heard “Grind”, you would’ve jumped into the time portal that leads to the fictional 90′s neighborhood I spend my life living in too. You’d love ever second of it. There were times where you couldn’t help but starting thinking of where you ranking Cantrell among guitar greats… he’s amazing with it. Does anyone else stroll around stage like this guy? He doesn’t walk back and forth he like power walks. I saw him pass by Mike Inez’s microphone to hit the wawa peddle-I guess they got their effects boxes linked up or something. that was really cool.. I like how they had the screens set up playing stuff where, if you didn’t know what song was playing you could still sort of figure it out by the images synced with the song. Everything about the set was perfect, besides them running off for the encore at 10:35, roughly an hour after they went on. It must be MSG’s ceiling for concerts is 11PM, because BlackDiamondSkye isn’t going cross country for tomorrow’s show, they’re going to New Jersey-no flight to catch. During the few minute break, I see some kid lean over to his friends asking them if they want to stay for the encore-what is that some sort of joke? You’re going to leave early? The same way I would leave a football game before my team comes back and scores the winning touchdown. Amazing how some people behave-sickening.. They came back out and played a seven minute “Love, Hate, Love”, then “Man In the Box” and “Would?” to close it out, and were tossing hundreds of guitar picks into the crowd as they thanked everyone and headed off to call it an evening.
And what an evening, glad I could be part of it.. besides the place not filling out. Really disappointed me that this show wasn’t long sold out. It was the biggest show in Alice In Chains history-and a lot of the alleged die New Yorkers missed it. But the billed bands delivered big time, and there’s nothing more you could really ask from the musicians.
So this was fun right? Hope my Dad thought so, as these tickets were my birthday gift to him back in July, which he is now calling the best birthday present since his Gibson SG when he was a teen…and of course hope you had as good of a time as I did, as I’m one who can never get enough of the Alice In Chains.. I have the set list below, I don’t think I missed any but I’m sure if I did It’ll be pointed out to me in a rudely stated comment.. Anyway, as for now I’m off to upload some more video, which isn’t so good picture wise but the sound is superb, so I felt it was worth adding to my archives. Thanks, for putting up with my non sense for a little while, and I’ll see you all October 6th for The Vaselines at Webster Hall.. LATE…
Alice In Chains Setlist:
Dam That River
Rain when I Die
Check My Brain
Down in a hole
We Die Young
Love hate love
Man in the box