Rock legends Alice In Chains (AIC) brought their North American tour to Tulsa Theater in Oklahoma for a night full of music, playing to a sold out show at the 2800 capacity venue. The show kicked off their fall headline tour, taking place on their “off days” from supporting Guns N’ Roses on their cross country tour. AIC might just be one of the busiest bands of the year for this reason.
As fans began to pack the venue, a beautiful buzz of energy filled the air. A young woman told her friend that, “Alice in Chains is better than Nirvana. I can’t believe we’re here.” More than a couple of young fans roamed the venue, holding their parents’ hands in excitement for their first concert—and what a show to have as your first.
The band kicked off their seventeen song setlist with the moody and eerie “Again.” Lyrically simplistic, the words still pack a solid, devastating punch to the heart, more so if you know the band’s history. Without pausing, AIC launched into “Check My Brain” next. Written by guitarist Jerry Cantrell, the song speaks to moving from his hometown of Seattle to Los Angeles. Cantrell’s grimy guitar riffs highlight the reason why AIC is known as one of grunge bands in the history of the genre.
The all encompassing setlist featured songs from various moments in the band’s history much to the delight of fans old and new. Including fan favorites like “Dam That River,” “Man in the Box,” “Nutshell,” “Hollow,” Never Fade,” and even “No Excuses,” AIC truly played something for everyone.
The band’s encore started off with “Got Me Wrong,” highlighting the group’s mastery of their craft as they seamlessly transitioned from style to style throughout the song. Intimate, the song touches places deep in your heart that haven’t been touched before, pulling on your heartstrings in the best possible way.
Next, “Would?” came into being with its soulful bassline intro that had fans humming it as they walked to their cars ten minutes later. “Would?” is just one of those songs that needs to be played loud, and that’s exactly what the band did, somehow sounding significantly louder for this one song over all the others. Perhaps it had something to do with the hordes of fans screaming along to each and every word.
The show came to a close with “Rooster,” a heartfelt tribute to Jerry Cantrell’s father, Jerry Cantrell Sr. Written about his father’s time while serving the U.S. Army in the Vietnam War, the tragic song helped repair the troubled relationship between the father and son due to the war. Touched, a couple of fans openly wept to the ballad-like song, ending the show on an equally high and emotional note.
If you have the chance to do so, do yourself a favor and catch AIC on their headline tour or supporting Guns N’ Roses. You won’t regret seeing this timeless, genre-defining group.