by Johnny Papan
Queen Elizabeth Theatre
August 22, 2018
Alice in Chains opened the North American leg of their mammoth Rainier Fog tour in Vancouver to support the new album. Landing on the birthday of their late original frontman, Layne Staley, there was a hauntingly intimate aura surrounding the venue.
The band opened with the new track “Never Fade,” a hybrid tune that mixes the known Alice in Chains sound with a sort of 80s hard rock vibe. They followed this up with their first major radio-single since reforming in 2006, “Check My Brain,” from 2009’s Black Gives Way to Blue. Fans were losing their minds as the band played classics like “Again,” “Them Bones,” and “Dam That River” before jumping into “Hollow” from The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here.
The show overall was a fine mix of new and classic tunes. Alice in Chains has embraced the changes they’ve made over the years, but haven’t forgotten what made them who they are. They ventured on playing more classics like “Down in a Hole,” “We Die Young,” “Nutshell,” “It Ain’t Like That,” and “Man in the Box” while also featuring songs created by it’s modern incarnation like “Stone,” and the live debut of Rainier Fog’s “So Far Under,” which was written by William DuVall, who stepped into vocal duties when the band reformed.
Alice in Chains smashed a heavy encore, opening with the pounding new tune “The One You Know,” which was followed by the mellowed “Got Me Wrong.” The band concluded with two of the biggest songs of their career, “Would?” and finally “Rooster.”