Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Alice in Chains @Bowery Ballroom, May 23rd

(I took this picture on my shitty cellphone.)

I can't believe I just went to an Alice in Chains concert. BY MYSELF.

I bought these tickets a few weeks ago, cos I got caught up in the hooplah. I was one of the lucky ones who got through on Ticketweb. Then, through some crafty craigslisting, I was all set to trade my pair of AIC tickets for a pair to one of the sold out Radiohead shows at the Theater at MSG. But sure enough, the trader/traitor bailed on me last minute today, and Wawa was anxious and tired -- he's going to Boston tomorrow for, gee, guess what, more Pearl Jam -- so I guess he didn't want to be all grunged out.

I can't even call myself a fan. When Layne died, I did not shed a tear. Well, I do actually have one cd by them -- Dirt -- which, if you're gonna have over a thousand cds in your collection, Dirt might as well be one of them. I think I bought it during my freshman year of college to go with my two Pearl Jam cds and two Nirvana ones and Singles soundtrack.

So I did a last minute post on craigslist and got someone to commit to my plus 1 for a nice price and opted to go myself after kung fu tonight.

The place was packed with K-Rock types -- a sausagefest, I think they term it? I really wanted to kill myself but I figured since my ticket was more than paid for by the other guy, I could have a beer, check the show out and leave if it was so terrible.

Because my plus 1 was not the tallest -- I think I was a bit taller with my New Balances on -- he and I went to my new spot at the Bowery introduced to me by Heather at the Scissor Sisters, the right corner of the stage right by the bouncer and the door.

It proved to be perfect positioning cos I ended up right against the stage, and to the left of me was a girl in a wheelchair. I thought, oh, how wonderful, I'm glad she gets to come to a show and have a great spot. But not until the crowd got going did I realize how awesome it was to have her near me. She served as a great buffer between me and the raucous mosh pit and crowd surfers and stage divers. So, thank you, whoever you are.

The positioning was also perfect since we were on Jerry Cantrell's side of the stage, and he really is the only reason to go see AIC now. Don't get me wrong -- the guy who did the lead vocals was great, sounded a lot like Layne, got the crowd hyped up, and even played guitar, which is something Layne never did. But, really, who are we kidding here -- Jerry with his long, blond hair and crazy guitar -- is the man! He played to the crowd as they yelled, "Jerry! Jerry!" By the end of the night, tho, the crowd did yell, "New guy! New guy!" more than once. Jerry played right above my portion of the stage numerous times so that he hovered a mere few feet above me. I even touched his ass for a sec -- don't ask me why I did that!

They played for about 70 minutes total, including a short break after which for the encore they played 3 songs. They hit all the ones I knew off of Dirt, including my favorites Them Bones, Rooster, Would? and lastly, Man in the Box.

Would? (huh huh) I do this again? Probably not, but I had fun tonight, I suppose.

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