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Head Wound City -- Los Angeles, CA -- September 21st, 2014
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Old 08-23-2014, 09:13 PM
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adamclark52 adamclark52 is offline
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Alice in Chains -- Rama, Ontario -- August 23rd, 2014

Alice in Chains
Support: the Pack A.D.
Date: Saturday August 23rd, 2014
Venue: Casino Rama in Rama, Ontario
T-shirt worn: Machine Head 'the Blackening' (may actually be the Halo shirt)

I had a pretty bad day leading up to the show. I went swimming with my boys and went down too deep a few times too many. That led to a pretty bad pressure headache. Coupled with that after we got out I had one of the worst diabetic lows I've had in my life (1.6 mmol/L). So for about an hour I was pretty much near death.

Anyway...

Casino Rama is a pretty important place in Ontario's history. As far as I know it was the first non-reserve casino in Ontario. A ton have popped up since then but it was pretty monumental when it opened twenty years ago. It's been holding concerts ever since it opened. I've never been but most of the time it's usually...you know...your moms music (Air Supply, Ringo Starr, Deep Purple). So it made me feel a little old and sad when it was announced that Alice in Chains were going to play there. But it happens. I'm sure someday Rings of Saturn will be doing the casino circuit. I've wanted to see Alice in Chains for years and it was a toss-up between this or seeing them in Hamilton last night. This won because it's closer. The place is really nice. It has video screens, which is awesome when you're old. The have ushers taking you right to your seat which is great for me because I need my hand held through pretty much everything anymore. And the sound was nice. But the seats were uncomfortable. I actually hate seated shows anymore. Bill Cosby is performing there next week...and I wouldn't mind seeing him.

I didn't even know there was an opener. Some two piece from Vancouver called the Pack A.D. I've heard of them but I've heard so many opening acts these days that they have to be really good to catch my attention. I typed this review while they were playing. They had some decent songs and they were at least all short. But I've heard their style of blues-rock so much in the days since the White Stripes that it's pretty dead to me (unless Jack White is playing it or it's in a bar).

Alice in Chains sounded great. I was really impressed by William Duvall. He was pretty good vocally. He doesn’t quite have that Layne Staley nasally delivery but he’s close enough. But where he really impressed me was on guitar. He did a lot of the leads that I figured were Jerrys. That was awesome. I was glad he played guitar too. The songs where he didn’t (which was most of the pre-Black Gives Way to Blue stuff) sounded just a little empty when Jerry broke for a solo. The harmonies between him and Jerry Cantrell were fucking epic too. They played a great mix of old and new. It was one of those sets where there were enough “hits” and enough of the newer album with not much left out. I really heard almost anything from them that I wanted to hear. There’s a song here and there but I can’t really complain about the set at all. Dam that River, Again, Nutshell, We Die Young, Down in a Hole and Rooster were the highlights for me. When the second verse of Down in a Hole hit I got chills. I don't care if it was in front of a crowd of five thousand people and half of them didn't want to be there, that was awesome.

That brings me to the crowd. They were pretty lame. It was a casino crowd like the guy who saw Megadeth play at the same venue last month and it was really kind of awkward to be a part of. I’m pretty subdued at shows but the rest of the crowd usually offsets me. Not this time. I think I was one of the very few people who actually knew who Alice in Chains was. There were fans there but they were outnumbered by casino patrons. It makes for a shitty experience. I don’t know why the casino does things like that and why the people even go. To tell the honest truth it was the worst crowd I’ve ever seen or been a part of. I’ve been in a casino crowd before but I was one of the outsiders looking in. It was Elton John last year in Vegas. But I at least paid for my ticket, clapped and didn’t LEAVE DURING FUCKING ROOSTER. It’s different when you’re a fan of a band in one of those crowds. I’ll go out of my way to never go to another casino show unless I have to.

Alice in Chains
1. Them Bones
2. Dam That River
3. Hollow
4. Check My Brain
5. Again
6. Your Decision
7. Man in the Box
8. Nutshell
9. Acid Bubble
10. We Die Young
11. Stone
12. It Ain’t Like That
13. No Excuses
14. Down in a Hole
encore
15. Got Me Wrong
16. Would?
17. Rooster

I'd see them again but in hindsight I should have gone to Friday's show and been with fans. But glancing on that set at setlist.fm this had the better set.
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Last edited by adamclark52; 08-24-2014 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 08-24-2014, 05:53 AM
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Spiner202 Spiner202 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adamclark52 View Post
That brings me to the crowd. They were pretty lame. It was a casino crowd like the guy who saw Megadeth play at the same venue last month and it was really kind of awkward to be a part of. Iím pretty subdued at shows but the rest of the crowd usually offsets me. Not this time. I think I was one of the very few people who actually knew who Alice in Chains was. There were fans there but they were outnumbered by casino patrons. It makes for a shitty experience. I donít know why the casino does things like that and why the people even go. To tell the honest truth it was the worst crowd Iíve ever seen or been a part of. Iíve been in a casino crowd before but I was one of the outsiders looking in. It was Elton John last year in Vegas. But I at least paid for my ticket, clapped and didnít LEAVE DURING FUCKING ROOSTER. Itís different when youíre a fan of a band in one of those crowds. Iíll go out of my way to never go to another casino show unless I have to.
See this is actually what surprised me about the Megadeth show. The crowd was there for Megadeth. There were some casinogoers, but it was a metal crowd. The guy who told me to sit down was wearing a Slayer shirt, so he knew what was going on.

Did you have to sit down? Were you up front or in the back seating?
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Old 08-24-2014, 07:50 AM
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adamclark52 adamclark52 is offline
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Originally Posted by Spiner202 View Post
See this is actually what surprised me about the Megadeth show. The crowd was there for Megadeth. There were some casinogoers, but it was a metal crowd. The guy who told me to sit down was wearing a Slayer shirt, so he knew what was going on.

Did you have to sit down? Were you up front or in the back seating?
I was in Section L, Row 16. They weren't very good seats and I wasn't happy with them but they were the best available. The place sold out pretty fast but I don't know how many were bought up by the casino. So I was about two thirds back and I guess the further back you get the greater the chance of being amongst people who don't want to be there.

I had to sit the whole time. But everyone around me was sitting. Except when they were getting up to leave. The floor looked like it was standing, I think. I couldn't really tell.
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Last edited by adamclark52; 08-24-2014 at 07:54 AM.
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Old 08-24-2014, 08:27 AM
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Really sorry to hear about the crowd. Both shows I saw at Rama, the crowd just killed it for me. Hopefully the Priest show in October has actual fans there.
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Old 08-24-2014, 09:34 AM
Coma323 Coma323 is offline
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Yeah, the crowd in my area was absolutely awful also. I stood their entire set but the four people next to me sat pretty much the whole time. I was a few back from the rail the last 5 songs or so and everyone up there was rocking out. I thought the sound at that venue was amazing.
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Old 08-24-2014, 10:49 AM
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Really sorry to hear about the crowd. Both shows I saw at Rama, the crowd just killed it for me. Hopefully the Priest show in October has actual fans there.
I am seeing Priest at a casino in San Bernardino and in Vegas in November. The San Bernardino show should be okay cause I have been to metal shows outdoors in San Bernardino (San Manuel Amphitheatre - capacity 60,000 and where the US festival was held in 1983) and the crowds were wild so hopefully this holds over to Priest. The Priest show in Vegas is at the Palms which is off the strip so who knows?

Contemplating going to see Priest in October in Montreal and at Rama (and maybe one or two other shows in upstate New York).

NEVER ever see a casino show in Atlantic City. I have read reviews for Rush playing in Atlantic City and not only are the prices a lot more expensive, the crowds suck!!
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Old 08-24-2014, 01:04 PM
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adamclark52 adamclark52 is offline
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William Duvall is a pretty good showman. More of a showman than Layne Staley ever was. So he didn't seem too bothered by the crowd. Sean Kinney and Mike Inez were just there. But Jerry Cantrell looked outright pissed at the crowd whenever he looked out at them. I'd think they've done other casinos in their career but maybe not. I could tell that he didn't want to be there. I'm sure the others felt the same way. It's not like casino shows are Alice in Chains only option anymore.
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Old 08-24-2014, 01:15 PM
sc666 sc666 is offline
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Originally Posted by adamclark52 View Post
William Duvall is a pretty good showman. More of a showman than Layne Staley ever was. So he didn't seem too bothered by the crowd. Sean Kinney and Mike Inez were just there. But Jerry Cantrell looked outright pissed at the crowd whenever he looked out at them. I'd think they've done other casinos in their career but maybe not. I could tell that he didn't want to be there. I'm sure the others felt the same way. It's not like casino shows are Alice in Chains only option anymore.
I saw Alice in Chains last month in the UK at Sonisphere and they sounded and performed great. William DuVall has a fantastic voice. The UK fans really embraced them.
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Old 08-24-2014, 01:22 PM
Coma323 Coma323 is offline
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Originally Posted by adamclark52 View Post
I'd think they've done other casinos in their career but maybe not. I could tell that he didn't want to be there. I'm sure the others felt the same way. It's not like casino shows are Alice in Chains only option anymore.
They've actually play a good deal of casino shows the past year plus.
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Old 08-24-2014, 02:51 PM
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Wow, casino shows sound shitty.

Solid setlist though. Those last 5 songs are an excellent closer.
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