Alice in Chains

Of all the bands clustered under the too-wide umbrella of grunge music in the early '90s, Alice in Chains have aged better than most, probably in large part because they all but stopped producing new music in the middle of that decade. (Did you hear that, Scott Weiland and Pearl Jam?) Jerry Cantrell and Layne Staley's band was an odd fit for the grunge category anyway, eschewing punk-inspired rebellion in favor of a melodic twist on heavy metal. From 1992 to 1995 the band released three stellar records, Dirt, Jar of Flies, and an eponymous disc, before collapsing due to Staley's heroin addiction, which claimed his life in 2002. After a lengthy hiatus dotted with benefit shows and a few club dates featuring special guest singers, the band is back together in earnest, with William DuVall of Comes the Fall stepping in to provide lead vocals. The sold-out First Avenue show will take place just days before the release of their first all-new record in almost 15 years, Black Gives Way to Blue. That album's debut single, "Check My Brain," is a bit more of a straightforward rocker than the ominous, acoustic-tinged tunes of the Staley era. The metal influence is predominant, but that old sound is still there. 18+. (Photo by Jenya Campbell)
Mon., Sept. 21, 8 p.m., 2009

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