Alice in Chains were the perfect Seattleite midsection between Queensrÿches lateral-minded art-metal and Mudhoneys scroungy dirt-punk, the most centrist band of the grunge movement, a perfect party uniter for blue-state alterna-geeks and red-state hesher headbangers alike. Recent album Black Gives Way to Blue was their first in 14 years, and the first since the death of lead singer Layne Staley—and it sleekly rides the same line that made their 1990 debut Facelift a staple on both Headbangers Ball and 120 Minutes—hair-whipping riffs that crunch and moan; caveman-jazz drumming courtesy of Sean Kinney; and the flattened, ZZ Topat4 a.m. harmony-groan of new singer William Duvall and Jerry Cantrell (who did more singing on the old AiC albums than you probably remember). Openers Middle Class Rut try to attempt the same alterna-metal coup in an Internet-stratified 2010, paying equal attention to the churn-and-croon of the White Stripes as they do the groove-and-swear of Rage Against the Machine.
Tue., March 9, 8 p.m.; Wed., March 10, 8 p.m., 2010
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