Published on August 15th, 2022 | by Darren Paltrowitz0
A Look At Alice In Chain’s Summer 2022 Tour With Breaking Benjamin & Bush Via A Sold-Out Show At New York’s Jones Beach
Over the course of their remarkable career, Alice In Chains — as comprised of vocalist/guitarist Jerry Cantrell, drummer Sean Kinney, bassist Mike Inez and vocalist/guitarist William DuVall — has sold over 30 million albums, garnered multiple Grammy nominations, and maintained a diehard international fanbase whose members number in the millions. Its discography features several of what many believe to be among the most important albums in rock history, including 1992’s quadruple-platinum-certified Dirt, 1994’s triple-platinum-certified EP Jar Of Flies (reportedly the first EP in music history to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200) and 1995’s self-titled double-platinum-certified Alice In Chains. After the band regrouped in the mid-2000, it kicked off a series of commercially-successfully studio albums, including Black Gives Way To Blue, 2013’s The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here and 2018’s Rainier Fog.
Currently, Alice In Chains is in the midst of a co-headlining North American tour with Benjamin Benjamin, as supported by Bush. Produced by Live Nation, the 30-city tour kicked off on August 10, 2022 at The Pavilion at Star Lake in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania. The tour will ultimately wrap up in Mansfield, Massachusetts at the Xfinity Center on October 8, 2022. I had the pleasure of experiencing the tour on August 14, 2022 at the Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, New York. Notable to yours truly about this tour’s lineup is that while all three bands have a decades-long string of hits on rock radio, none of the three acts are generally associated with the same scene or era. Yowever, as shown below, members of Bush and Breaking Benjamin performed an cover of “Would?” by Alice In Chains live in 2020, a full two years before this summer’s tour got underway.
Following an unadvertised set from The L.I.F.E. Project, which this writer unfortunately had to miss, Bush hit the stage a little before 6:30 PM. The band opened its set with the title track from a recent album, “The Kingdom.” Overall, the makeup of its 10-song performance was a mix between the four of the hits from 1994’s Sixteen Stone and material from recent Bush albums. In other words, no “Swallowed,” “Chemicals Between Us” or “Greedy Fly.” But of note was Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale running through the crowd and performing part of a song from a VIP box; video of this is embedded below. Per Rossdale, a new Bush full-length studio effort is slated for release later this year.
Breaking Benjamin followed after am intermission that ran around 30 minutes. Beond its three RIAA-certified platinum albums to speak of, Breaking Benjamin has released close to two dozen charting radio singles over the last 20 years. In turn, a 16-song set will still be missing favorites for long-time fans. My personal highlights from the set was the group’s semi-acoustic cover of Queen’s “Who Wants To Live Forever,” which especially showed off the vocal versatility of frontman Benjamin Burnley. Burnley’s between-song banter noted the influence that Alice In Chains — said to be the first concert he ever attended — and Bush had on him in his childhood, and true to that sentiment, members of the band were observed watching Alice In Chains from the orchestra level of the venue.
Alice In Chains closed the evening with a 15-song set that was largely rooted in its 1990s catalog. Most of the Alice In Chains songs a casual fan would have wanted to hear in concert were played, all of which in the original key and without any backing vocals. But as a band with over 30 years of history and plenty of singles, there was not time to play every radio anthem, hence “Heaven Beside You,” “Over Now,” “Got Me Wrong,” “I Stay Away” and “Sea Of Sorrow” missing from the setlist. Alice In Chains is the rare sort of classic hard rock band which shows no signs of deterioration from its supposed heyday, and based on the reception from the sold-out crowd it played to at Northwell Health At The Jones Beach Theater, a followup to 2018’s Rainier Fog would be very welcomed by the AIC fanbase.