Velvet Revolver & Alice In Chains: Leaving a Rock Star Legacy

Posted In: Arts & Entertainment, National Music, Concert Reviews,   From Issue 644   By: Jamie Griffin

06th September, 2007     0

In a time when few bands are poised to leave legacies it's refreshing to see a few groups who are leaving reputations behind.

Such is the case for Velvet Revolver. A supergroup comprised of Scott Wieland of Stone Temple Pilots and 3/4 of Guns and Roses, Velvet Revolver is the pinnacle of rock stardom.

Every member has lived the life of excess at one time or another. With both Scott Wieland and Slash making multiple trips to rehab to sort out addiction problems, both are clean and sober for a few years now and making arguably the most coherent music of their lives.

Velvet Revolvers traveling Rock and roll show made a stop in Clarkston at DTE Energy Music Theater. With special guests Alice in Chains, the groups gave the crowd a lesson in redemption.

Velvet Revolver rocked the crowd with hits of both their albums Contraband and the recently released Libertad. Throw in a few G N R songs a few STP hits and you have one of the greatest rock shows to hit the stage in recent years.

From the STP tinged Big Machine to the radio staple Fall to Pieces, Velvet Revolver offered up something for everyone. Just like classic Stone Temple Pilots shows, the band brought everything including a drum set up to the front of stage for a set including the ballads Patience and Interstate Love Song.

Fans spanning 2 generations and 3 bands were happy. Wieland paid homage to the groups' previous bands by stating that the legacies that the members left behind should be upheld if for no other reason than for the memory of the respective acts.

Since both prior projects left a substantial mark on the music scene in two different decades this was a great way to integrate the past with the present.

The energy that Scott Wielend projects from the stage is unparalleled. If Axl Rose invented the snake dance than Wieland perfected it. The frontman slithers around the stage erratically, all the while providing the soundtrack to the crowds escape.

Wieland truly is one of the last remaining rock stars. Playing high energy songs Do it for the kids, She rides Quick machines and Set me free it only took a matter of seconds for the crowd to see that they were in for a high voltage show.

The energy brought about by Velvet Revolver was just the icing on the cake for an already memorable show by Alice in Chains.

Like Velvet Revolver, Alice in Chains are no stranger to addiction problems, having lost their singer Layne Staley to a heroin overdose in 2002.

Alice in Chains took almost a decade off before replacing Staley with singer William DuVall. The result is a much anticipated reunion tour that many fans of grunge era rock are eager to see.

With original members Jerry Cantrell, Mike Inez and Sean Kinney back in the fold one just needs to close their eyes to remember the legacy that Staley and company left on the rock scene a decade ago.

Playing one of the most memorable MTV Unplugged shows in history, AIC was one of the few grunge era bands to achieve massive success. Every studio album they released went platinum. Including Live albums. This is a feat few bands ever see.

The hits Again, Man in the Box, and Rooster were just a few of the notable songs that the band revisited at DTE.

New frontman William DuVall does a great job on the Alice in Chains catalog blending perfectly with Cantrell's harmonies. This was the biggest concern many fans had with the replacement vocalist. Layne Staley not only had a distinctive voice but also blended flawlessly with Cantrell. Many wondered if this dynamic could be re-achieved by someone else. Duvall proved that indeed it can be.

With enough power to get through rocking anthems like would? And enough finesse to tackle the most erie of the songs from their catalog, Duvall proved himself worthy of filling Staleys' shoes.
Seeing two bands that have left a noticeable mark on the music scene makes one realize how powerful music is. With tens of millions of albums sold between them Velvet Revolver and Alice in Chains have a very important job - they provide their audiences with power. In this case their power is music; it's what helped people overcome addictions, build friendships and in the case of these bands save lives.


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