When I saw Alice in Chains at the Saenger a few years ago, I was apprehensive to say the least. I just couldn't see the band replacing its lead singer and making it work. By the end of evening, I was sold, and that incarnation did the band justice.
Fast-forward to Tuesday nights show at the Fillmore. Would I be in for more of the same or would I be looking at an interpretation of materials? Jerry Cantrell has built a solid solo career away from Alice in Chains but would be hard pressed to just do a tour on his solo material, so he surrounded himself with a group of amazing musicians and tackled the task straight forward. Jerry's touring band consists of Tyler Bates (Guitar), Greg Puciato (Backing Vocals), Gil Sharone (Drums), George Adrian (Bass), Michael Rozon (Pedal Steel) and Jason Achilles (Keys). Each are amazing at what they do, but the comparisons to AIC can't be ignored. For the most part, there really isn't a straightforward comparison. The band has a more southern rock feel that is more compatible with Jerry's solo material. The one exception being Puciato, who attempts to channel Laine. He has his mannerisms down, but on occasion tends to exaggerate them. The vocals are close, but not on the same level. They are some huge boots to fill, and Puciato takes the role in stride. The set was a nice combination of Jerry's three solo albums, including material from the tours sake, Brighten, and a greatest hits record worth of Alice in Chains toons. Cantrell will never be able to escape the shadow of Alice in Chains and I don't think he really cares. You can see more pictures from the show here.