Watch Alice in Chains, as Powerful as Ever, on New “No Excuses” Acoustic Performance


I’m an ardent defender of Alice in Chains in the post-Layne Staley era. William DuVall’s understated presence was the perfect fit for replacing an iconic frontman, never trying to take anyone’s place, just stepping in to allow the band to continue, filling a role. Black Gives Way to Blue was an incredible comeback album, even if it allowed Jerry Cantrell to pick from fifteen years’ worth of his best riffs and songs, and The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here was a solid effort too, even if it didn’t reach the high bar set by its predecessor.

Still, I was slightly taken aback to catch wind of this acoustic performance of “No Excuses” from Alice in Chains’ appearance on Guitar Center Sessions, airing August 3rd on DirecTV’s Audience Network. To me acoustic AIC is synonymous with Layne, particularly his haunting, chilling, captivating final performance on MTV’s Unplugged. That material just screams LAYNE and it’s hard to imagine anyone else singing it.

Once I started watching, though, I got right back on the DuVall train: he’s such a classy gentleman who knows when to take a back seat, and his performance here — like pretty much every AIC performance he’s given since he joined the band — feels more like a tribute to Layne than any amount of toe-stepping or attention-grabbing. It doesn’t hurt that the camera’s focus stays mostly on Cantrell, who did the heavy vocal lifting for a good amount of latter-day AIC material anyway. Once I started watching I couldn’t look away.

[via The PRP]

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