Alice In Chains @ Newport Centre

With Ghost & Walking Papers
at Newport Centre, Newport
15th November 2013
Review by by Jarod Lawley

Now most of Wales is ignored by most major bands that tour the UK, with the exception of the occasion appearance in Cardiff from some. So having said this, tonight Newport is certainly being spoilt with Grunge legends Alice in Chains and ultra-hyped Swedish melodic rockers Ghost.

As if that wasn’t enough, the evening is opened up with new supergroup featuring Jeff Angel of The Missionary Position, and Duff McKagan, formely of Guns N Roses, named WALKING PAPERS. [2.5/5]

Despite these impressive credentials on paper, the band does little to please the Newport crowd with their bland version of traditional blues rock. Frontman Jeff Angel is unentertaining and his cheesy combinations of textbook rock star stage moves are nothing but embarrassing, and in fact laughable.

After a more lengthy then necessary performance, the stage is cleared to make way for GHOST [4.5/5]

As incense reeks the air and the atmosphere builds, the nameless ghouls, dressed as ever in the Nazgul- like costumes, take to the stage. The Gregorian chants of opener Infestissumam ring throughout the gym-hall like venue of the Newport Centre, but unfortunately, not even the highly rousing “Per Aspera Ad Inferni” manages to stir much motion from the crowd, expect for the breakout of a slightly homo-erotic mosh pit between two men who look like they should be working on the doors of a Yate’s pub near you.

Regardless of the lack of the crowd’s enthusiasm, the band continues on strongly, shocking yet pleasantly surprising many in the mainly Townie crowd. The band’s set is over all too quickly, choosing to end with “Monstrance Clock” which proves that Papa’s voice is on fine form tonight.

Setlist: Infestissumam Per Aspera ad Inferi Con Clavi Con Dio Stand by Him Prime Mover If You Have Ghosts Year Zero Ritual Monstrance Clock

Despite their stronger performance and certainly more unique and interesting stage show, there’s still no doubt that Ghost are the support band, and that Alice in Chains are headlining tonight [3.5/5]

The hall is completely rammed full of fans of many ages, and the band takes to the stage with great energy, opening with “Dirt” and “Again.” The sound is precise, and William DuValls vocals groan and wail to rattle the walls. No matter how powerful the sound is however, the figures on stage do little to entertain the crowd, with everyone near stationary except the frontman.

With seventeen songs in the set, things do get rather mundane after several tracks, and by the time the band wander away from the stage, I’m left feeling oversaturated, having being rather starved of much musical variety for an hour and a half.

Setlist: Dirt Again Check My Brain Them Bones Dam That River Hollow Man in the Box Got Me Wrong Phantom Limb Grind No Excuses Nutshell Stone Sludge Factory Down in a Hole Would? Rooster