LIVE REVIEW: Danko Jones, Jane’s Addiction & Alice in Chains
After having already sat down to chat with Danko earlier in the day, his on stage persona didn’t come as a surprise. Danko Jones has been at it for 17 long years. This is a hard working, blood, sweat, and tears kind of a band, and one that makes absolutely no bones about the level of success they’ve achieved at home here in Canada.
Danko knows where his core audience lies (Europe), and he was more than happy to share those feelings with Toronto on lookers Tuesday at the Molson Amphitheatre for the Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival. You have got to hand it to the guy, he’s a straight shooter, and Danko Jones is a rock and roll band through and through. Playing the side stage at a festival in your home city nearly 20 years into your career? Toronto doesn’t give this band the kind of respect it’s earned.
None the less, they took the stage and played the hell out of their 40 minutes, covering everything from “Lovercall” off of 2002’s Born A Lion, to “First Date” of off 2006’s Sleep Is The Enemy, right up to “Legs” off of their most recent release, 2012’s Rock and Roll Is Black and Blue. Then they called it a day.
Watching Jane’s Addiction was really something. I mean, Jane’s, Alice in Chains, these guys were 90’s rock. Sure it’ll never be like watching them in their prime, but the songs still come on just as strong.
Perry Farrell is a completely awkward frontman in the greatest kind of way. He jolted across the stage like a giddy kid without any rhythm, wearing silver trousers and suspenders, and, he didn’t even have a damn shirt on. His voice still has that raspy sort of sour appeal that’s always been able to go head to head with Navarro’s riffs and that bottom heavy bass that is so characteristic of their sound.
It was great to hear songs like “Ocean Size” “Mountain Song” and “Been Caught Stealing,” but the first ten seconds of “Just Because” that’s what really did it for me.
ALICE IN CHAINS
There were a lot of people waiting to see Alice in Chains on Tuesday. There’s something about that band, and it’s more than just the tragedy in their past. Of all the bands to come out of that era, Alice in Chains just always had that something that was a little different.
Their sound is so beyond heavy it almost feels like metal and yet it has these very pronounced acoustic elements happening at the same time. They were always a band that could manage that balance.
I think I was most impressed with vocalist and guitarist William DuVall. It’s damn hard to replace any band’s frontman post-mortem, and while he’s been at it since Layne Staley’s death in 2002, what’s great about DuVall is that he doesn’t speak much and he doesn’t over do it. He’s not out to sound like Staley but rather to make his songs sound just as good.
As a band, they were tight on Tuesday night. They played 13 songs that spanned all 5 albums and included hits like “Man in the Box,” “Would?,” “Again,” and “Check My Brain.” But, it was that drop in the first chorus of “Rooster” that everyone was really dying to hear, and it was just as sweet as I had hoped it would be.