We saw Alice in Chains open for Velvet Revolver last Saturday at Jones Beach. It was a great show, but it reinforced the drawback of having an established opening act.
Let me explain by example. We saw Stone Temple Pilots open for the Red Hot Chili Peppers at Jones Beach a bunch of years ago and STP blew us away. They played only eight songs, but each one was amazing and had a ton of radio play. Vasoline. Interstate Love Song. Some of my favorite songs ever. Add in the fact that I never thought I’d see them in concert before Scott Weiland overdosed and it was a powerful experience. Scott mooned the audience as they unfurled a giant American flag at the end of their set and I sat there in awe.
Then the Chili Peppers came out and bored me. I knew at least half of the songs they played and I even loved their new Californication album at the time, but every time I tell people about that night I’m telling a story about a brilliant STP show.
Now Scott Weiland and most of Guns N’ Roses are the band called Velvet Revolver. You’d think that some of that STP concert magic would have rubbed off of Velvet Revolver, but no such luck.
Alice in Chains came out and I knew every word to all of the songs they did: Grind, Again, We Die Young, Down In A Hole, Man In The Box, Would?, Them Bones, Dam That River, Rain When I Die, Angry Chair and Rooster.
Then Velvet Revolver came out and bored me. Sure I loved their take on the GNR songs It’s So Easy, Patience and Mr. Brownstone. They even played Vasoline and Interstate Love Song.
The funny thing is that if the bands were switched, Velvet Revolver would have done a tighter set with only their best ten songs and the long Alice in Chains set would have had some boring moments.
It’s a no-win situation.