Staring out over a sold-out crowd, William Duval, along with the rest of his bandmates from 90s grunge band Alice in Chains, stood preparing to open their set.
Thousands of devoted fans from all ages and backgrounds flooded the floor and packed into seated sections, each screaming in anticipation for the show to begin.
Initially formed in 1987 in Seattle, Washington, the band has been through a lot over the past 30 years. Their original lead vocalist, Layne Staley, died from a drug overdose in 2002 which put the band on hiatus for a few years.
Leading up to Staley’s death, their music took a more depressed, rather than intense tone which created an era of music for the band that will forever be iconic and remembered by die-hard fans.
Since then, Duval has taken his place on vocals and the band’s newer music has returned to the intense headbanging style that the group began with.
The band opened their set with an earlier song, “Bleed the Freak,” and immediately, Washington D.C.’s Anthem turned into a scene from the video game Guitar Hero.
Heads began to rock back and forth while many other fans threw their hands in the air and moved them to the beat of the music. Only a couple songs passed before an intense mosh pit broke out which, for those unfamiliar, is basically a tornado of humans aggressively bouncing around and running into each other.
Surprisingly, people of all shapes and sizes joined in, not phased by the risk of injury at all. Witnessing such an event for the first time was quite the spectacle as fans became consumed by the music and naturally moved out of passion for its intensity.
The show continued to play a balanced mix of both new and old songs. When classics such as “Would?” and “Man in The Box” were played, the older demographic of the crowd went wild as they reminisced in memories of their teenage years.
Younger fans were equally aware of the older songs as they danced to the beat and chanted the lyrics just like the adults around them. The venue turned into a melting pot of people from all different cultures brought together by pure adoration and passion for one of the all-time classic rock bands.
Alice in Chains certainly was not your typical concert experience, but the energy of the building was electric and made for a memorable experience.
Finding an event where thousands of people completely let go and let the music move their body is rare in today’s society where people are more focused on taking videos or checking their phone instead of experiencing the music the way it was intended.
Seeing this band live is a must for anyone interested in rock or simply interested in trying new things.