If ever there was a packaged concert designed to leave all attendees nearly mute from sore throats and ringing ears the following day it is surely Blackdiamondskye. The many fans arriving slightly late to the Alice in Chains/Deftones/Mastodon aural attack arrived directly into the wall of progressive sludge metal that is the men from Atlanta’s Mastodon. Though the band did not let up for a moment during it’s short 8-song set, it seemed all together that the crowd became quite unresponsive by mid-set and didn’t catch back up with the band’s intensity until closer “Blood and Thunder”.
As the Deftones approached the stage not 20 minutes after the departure of the previous band, many more had decided to join in the fun as Chino Moreno & co. lit up everyone with their blend of old and new ranging from 1995’s “7 Words” to 2010’s “You’ve Seen the Butcher”. Since their last show at the Pageant in 07′ the band have been through events that have seen many bands fold under. Bass player Chi Cheng remains in a semi-conscious state following a car wreck nearly two years ago. Through the love of many OneLoveForChi.com has raised nearly $12,000 dollars this year, with a goal of $500,000. In the meantime, long time friend of the band Sergio Vega aptly fills in and is even featured live during “My Own Summer (Shove It)”.
With another quick changeover (by the way, what an incredibly well organized stage setup) Alice in Chains simultaneously reminded fans of the new with an intro featuring artwork from 2009s’ Black Gives Way to Blue, and paid tribute to the old coming out to “Them Bones”. Most noticeable early on were overbearing sound issues that would leave it difficult to enjoy the many early tracks off of 92s’ Dirt. Either by loss of hearing or a change to less intense tracks, the sound seemed to clear up before recent hit’s “Check My Brain” and Your Decision”.
The setlist featured multiple cuts from all of the bands four main LP’s and never focused on the same one for too long. The one exception was “A Looking in View” off of BGWTB, the over seven minute long track got the standing crowd thinking about those seats that had been long ignored from the moment the lights went out, however as soon as the opening riffs of new single “Lesson Learned” attention quickly returned to Jerry Cantrell’s haunting vocal delivery. Cantrell and William Duvall would trade and share the five mics placed around the stage, and perfectly recreated the sounds of “Grind” and possibly improved the biggest sing-alongs of the night “Rooster” and “Man in the Box”.
The problem with a tour featuring the lords of progressive, alternative/nu-metal, and grunge rock respectively is that there were three entirely different types of crowd in the same space. This became very clear throughout the night as crowd members drunkenly let those around them be aware that “The Deftones should be the ones headlining” or “Mastodon is better than both of those bands!” Though as each respective band took the stage only one thing was apparent, all of these bands came 100% prepared to prove themselves more than worthy of the stage and everyone’s attention.