When you think of the biggest songs in rock, it’s easy to envision them being played live in some of the biggest venues around the world. On the Island, hearing songs like “Man In the Box”, “Would?”, “Down In a Hole”, and other Alice In Chains staples would usually mean a trip to Jones Beach or a train ride into the city. What happened at the Paramount on March 12th and its capacity of 1600 was something I’m still trying to process.
Jerry Cantrell brought his Brighten tour to Huntington last night and although I was expecting an amazing concert, the mind-altering, near-religious experience that was bestowed upon everyone in attendance could not have been predicted. That crowd sang every word. Every word… to every song.
Jerry Cantrell has quietly been one of the most prolific songwriters of our generation and it was during this 20-song marathon which included NINE Alice In Chains songs, that I remembered that. “Cut You In” was a huge song around here in the late 90s off of his Boggy Depot album. “Angel Eyes” was an MTV favorite in 2002 which can be found on Degradation Trip. A lot of time was spent during the show having that “Oh Yeah I Remember This” moment. Then came the Alice In Chains songs which were brilliantly spread out throughout the set. By the time he got to “No Excuses” which was song 12, my mind was melted ice cream.
This guy isn’t just a great performer. He’s an ambassador for a generation. His voice spoke to us when we needed it. We were 90s kids. We weren’t gonna flash that fake smile and pretend everything was okay just because Wall Street was. We were angry, we had things to say and it was Pearl Jam and Soundgarden and STP that spoke to us… and spoke for us. Alice In Chains? Well, they were one of the pioneers of that movement and Jerry Cantrell wrote the lyrics to many of the songs that made US feel like we mattered. That made us feel like we had a voice.
Those same lyrics that the crowd at a packed Paramount sang back to him at full volume last night. What that concert proved was that we were lucky to be a part of arguably the greatest music generation in history. That’s why I’m so proud to be a part of your day, each morning we ride together. We share this voice and you keep it singing loud, by picking us all up every day. So thank you…. and I hope to see you at a show soon.