Saturday, October 16, 2010

BlackDiamondSkye Tour: Alice in Chains, Deftones, and Mastodon

Back in April, I was given the choice to throw a birthday bash or buy tickets to the Alice in Chains, Deftones, and Mastodon on their BlackDiamondSkye Tour. [Actually a combination of the latest album from each band: Black Gives Way to Blue (AIC), Diamond Eyes (D), and Crack the Skye (M)] This intimate one month tour was a real treat for long time fans, Las Vegas happened to be the thirteenth and final stop. Without hesitation I chose the concert. As I was fortunate enough to purchase tickets on the pre-sale before they sold out, my punishment was the excruciating six month wait. AIC is easily on of my top ten bands, I love Deftones style, and Mastodon always puts on a great show; I knew this would be an epic show.
Although I don’t believe Mastodon has reached the level of success they deserve, every regular metal concert goer has seen them at least once. Mastodon typically opens for large rock concerts putting on high energy performances with true metal attitude, style, and shredding guitar solos. Tonight was no exception, only they were backed by two large screens projecting gritty video clips, great audio and lighting. Mastodon definitely warmed up the crowd with their headbanging music, playing a full setlist, and taking a moment to thank the fellow bands and their crew for making this tour happen.

During the short break, it became apparent that many of the audience were diehard Deftones fans, especially when the chanting started. Who can blame them though, in 2008 their bassist (Chi Cheng) was in a severe car accident that he has yet to recovered from. Although Chi has not been forgotten, many of us were simply grateful to have the chance to see Deftones live.
Deftones wasted no time catapulting into their set, taking fans back by hammering out a couple of old school classics, reminding many of us why we love their music. Chino was jumping and screaming across the stage, stirring the crowd into a frenzy, crowd-surfing and a pseudo-mosh pits errupted before security stifled them. Deftones rounded out a particularly well received set with tracks from Diamond Eyes and their self-titled album. Even after the crowd was totally rocked by Mastodon and Deftones, an incredible finale by Alice in Chains was still to come.
Alice in Chains teased the audience by wrapping the stage in a white sheet, keeping their setup hidden until showtime. When instruments began humming, colored lights and the tour logo were shown onto the sheet, suddenly dropping to reveal an elaborate two level stage covered in screens. Alice in Chains started off strong with many fan favorites from Dirt. Their sound was rich, full, and new singer William DuVall was the perfect choice for vocals, doing respect to former Layne Staley. Jerry Cantrell played beautiful solos with seemingly little effort, and DuVall joined in on acoustic guitar for a few songs. AIC choose a wonderful selection of songs from their incredible catalog, even returning to an underwhelming crowd to complete a three song encore.

The BlackDiamondSkye Tour was really like three shows in one, each band had the energy, skills, and fan base to have each headlined their own show. As this was the last stop on the tour, 4,000 fans were treated to a sentimental and over four hour concert with Alice in Chains, Deftones, and Mastodon. Due to my deep love for these bands, I will admit I was hesitant of the new band members, however both impressed me and did a fantastic job. This show was everything I wanted and more, quite possibly the best one of 2010.

Mastodon: Naked Burn, Divinations, Oblivion, Crystal Skull, Colony of Birchmen, The Czar, Megalodon, and Blood Thunder.
Deftones: Rocket Skates, Around the Fur, Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away), My Own Summer (Shove It), Diamond Eyes, You’ve Seen the Butcher, Sextape, Passenger, Change (In the House of Flies), Birthmark, Engine No. 9, and 7Words.
Alice In Chains: Them Bones, Dam That River, Rain When I Die, Again, Check my Brain, Your Decision, No Excuses, Love Hate Love, We Die Young, Acid Bubble, Lesson Learned, It Ain't Like That, and Rooster. Encore: Nutshell, Man in the Box, Would?

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