Jerry and the boys previously performed at the Ulster Hall on March 6th 1993 in support of the revered classic, Dirt. That was way before my time, but I wonder what it would’ve been like to experience Chains with Layne during that time when the grunge spirit was running wild and supreme. Regardless and respectfully, time moves on and the band has adapted and evolved.
The show was held at the Telegraph Building, now my new favourite venue in the city centre (which unfortunately faces pressure from gentrifying forces). With Chain’s booking agent leaving the North on the shelf for nearly 30 years, it’s not a surprise that it was an instant sellout. 1500+ people rushed to get their mitts on some tickets. Some succeeded, others stood outside the venue waiting in hope. Alas, I’m one of those lucky ducks on the other side of the fence – quack quack!
What made this show even more special was that AIC themselves selected Belfast’s very own genre-bending alt outfit Wynona Bleach (formerly R51) to join them on the Irish leg of this tour. Interviewing the band earlier in the day, the 5-piece was ecstatic about the opportunity, calling it an honour to open for one of their sonic idols. I was told on good authority that the Alice in Chains lads, despite the austere rockstar demeanours, were “absolutely lovely” – giving Wynona Bleach much needed pep talks and being quite hospitable.