See Newly-Surfaced Soundcheck + Interview Footage of Alice In Chains Opening for Van Halen in 1991
When you're a young band, opening for an artist as massive as Van Halen can feel pretty daunting. Regardless, when Alice In Chains went on tour with the legends in 1991, they still found a way to make it lighthearted, as you can see in newly-surfaced footage from one of their soundchecks.
The footage, which was split into two parts, was uploaded to the YouTube channel Alt Copperpot5 at the end of last month. The soundcheck took place before the band's show with Van Halen on Aug. 16, 1991, which was just a few days before Layne Staley's 24th birthday. The rockers had already released their debut album Facelift the year prior, and the song "Man in the Box" earned them an opening slot on the Clash of the Titans tour with Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax, which had taken place a few months before they went back out with Van Halen.
The videos show the original lineup of Staley, Jerry Cantrell, Sean Kinney and Mike Starr, who left the group in 1993. In the first video, Cantrell is shown playing guitar by himself, and then Staley is shown doing some vocal warm-ups. It ends with a performance of the song "Would?," which actually hadn't been released at the time the video was recorded, followed by "Love Hate Love" from Facelift.
The second video offers even more gold for Alice fans, as there's interview clips with the members, a bus tour, more clips from their soundcheck, Cantrell and Kinney watching Eddie Van Halen soundcheck and their actual opening set during from the evening.
See both videos below.
Sammy Hagar, who sang for Van Halen when Alice In Chains opened for them, once recalled fearing the band in an interview with Jenny McCarthy. In fact, he said it was his idea to invite them on the tour because of that fear.
"When you're in Van Halen in the '90s when grunge came along, that was freaky, man," the singer said. "I was so insecure about it that I invited Alice In Chains — with their first album, their first single when they had 'Man in the Box' — to open for Van Halen. They came on the whole tour with us... But that's how insecure I was! I said, 'Let's get them on the damn show so that way their fans will know that we're cool.'