ALICE IN CHAINS: Even With A New Singer, It's The Same Old Song

Mitchell Peters of Billboard has issued the following report:

While ticket sales seem promising, this fall's upcoming ALICE IN CHAINS tour is one of several recent outings to beg the question of whether a band can remain relevant without its original singer.

Four years after the drug-overdose death of Layne Staley, virtual-unknown singer William DuVall joined the core lineup of Jerry Cantrell (guitar/vocals), Mike Inez (bass) and Sean Kinney (drums) for a successful club trek of six U.S. cities in May and then ventured to Europe for a series of festival dates. The band's last outing with Staley was in 1996.

The latest North American trek begins September 22 at the Joint in Las Vegas and wraps November 26 at the Warfield in San Francisco, with more dates to be added. General on-sales began August 19, and so far the numbers look good. Minneapolis' First Avenue date (November 13) sold out immediately, and dates at Norfolk, Va.'s NorVa (October 22) and Baltimore's Rams Head Live! (October 24) were well on their way, according to venue representatives. Those shows will have a capacity of 1,500 and an average ticket price of $40.

"It's one of the strongest onsales we've had in the history of the NorVa," president Bill Reid says.

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