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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly Intimate, 23 Nov 2000
This review is from: Alice In Chains: MTV Unplugged [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
Alice in chains unplugged, i have been a huge fan of AIC for years and when i found out they were doing the "Unplugged" thing my heart sank.
BUT
From the start of the show to the final "i wish i could hug you all" ..."But i won't" the band were on top form, the music was beautifully adapted from their frenetic "plugged" live style to this extremely laid back unplugged setting. The sound is amazingly warm as is the camera work.
Highlight tracks ( althought all tracks are fantastic) are Nutshell, Brother,Killer is me,Down in a Hole)
This DVD is a must buy for all fans of the rock genre
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5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless unplugged performance. In memory of Layne Staley, 23 Aug 2008
By 
Dmitriy Shkarubo "~ACID RAIN~" (Syktyvkar, RUSSIA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Alice In Chains: MTV Unplugged [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
MTV Unplugged (1996.), an Alice In Chains concert DVD.

Alice In Chains' relatively short career (in terms of album releases) was a fantastically productive one. For me, they were much more than just a metal band or indeed a band that was pulled under the `grunge' moniker. Their three album releases and two EPs displayed both the bands ability as a heavy metal outfit but also one who added lots of acoustics and atmospherics to their music. Following the band's self-titled and final album release in 1995, they remained pretty low-key and out of the public eye. Then, a year later came along a concert to be remembered down as Alice In Chains took their turn to do an MTV unplugged set.

Theres something very unique about Alice In Chains' performance on this CD/DVD. The concert conveys so much. There's excellent musicianship and great chemistry between the band and there is also Layne Staley's performance, a voice sounding so tortured yet powerful. The band's performance is inspirational, yet there is an underlying feeling of tragedy and uncertainty to it. Layne Staley is clearly high on drugs during the performance, an addiction which would sadly lead to his unfortunate death in 2002. His performance is excellent, give or take the amusing moment where he forgets the lyrics during `Sludge Factory' but as many have said it is a tragic thing to see, especially now as we know how much more Layne would deteriorate in the following five years. The atmosphere is perfect on this concert DVD; a slightly gloomy but candle-lit setting and a great audience who are all clearly relishing this timeless gig. The band play a killer 13 song set that acts as a great snapshot of their overall career. There's a good mix of the acoustic stuff as seen on `Jar Of Flies' but there is also plenty of the heavier stuff masterfully set to an acoustic set. Theres sadly no tracks from Facelift (an acoustic take on `Man In The Box' would have been interesting) but it doesn't detract from the overall set.

The emotive and powerful `Nutshell' makes an excellent opener and follow ups `Brother' and `No Excuses' fully display AIC's acoustic set ability to the full. `Sludge Factory', a track that sounds heavy and warped on the original album release is an concert highlight. It always amazes me how good this song sounds acoustically. True, the band cut the song to 4 minutes as the weird outro to the song would be too difficult to carry out on an acoustic. The meat of the song sounds great however and just as crunching acoustically as it does on electric. Cantrell's chorus guitar melody sounds especially awesome. `Down In A Hole' and `Angry Chair' both translate brilliantly into this set a lead us up to the band's definitive `Rooster' which is a purely heart wrenching and powerful song. `Got Me Wrong' keeps that uncertain AIC musical feel to the music before another one of their semi-acoustic classics `Heaven Beside You' adds more great melody to the performance. `Would?', always a powerful yet ambiguous song keeps the band in full flow; the bass sounds great here. `Frogs' and `Over Now' are two atmospheric follow ups that do the album versions true justice live. `Frogs' is a chilling listen as usual. `The Killer Is Me' is a classic way for AIC to finish in true off-kilter, warped and unnerving fashion.

The MTV Unplugged DVD for Alice In Chains captures the band as their true selves, giving a timeless performance. This is a concert of pure emotion, atmosphere and heartache with many classic Alice In Chains songs to hear. It is also a sad yet fitting finale for Layne Staley. He is clearly in a bad state by the stage of this concert but it doesn't stop him giving one of his great performances and one which will be remembered for many years to come. This DVD (I recommend the DVD version over the CD for all of you who are viewing the CD product page) is a must for any AIC fan or anyone who appreciates grunge in general. This is one of the great concert DVD's, highly recommended!

R.I.P. Layne Staley, WE LOVE YOU!!!

MY RATING: 10/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars High quality DVD, recommended for AIC fans, 2 Jan 2003
By 
Michael Barber (stoke on trent, staffordshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Alice In Chains: MTV Unplugged [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
As this show was filmed by MTV the production values are top notch and the dolby 5.1 mix is the best I've heard on a music DVD, which makes up for the limited extras on the disc. Alice's songs work really well in an acoustic format. This intimate, atmospheric set is well performed and the song selection is just about right, although it can be a bit depressing to watch following Staley's death. He looks worse for wear to say the least and its not suprising that this was the bands first performance for three years.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Emotion, Pain......Layne, 29 Mar 2006
By 
This review is from: Alice In Chains: MTV Unplugged [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
The Alice in Chains Unplugged DVD....Well what can i say i saw the Nirvana one a few years before i saw this one and thought it was amazin and couldn't be beat.... but i was wrong.The amazin band strip down and perform like they have never done before to creatue what i think is a exemplary display.Layne Staley's vocals are heart wrenching at times as he appers to be struggling to sing but this adds to the emotion.Most of the great Alice in Chains tracks are represented here with maybe the exeption of the great "man in the box" but this doesn't hamper the display as the band sift through there work. Kicking of with the magnificent opening sound of Jerry's guitar on "Nutshell" as the band pour on stage with a great reception, Layne bringing the roof down on his entrance, moving through there tracks and hiting high points during the magnificent "Sludge Factory" "Down in a Hole" and "Rooster" the band display there undeniable talents.My personal favourite being "Frogs" comes closer to the end as the band play out and complete the gig we see the troubled man Layne Staley leave the set on what was one of his last public performances before he esculated further into his world of drug addiction.An unbelivable great live performance of a legendary band of our generation and should be missed at one's peril....Rest well our late friend....We never forget....
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5.0 out of 5 stars the best UnPlugged DVD..., 13 Sep 2006
By 
P. Philips (Sutton Coldfield UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Alice In Chains: MTV Unplugged [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
This was one of Layne Staley's last recordings, as after this set he would only play a few more shows with AIC and record a handful more songs. It doesn't feature anything from 'FaceLift' but there are tracks from all their albums and EPs from 'SAP' onwards. It's obvious that Layne Staley is suffering the effects of heroin use and may well have actually been under its influence while this show was being recorded. Even so, the band puts in an excellent performance and for the most part his vocals are fine. He does struggle on tracks like 'Would?'and sings the wrong verse in 'Sludge Factory' for example.

Standout tracks to me would be 'Brother' with some superb harmonising with Jerry Cantrell. Also 'Sludge Factory' for its interesting lyrics, 'No Excuses' surpasses the studio version, and 'Angry Chair' is also noteable since this is the only track on which Layne plays guitar.

I would give this DVD 5 stars for the music alone, but I personally found it a bit unsettling to watch at times as it was clear just how ravaged by drug use Layne had become by this time.

An example of this is when he stares blankly into the screen at the start of 'Rooster'. I'd still recommend this to any AIC fan though and to any fan of good music.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars absolutly amazing, 28 Dec 2000
By 
Mr. Jacob Mayfield "nocode198" (Cambridge, UK) - See all my reviews
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This is alice in chains at there finest. this was AIC first show for about 2 years and they sound brilliant. The thing which makes this unplugged show better than the likes of pearl jam and nirvana is the beautiful harmanies between layne staley and jerry canterall (mind the spellings). There voices are out of this world and it would be a crime not to puchase this show. Definatly worth the money, if not more. BUY IT, you won't have any regrets.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb - One of the best Unplugged Performances!!!, 1 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Alice In Chains: MTV Unplugged [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
Being a big Grunge music fan and having seen Nirvanas Unplugged performance, I was eager to find out how it would compare and it does'nt dissapoint, its absolute magic, the vocal harmanies are superb as always, this is one of the best intimate live performances ever!!!
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vulnerablely Intense: The Final Say..., 28 Sep 2003
By 
S. Wright (Sheffield, England.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Alice In Chains: MTV Unplugged [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
If there was one band that were truly grunge, it wasn't Nirvana, it wasn't Pearl Jam, and it certainly wasn't Soundgarden. It was Alice In Chains. Not only that Alice were the only one of those 3 bands who remained pretty much true to their roots. While Nirvana were virtually finished, and Pearl Jam were releasing their "experimental" album, 'No Code', AIC were releasing their self-titled third album, consisting of their own sound that they'd kept from the start. And although they weren't the greatest grunge band out there, they were without a doubt the greatest heavy metal band of the nineties. And then they disappeared...
Years without touring, even refusing to tour their third and inevitably last disc, may have brought disappointment through the ranks of Alice In Chain's kingdom, but above all concern. Lead vocalist Layne Staley had deteriorated badly and had slowly gone downhill since they started. Bassist Mike Starr had quit the band after the success of their sophomore disc, 'Dirt', and Jerry Cantrell was fighting his own demons once again, which would later become his debut solo disc, 'Boggy Depot'. So when Alice, arguably one of the best live acts around at that time, announced a MTV Unplugged set was to be made, not only did it pick up the spirits of an already downtrodden generation, it shook it too. This was a band that hadn't played together in over 3 years, let alone as slowly as some acoustic songs were going to be. This was going to be the most silently intense show that MTV Unplugged had ever broadcast...
You can see it right away, as each band member slowly files in one after the other, while Jerry Cantrell gently plucks at his guitar in the opening to "Nutshell", each band member adding their own part as they settle down into their positions, before Layne Staley himself appears, wearing dark sunglasses, eventually seeing his bloodshot eyes, looking unhealthily thin, and just looking like he's finally given up. His opening lines to that very song say it all. Out of tune, trying too hard and in the end failing and finally relaxing with his arms crossed on his knees. Throughout the performance his vocals do sound as unhealthy as he looks, but you actually see Jerry Cantrell looking over at him concerned and clearly feeling for him. If you thought Kurt Cobain was "tortured" you wouldn't be able to handle Staley.
When they all settle down Alice does what they do best and play quality music as stripped down as it possibly can be. The first few tracks show Alice's growing pains settling in, but it gradually drifts away, creating new styles in the likes of the usually rollicking classic, 'Angry Chair', the powerful, 'Rooster' was always a strong song and nearly betters its original in this performance, and 'Would?' is indeed an interesting experience. But the songs that were originally acoustic based such as 'Heaven Beside You', 'Got Me Wrong', and 'Over Now' are the ones that truly shine through the black hole. While they don't add much that's new in the sense of musical creativity, they add a strong atmosphere, of which Staley and Cantrell are the centre-pieces. And although you can tell this is Staley's show, Cantrell truly shows why he is such an inspiration to so many. His playing is quite simply perfect, and shimmers in the light even brighter than his long blonde locks. In the end, while they were possibly suspicious of it, this was the final Alice In Chains performance and they wanted to impress in front of 500 or so fans and they certainly did, only in a slightly different way. While Cantrell's humour still shone out, and the rest of the band smiled at their adoring fans the best they could, there was always a quiet desperation about the whole thing. You really have to see it yourself to truly marvel in it, and not just sink.
This is a none high-octane performance, that where it is unexciting, it moves you twice as much and leaves the thought in your mind that you could tell that one of the greatest bands of the early nineties was always going to blow away in the wind, you didn't expect the gust to be quite this way. Now while Staley lays finally at peace after biting the dust last year thanks to the drug-addiction that kept him going, that ironically killed him in the end, Cantrell is now writing his very good solo work, this was a career defining performance that, while not their best, will always be the most memorable. Intense and moving, if not disturbing and gripping, it's also the best MTV Unplugged available.
"I have to say...this is the best show we've done in three years" - Layne Staley.
4.5 Stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best MTV Unplugged shows ever.., 28 April 2014
By 
M. Offermans "Kiwi MoNZ" (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Alice In Chains: MTV Unplugged [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
I have the CD copy and have listened to it so many times its almost worn out, but never realized that there was a DVD of the show too.

It really shows how great Alice in Chains are and especially how great a frontman Layne Staley was. Definitely on par with the Unplugged shows of Pearl Jam and Nirvana IMO.

If you like Alice in Chains, do yourself a favor and buy this DVD!! You will not regret it!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Plug into Alice!, 13 Mar 2012
This review is from: Alice In Chains: MTV Unplugged [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
The DVD arrived quickly and was excellently packaged. The recording is very clear and I would recommend this product to friends. Thank you.
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