Grunge Gods vs. The King of The Surf Guitar OR Why the hell do these shows have to be on the same night?! 

Tonight,we’ve got Alice in Chains at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium (a.k.a. Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts) AND Dick Dale at Lincoln Theatre….. and it’s dead heat no matter how you judge the contest. 

Guitar Heroism?  Jerry Cantrell vs. the man who literally blew up – with his playing - amps as a road tester for Fender.

Volume?  Even the “softer” songs are overwhelming. 

Songs?  AIC’s post-Layne Staley work is of the quality of their early-90s classics.  Dick’s been playing instrumentals for half a century and there’s not one that’s anything less than exhilarating.

Catch ‘em the next time?  Probably not.  Neither act’s a road warrior, and both are strictly on their own clock in the studio.  Add to that Cantrell’s recent health concerns and the fact that Dale just turned 77.  They’ll probably be patching and packaging Cher together well into the next century (she’s also playing Raleigh tonight), but it’s not likely we’ll face this same conundrum 10 years from now.     

I’m gonna see Dick Dale at the Lincoln.  Why?  No reason beyond any argument either one of us could make.