Alice in Chains signed to Columbia Records in September of 1989 after creating a name for themselves around the Washington state area. A month later, some Washington State University students, who had been fans of the band since they were called Diamond Lie, attended a concert in Spokane. Though Alice in Chains were not on the original bill, they ended up playing after the opening act canceled. The college students got to talking with the band, inviting them to play WSU. $2,000 and a few months later, Alice in Chains took the stage at WSU’s CUB Ballroom for a rare, wild show.
The band performed for 450 people, months before they even had a debut album. Now, footage of that entire December 1st, 1989 show has been discovered and uploaded online (via Alternative Nation). Shot by Jason Polich with audio mastering from Tim Branom, the video captures the whole hour-long set, including a cover of David Bowie’s “Suffragette City” and one rowdy crowd. Watch the whole thing below, followed by an actual radio ad that promoted the concert on WSU college radio. Yes, tickets back then were really only $5.
Find the complete setlist below. Head over to Alternative Nation for a complete retrospective of the show, including interviews from the students who set the show up and let the band crash at their pad.
Alice in Chains December 1st, 1989 at Washington State University’s CUB Ballroom Setlist:
Man in the Box
Love, Hate, Love
We Die Young
Queen of the Rodeo
Put You Down
I Can’t Remember
Sea of Sorrow
Suffragette City (David Bowie cover)