Alice in Chains owns stage in tsunami-relief show full of surprises
By TRAVIS HAY, SPECIAL TO THE POST-INTELLIGENCERPublished 10:00 pm PST, Sunday, February 20, 2005
Who would've thought that Maynard James Keenan, the singer for Tool and A Perfect Circle, would have made a near perfect singer for Alice in Chains? That was one of many surprises Friday night when some of Seattle's musical stars came out for a cause at Premier nightclub.
The cause was a benefit concert for victims of last year's tsunamis, and the stars included Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart, Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic, Supersuckers, Sir Mix-A-Lot, The Children of the Revolution and others. But the brightest stars were the remaining members of Alice in Chains -- drummer Sean Kinney, bassist Mike Inez and guitarist Jerry Cantrell -- who performed together for the first time in six years.
Novoselic acted as host for the show, which was put on by K-Rock (KRQI-FM/96.5). The show raised more than $100,000 for relief efforts.
The reformed Alice in Chains featured several big names filling the shoes of late vocalist Layne Staley, who died of a drug overdose in 2002. Wes Scantlin from Puddle of Mudd, Pat Lachman from metal band Damageplan, Ann Wilson and Keenan all shared microphone duties.
Each turned in remarkable performances that paid justice to the fallen singer. The band performed two sets, one acoustic the other plugged in, with Lachman taking the lion's share of the vocal duties.
The evening wasn't just about Alice in Chains. The Wilsons performed three Led Zeppelin covers along with "Barracuda" and "Crazy on You," Sir Mix-A-Lot offered up rap-metal versions of "Baby Got Back" and "My Posse's on Broadway," and Supersuckers played a blazing set.
Still, Alice in Chains owned the evening. The band's acoustic set started off with "The Killer Is Me," which was followed by "No Excuses." Later in the set, which closed with "Down in a Hole," Ann Wilson brought a soulful edge to "Brother."
For its second set of the night, Alice in Chains opened with "It Ain't Like That" from "Facelift." After the song, Cantrell introduced Scantlin, a surprise guest, who sang "Again" with Lachman and then took over vocal duties for "Would" and "Angry Chair."
But it was Keenan, another surprise performer, who proved the most natural fit at replacing Staley. He impressively nailed "Man in the Box" and "Them Bones."
For the last song, Wilson, Keenan, Lachman and Scantlin took turns trading verses and lines during "Rooster." The "We Are the World"-style rendition of the song was the perfect ending for a magical night.