Concert Review: TOOL's KEENAN Is 'Near-Perfect' Singer For ALICE IN CHAINS

February 19, 2005

Travis Hay of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer has issued the following report:

Who would've thought Maynard James Keenan, the spooky singer for TOOL and A PERFECT CIRCLE, would have made a near-perfect singer for ALICE IN CHAINS? That was one of the many surprises Friday night when some of Seattle's brightest musical stars came out for a cause at Premier nightclub.

The cause was a benefit concert for victims of last year's tsunami 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 emcee for the show, which was put on by radio station K-Rock (KRQI-FM/96.5) and 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 throughout the evening.

While none of the vocalists were dead ringers for Staley, 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.

But the evening wasn't just about ALICE IN CHAINS. The Wilson sisters performed a 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.

But 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". Lachman fared surprisingly well while Cantrell sang backup. 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". Between the two, with Lachman's pointy goatee and Scantlin's Staley-esque stage movements, they could've passed for a Layne doppelganger.

But it was Keenan, another surprise performer, who proved the most natural fit at replacing Staley. His twisted and braided hair flew as he prowled the stage while singing. He impressively nailed "Man in the Box" and "Them Bones".

For the last song of the night, 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 filled with surprises.

ALICE IN CHAINS set lists:

Acoustic w/ Pat Lachman of DAMAGEPLAN:

01. The Killer Is Me
02. No Excuses
03. Heaven Beside You
04. Brother (w/ Ann Wilson of HEART)
05. Got Me Wrong
06. Down In A Hole


01. It Ain't Like That (w/ Lachman)
02. Again (w/ Lachman and Wes Scantlin from PUDDLE OF MUDD)
03. Would (w/ Scantlin)
04. Angry Chair (w/ Scantlin)
05. Them Bones (w/ Maynard James Keenan from TOOL and A PERFECT CIRCLE)
06. Man In The Box (w/ Keenan)
07. Rooster (w/ Lachman, Wilson, Keenan and Scantlin)

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