Thanks to Rusty for sending in this story to Alternative Nation:
So Mark Lanegan played the Magic Bag in Ferndale, MI on Thursday, June 16. My buddies weren’t too familiar with him, but he’s my favorite solo artist so I wanted to bring them along. They were quite happy about it, because not only did Mark (and guitarist Jeff Fielder) blow their minds, but we saw three quarters of Alice in Chains.
Right after we walked in the door, we headed to the bar for a drink. When my buddy Tyler walked out of the restroom with a shocked look on his face, he said “Dude, look who that is.” I caught a quick glimpse of the guy that walked out right before Tyler, and it was none other than Jerry Cantrell – sporting a beard and growing his hair back out. I even “accidentally” touched him.
He stopped right behind us to talk to venue owners/employees/Mark’s people/whomever they were, and that voice was unmistakably Jerry’s. Someone asked him about the AiC show being moved from the Freedom Hill Amphitheater (where they were scheduled to headline), and his response was something like “You can thank fucking Guns ‘N Roses for that one!” (total paraphrase, by the way).
It was cool, because the Magic Bag is a small venue and holds a maximum of 400 people (it must have been closer to 300 in attendance that night). So to see Jerry, and later Sean and Mike, walking through the crowd, hanging around the back of the venue near the bar, and even talking to some of the other attendees who were ballsy enough to strike up a conversation with them was pretty rad.
I’ve seen Alice in Chains four times since they reformed. In November of 2006 when they played the Emerald Theater in Mt. Clemens, MI, the tickets were for general admission, so my friends and I got there at 10:00 AM to ensure we were the first ones in the door and therefore got to get right up to the stage. That day was incredible on a musical level, and then nearly ten years later, seeing them in attendance as “fans” of another Grunge veteran was awesome on a different level.