Layne Staley ‘Booed’ At Last Show With Alice In Chains

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Layne Staley’s final Detroit concert with Alice In Chains took place on June 28, 1996 at Tiger Stadium opening for the reunited original KISS lineup. It was part of Layne’s very short final tour, consisting of four shows in Detroit, Louisville, St. Louis, and Kansas City. Jerry Cantrell and Sean Kinney revealed in a new interview that Staley was booed by fans in Detroit for mocking them.

Jerry Cantrell: Here’s what I recall; there may have been a riff or two, but I think the real thing was when Sean decided to come out front and sing ‘Beth’ acapella. Sean’s a fantastic drummer, he’s got a great eye and business sense, he’s very artistic… but he’s not a great singer.

Sean Kinney: Man, they just, they weren’t digging the humor of it. The whole stadium, 60,000 people, really booed – really loud.

Jerry: You know, he didn’t really like it – [KISS drummer] Peter Chris, he had a little problem with it.

Sean: There’s also these little inflatables of each dude, like two on each side of the stage. And it was the very first show, there was some technical stuff. It was really magical and great, and like anything that big of an undertaking, there’s some technical stuff that wasn’t working right.

One of the inflatables must’ve had a hole in it and they kept blowing it up, I can’t remember which guy it was, there were some amazing things that went on on those shows that were pretty fun for us.”

The one guy’s inflatable not blowing up could have derailed the whole reunion tour because that guy could’ve thrown a fit that his inflatable wasn’t up, and that could’ve blown up the whole reunion right there.

I remember Layne [Staley, vocals] also said – because people were painted like KISS characters, they were wearing makeup and everything – and Layne in between songs looks at the audience, he’s like, ‘What the fuck’s wrong with you people? How come no one’s painted to look like me?’

And they’re all like, ‘Boo!’ I put a little more gas on the fire by hacking ‘Beth,’ and yeah, there were some riffs of their songs in between, Jerry knows a bunch of KISS tunes…After we’re done playing and we’re leaving the stage, they were getting ready to go on and they’re all standing there in their monster costumes and everything and they’re like, ‘Hey, how’s the show?’

I remember just looking at them because I was in the KISS Army when I was a kid, I believed that they were from space and shit, and I couldn’t handle it. I remember looking at them and just going, ‘I can’t do this.’ It’s just like – I couldn’t absorb it. [Laughs] It was a pretty cool thing.”

Jerry: We went up to the soundboard to watch them and it was like being transported to being that kid, and it was so cool. It’s like the first show of the tour, and like Sean said, a couple of things weren’t working out, like, usually, it takes a couple of gigs to get the band tight and all that.

But, you know, they were good. I remember specifically, I think we all had the same experience looking at each other like, ‘Fuck, man.’ It’s like being 11-12 years old again, we just played in front of them.

Ultimate-Guitar transcribed Cantrell and Kinney’s comments.

Alice In Chains Detroit 1996 Setlist:
Again
God Am
Sludge Factory
We Die Young
Them Bones
Angry Chair (Preceded by Beth tease)
Would?
A Little Bitter (Preceded by Detroit Rock City tease)
Dam That River
Man in the Box