Covid forced fans to miss out on a great event last year. It was an understandable decision due to the health concerns related to Covid – even if it was a painful decision to make. But thankfully we were able to rekindle our love for the music and dynamic of Layne Staley and his legacy again this year!
It was time to bring this classic Seattle Sound to a legendary venue! The Seattle Theater Group did a great job of renovating the theater. The backstage area hums with the vibe of the early 20th century, with its labyrinth of hallways and stairs. The stage itself is a perfect size for the tribute, and artist access to it was easy.
Opening set was by Ten Miles Wide, bringing their artistic brand of local rock to the stage and an enthusiastic throng of fans!
Their energetic set also included guest vocalist Ayesha Brooks of Karmic Unrest – who performed Lifeless Dead with them.
Her strong voice added a layer of soulful emotion to the already-powerful song – almost like she was meant to sing it all along!
Of course no Layne tribute would be complete without an appearance by his wonderful mother Nancy McCallum!
She has done so much for people in our community who struggle with addiction. Her kind voice of compassion is fueled by her love for others and the stark knowledge her late son’s inner demons. She remains his strongest defender and advocate.
And her consistent participation in this annual event is a very welcome part of the show.
After Nancy performed her duet with Layne for the song “Wake Up,” Jar Of Flies hit the stage to bring the crowd nearly two hours of fantastic music!
Guest vocalist Jason C Kertson helped launch the set.
Keven James Hoffman and Glenn Cannon also graced the stage after that, bringing their own audio signatures to the celebration!
Of course the crowd was waiting for Brendan Maier to hit the stage, and bring AIC to a whole new level!
Brendan belted out his soul in a voice that could have been Layne reincarnated. He is always a great draw to these shows because of his strength and movements on stage; Brendan is a master at engaging the crowd – even when they are behind a crowd fence 6 feet away from the stage.
But the night didn’t end with Brendan!
Chase Culp of Aisha, Iron Dragon & The Crying Spell, James Bergstrom of Second Coming, Jake Carden of Ten Miles Wide, Joe Butterfield of Wave Armory, and Jay Smith of Late September Dogs all mounted the stage to play and pay tribute to the music of AIC. Travis Bracht of Travis Bracht Music, Second Coming & Bruiser Brody also helped close out the show that left everyone entirely spent!
Friends, family, fans, admirers and lovers of Seattle music are blessed to have a live event of this magnitude, and thankfully it happened before King County started tightening the reins once again – in the face of an increasing number of Covid cases. A celebration for the life and legacy of Layne Staley becomes more important each year, as we realize what we’ve known deep down for long time – that the Seattle Sound is one that is filled with an amazing ability to channel pain into songs. This celebration at the historic Neptune Theatre was certainly one for the books and for our ears.
Hope to see you next year!
All videos captured by Cindy Cavins of Nehi Stripes Seattle