AN EVENING WITH JERRY CANTRELL
@ THE GRAMMY MUSEUM, LOS ANGELES (CA)
DECEMBER 1, 2021
To celebrate the release of his first studio album in nearly two decades, Jerry Cantrell took the stage at The Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, California for a livestreamed Q&A and concert event. Presented as An Evening With Jerry Cantrell, this virtual concert experience marks Cantrell’s first performance since the release of Brighten on October 29, 2021 and was a triumphant celebration of his work.
An Evening With Jerry Cantrell kicked off with a brief introduction from comedian host Jeff Garland as Cantrell and his six-piece band took the stage to perform. The band consisted most notably of Dillinger Escape Plan’s Greg Puciato on backing vocals, guitarist Tyler Bates, and Gil Sharone on drums. Their set opened with the jangly lead single, “Atone”, a song which has truly come to life on stage in a far greater sense than the already strong studio performance. A masterpiece of songwriting, watching “Atone” in a live setting was a definite highlight for the entire show. The set continued forward with “Brighten”, “Siren Song”, “Prism Of Doubt”, and “Black Hearts And Evil Done”. The band performed as a tight unit, with Puciato’s backing vocals providing lush and haunting layers atop of the ensemble. Cantrell soars as both lead singer and lead guitarist at the centre of the stage. Vocally and instrumentally, his tones are refined, and his performance is that of a master of his craft. Cantrell and his band did a fantastic job at recreating the sound and energy of Brighten while also breathing a new sense of life into the music.
After their stellar performance, Garland returned to the stage to interview Cantrell on Brighten. Their discussion focused on the writing and recording process behind the album and the formation of the rotating studio lineup featured on Brighten. After some jokes – more jokes than questions really – Garland passed the mic on to a handful of audience members, allowing them to ask Cantrell some questions. Oddly enough, the audience questions proved to be more insightful than Garlands, touching on Cantrell’s choice to cover Elton John’s “Goodbye”, how Cantrell and Puciato first connected, releasing a record independently, among other things. The key – or at least the most surprising – takeaway from the Q&A: Cantrell and Garland are only acquaintances, not quite friends; however, the two of them, along with Michael Bublé, Duff McKagan, and opera singer Michael Fabiano are in the same fantasy football league. To close out the night following the Q&A with the audience, the band performed through Alice In Chains’ “No Excuses”, a unique performance of the classic track as the song was further developed through the lush and tasteful addition of slide guitar and keyboards.
Over the course of an hour and a half, An Evening With Jerry Cantrell was a true celebration of Cantrell and Brighten. The interview and Q&A portion provided a level of insight into the making of the record and Cantrell’s creative process. Ultimately, the highlight of the night was watching Cantrell and his band power through over half the album for the very first time, along with their performance of “No Excuses”. The fact that this event could be streamed live made this milestone all that much more thrilling and should leave fans excited for Cantrell and company to hit the road on their 2022 tour.