Museum of Pop Culture
“Founders Award 2020”
Alice in Chains opened the show with “Your Decision” off their comeback record “Black Gives Way To Blue” and throughout the show the band members walked through the Museum of Pop Culture explaining The Museum, showing off stage used guitars from Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain, the original Wicked Witch hat from the “The Wizard of Oz” as well as the Necronomicon aka the Book of the Dead from the “Evil Dead” movie.
“Hey Joe” made famous by Jimi Hendrix was performed on a light rail acoustically by Jerry Cantrell in the beginning of the program.
“Would?” was performed twice: Korn’s version was lackluster but did feature the band performing the song together as a band in the same room. Metallica’s version was unplugged and featured the band members performing it apart. The elephant in the room during Metallica’s performance was Kirk Hammett’s appearance. Kirk wore a bizarre hat and was shirtless displaying his large chest tattoo and man boob prominently.
Earlier in the day Jerry Cantrell and Sean Kinney made an appearance on the Eddie Trunk show and when Trunk asked Cantrell if Alice in Chains had been working on new music Cantrell stated that prior to the Pandemic that Alice in Chains had planned to take 2020 off so the individual members could work on other projects. Cantrell had planned on focusing on his solo material for 2020 and performed a few solo shows before Covid shut everything down.
Billy Corigan’s version of “Check My Brain” was exactly what you would expect.
The best song of the night was “Angry Chair” and featured Tad on vocals. Kim Thayil and Mike McCready swapped lead guitar licks during the solo and Matt Cameron was on drums.
Shooter Jennings and Duff McKagan performed a cover of “Down in A Hole” which was mellow and touching.
Ann Wilson from Heart performed an intense version of “Rooster” and after you hear her version of the song you will never hear the original quite the same again.
Fishbone’s interpretation of “Them Bones” was amazing, unique, and inspiring.
“Again” by Mastodon was dark, deep, and stayed true to the original version for the most part.
“Man in The Box” was performed briefly by Les Claypool from Primus and in it’s entirety by an Allstar band which featured Dave Navarro on guitar, Corey Taylor on vocals, and Taylor Hawkins on drums. The Taylor/Navarro song was possibly the strongest performance of the night.
Chris Cornell’s daughter performed “Black Gives Way To Blue” with former Queensryche guitarist Chris DeGarmo accompanying her. Susan Silver, Chris Cornell's ex-wife told a touching story of how her daughter asked Jerry Cantrell what the song was about. This performance was DeGarmo’s first major appearance onstage in years. DeGarmo was rarely seen up close and remained hidden in the shadow for most of the performance.
“Black Gives Way To Blue” was later performed acoustically by an acoustic duo at the end of the show.
There was a touching moment when Chris Cornell’s Mom and all of his siblings told stories about growing up and witnessing the rise of Alice in Chains. Peter Cornell told a story of how he and brother Chris Cornell picked up a "Hippie looking guy" named Ed Vedder on their way to check out Alice In Chains at a local Seattle show.
Alice in Chains closed the show performing “No Excuses” and when the band received their award they cut to segments of Jerry and Sean presenting awards to the family of Layne Staley and Mike Starr.
This award show delivered a unique line up of performers paying tribute to Alice In Chains and this accolade was well deserved for the band.