93x presents Jerry Cantrell with Lola Colette Palace Theatre
Review and photos by Kate Klaus
The iconic Palace Theatre in downtown St. Paul, MN was the setting for the opening night of Jerry Cantrell’s Brighten tour. Singer-songwriter Lola Colette opened the evening with her beautifully soulful voice and thoughtfully crafted lyrical and musical works, which, while a somewhat unexpected contrast to the heavier works of Cantrell and Alice in Chains, set the stage for an evening of positive energy, connection, and multifaceted musicality. Her band complemented her powerful and expressive vocals and seemed to be deeply enjoying themselves as they performed a well-arranged set including a cover of “Brass in Pocket” by the Pretenders, which facilitated a connection with the crowd, most of whom probably were not familiar with her work, but almost certainly became new fans.
Being the opening night of the Brighten tour, the theater was filled with anticipation as the room darkened and filled with fog as the band began to take the stage. Jerry Cantrell emerged on stage to the opening beats of “Atone”, and the animated crowd erupted with cheers. Cantrell was joined on stage by a band of well-known stars, including drummer Gil Sharone, producer and guitarist Tyler Bates, and Dillinger Escape Plan/Black Queen/Killer Be Killed vocalist Greg Puciato, whose striking and heavy-hitting vocals blended in flawless harmonies with Cantrell. The evening’s set was a great assortment of both the slightly western-feel, country-rock elements of many of the tracks off Brighten, including “Siren Song”, “Had to Know” and “Prism of Doubt” and classic Alice in Chains favorites, including “No Excuses”, “Man in the Box”, and “Rooster”, which had the crowd roaring and on their feet. Another outstanding aspect of the night was the stunning light show, which had spiderweb patterns and strobes bouncing off the ornate Palace Theatre walls. Cantrell and the entire band seemed to be reveling in the opportunity to be performing again, with amusing banter with the crowd, massive energy brought to the stage, and a memorable set that was a spectacular opening to the Brighten tour.