Backstage with Baldy
Boise – September 5th
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…
Some hack wrote that in a book once, and it applies to our time in Boise, so I figured I’d co-opt it for this piece.
We had two days off in Boise, which is great for me, since being from the great state of Idaho, I have family and friends there.
So while I wandered off and spent time with my Mom & my pals, the band hunkered down and found ways to entertain themselves for 48 hours, including golfing, a poker game, and a trip to the bowling alley, among other things.
Everyone had a great time on their days off, and then show day rolled around.
The great times ended when Mother Nature decided to get a flaming hot case of PMS the morning of the show, and over the course of the day this roller coaster ride of weather kept everyone wondering if there would even be a show or not.
When we arrived in the morning, it was hot and sunny, but as the day progressed, the skies turned dark and the rain moved in.
The rains didn’t start until after the doors were open, but eventually it went from normal rainfall, to an “Oh my God what in the hell is happening?” type of rain, and they pulled the plug on the second stage and moved people indoors.
Around that time I had to leave with the runner to get the band downtown at the hotel.
We got about a mile from the venue, and the rain turned into a combination of rain and marble sized hail, and as traffic ground to a halt on the freeway, it sounded like we were under attack. The hail was absolutely pelting the van and for a while I actually thought the windshield might crack.
I looked over to my right, and the side of the freeway had basically become a flash flood zone, and in a field just outside the freeway were about 8 goats that were getting their tiny little goat brains beat in by the hail, and running around trying confusedly to find shelter.
Oh, and I forgot to mention, Sean had flown home to Seattle for the days off and was flying back to Boise in the middle of this meteorological carnage.
Sean Kinney is a man’s man, and he’s not one to show fear or spew out hyperbole, so when he came to the dressing room after we’d all arrived and said that he thought he was going to die on his flight, we believed him.
I’ve made that same flight dozens of times in crappy weather over the years, and I have the soiled undergarments to prove it, so I knew firsthand what he’d just gone through.
By this time the first wave of weather passed, and although word was that a second wave was on the way, the main stage acts were still scheduled to play.
The second wave hit not long after, but it went relatively quickly and the decision was made for the show to go on.
So despite having his nerves carved down to the nub, Sean took the stage with the guys and the set went off without a hitch.
It didn’t rain again, and the fans were great.
(Especially the rail. I’ve never seen that many young kids down front before, which was cool.)
So despite Mother Nature being an absolute dick, a very hectic and stressful day ended on a high note, with another great show.
And Sean ended the night on the bus eating cheesecake instead of being stranded in the Idaho mountains forced to eat his fellow passengers after a weather related plane crash.
All’s well that ends well.
Some hack wrote that too…
Sign up to the Alice In Chains Mailing List:
Backstage With Baldy
Who knows where Thomas Edison was when he invented the phonograph? Or where Leonard Rivkin was when he invented the child safety seat? All I know is that Sean Kinney & Jerry Cantrell were backstage at the Ilosaarirock Festival in...