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Backstage with Baldy

Milwaukee – May 15th

Let’s start off by discussing something that has very little to do with Alice In Chains: Smooth jazz.

Our hotel in Milwaukee was awash in smooth jazz, from the lobby to the bar to the elevators, it was hard to escape the dulcet tones and laid back rhythms.

And let’s be honest; it really doesn’t take too much exposure to make a person want to escape from smooth Jazz.

It’s so nice and safe and harmless, but eventually it kind of makes you want to punch someone.

Or at least go across the street to the Eagles Ballroom to get some musical life breathed back into you by Alice In Chains.

That’s where about 3,500 of Wisconsin’s finest gathered to get pummeled by the antithesis of smooth jazz, and it was wonderful.

As soon as we were on the bus out of Sioux Falls the night before, William was saying how much he was looking forward to Milwaukee. We all were, because we kind of knew what to expect. And once again, Milwaukee delivered.

I don’t think anyone was surprised by how great the crowd was, but the interesting part was that they were so good that they nearly screwed things up.

As Jerry said later, “They were singing as loud or louder than us. It was overwhelming”.

So congratulations Milwaukee, you literally got inside Jerry’s head and nearly messed him up.

So what was the crowd’s reward? Hearing Phantom Limb performed live for the first time ever. Not bad. At least they couldn’t sing along, and Jerry’s head got a rest.

And finally, a few of us gathered at the hotel bar back across the street after the show. Mike had been talking to some fans, and towards the end of the night he introduced me to someone who actually takes the time to read the blog, which is nice.

During our conversation she described me as being “Jazzy”. Ironic huh?

Well, Mike took that ball and ran with it, and by the time we were on our way out of town the band had a new nickname for me.

In three short weeks thanks to our bus driver Bear and a woman in a bar, I’ve gone from Baldy to Curly to Blinky to Jazzy.

I’m gonna need a rolodex for my own nicknames pretty soon…

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