It was a cool and rainy night in Baltimore, very reminiscent of Seattle, and Jerry Cantrell and his band hit the stage at Ram’s Head Live to chants of “Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!”
Ram’s Head Live! Baltimore. 8 April 2022
Words and Photography: Mick Sprouse
Effortlessly harmonising with Baltimore native and former lead singer of Dillinger Escape Plan, Greg Puciato, Jerry covered songs by Alice in Chains and songs from his solo albums, including the impressive new release Brighten.
Opening with Alice In Chains Them Bones and following up with Psychotic Break from his second solo album, Degradation Trip, Jerry had the multi-generational crowd, ranging from graybeards to youngsters that could have been their grandkids, singing along to nearly every song.
Cantrell’s and Puciato’s two voices worked especially well together when reaching back to the Boggy Depot album with a pair of songs, the hauntingly beautiful My Song and the rocker Cut You In.
After those, Jerry was grinning and looking up at the fans standing throughout the multiple levels of the Ram’s Head and said it looked like a layer cake. “A layer cake of rock ‘n’ roll.”
The band invited the young songstress, Lola Collette, to sing with Jerry on the old school country-tinged Black Hearts And Evil Done, complete with pedal steel guitar. Afterwards, Jerry seemed to be humbled and appreciative of the crowd’s enthusiastic reaction to this song from Brighten, his latest musical offering.
“We learnt a few things along the way,” Jerry told MetalTalk last year about the new album, “making this a full indie production. It was super organic and made with friends, and you can hear that.”
Keeping the night’s rock and roll moving, they then mixed Alice In Chains songs like Right Turn, It Ain’t Like That, Got Me Wrong, and the creepy Your Decision, with Cantrell solos Had To Know and Between.
For the finale of the set, Greg and Jerry encouraged the crowd to sing the Alice In Chains favourite, Would? When the song ended, Jerry thanked the fans, and the band left the stage, with “Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!” chants again ringing in their ears!
After the requisite break, the band returned for the encore, starting with Atone from Jerry’s latest album, Brighten. This was followed up with a pair of Alice in Chains favourites, Man In The Box and Rooster, before ending the night with a cover of Elton John’s Goodbye.
This was a great, well-received show. Jerry certainly is a master of his craft, and both his vocals and guitar playing are wonderfully refined. Backed by a wonderfully skilful band, the five tracks from the new album Brighten were wonderful songs added to a set-list that spans 30 years of music.
Tonight marked an impressive new chapter of an already remarkable career.
Jerry Cantrell Setlist
Sea of Sorrow
Cut You In
Black Hearts and Evil Done
Had to Know
It Ain’t Like That
Got Me Wrong
Man in the Box
Goodbye (Elton John cover)