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10th Annual Layne Staley Tribute Set for August

Frank Micelotta, Getty Images

The 10th annual tribute to the late, great Alice in Chains vocalist Layne Staley, who passed away in April 2002 at the tender age of 34 after years of addiction struggles, is set for this August in the Seattle/Tacoma area. It’s a massive celebration, as five days of events and performances have been planned to remember the singer whose definitive voice marked the grunge era of rock ‘n’ roll.

A week’s worth of celebration is certainly warranted, especially since most rockers will remember the fact that Staley’s death was a footnote during media reports, while the tragic death of TLC’s Left Eye a few weeks later received hours upon hours of nonstop coverage.

At the August tribute, Staley’s work in Alice in Chains and Mad Season will be honored, as will the entire grunge genre.

The schedule of events for the tribute week is set to unfold as follows:

A memorial gathering will be held a the Seattle Center International Fountain by the historic Space Needle on Wednesday, Aug. 22, which would have been the singer’s 45th birthday. A candlelight vigil and quiet time will be held for fans who want to reflect and share memories of Staley. Acoustic performances are welcome. An acoustic jam session at Floyd’s Place in Queen Anne will take place after.

A weekend warm-up show will be held on Thursday, Aug. 23 at Pioneer Square’s historic Central Saloon in downtown Seattle. Local musician Johnny Smokes will perform with his one-man band, offering tracks by fellow local artists ranging from Nirvana to Deathcab for Cutie.

On Friday, Aug. 24, the Backstage Bar & Grill will feature Alice in Chains/Mad Season and Soundgarden/Temple of the Dog cover bands, dubbed Jar of Flies and Outshined, respectively.

More tribute acts will perform at the Crocodile on Aug. 25, such as Pearl Jam cover band Vitalogy, along with Outshined and Jar of Flies performing again.

The tribute festivities will close on Sunday, Aug. 26 at the Hard Rock Café in downtown Seattle. All three tribute acts will perform acoustically.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Therapeutic Health Services of Washington.


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