A lot of hotels provide a magazine or two in their guest
rooms, and usually they’re full of city and touristy information.

It’s an easy way to let out-of-towners know what to do and
see when they’re visiting the city.

But when I checked into my room here, the magazine offered
up by the Hilton Netherlands Hotel was a glossy edition of Cincinnati’s Butcher.

I’ve rolled into a lot of cities in my life, and I’ve even
been curious and sometimes excited to see what a city has to offer, but I’ve
never gotten off the bus wondering what the local meat scene is like.

I decided to leaf through it just to make sure I was seeing
things correctly, and it turns out that it was just a special edition of
Cincinnati magazine that concentrated on meat.

But I learned a lot about lower Ohio’s meat and butcher
scene, and that can’t be a bad thing.

Knowledge is power after all.

We had a day off in Cincinnati, which led to one of the more
interesting occurances of the tour so far.

Sean was out walking around when he ran into a couple of
fans.

This isn’t unusual, but when they got to talking, he
discovered that these fans were from Brazil.

And one of them was a ventriloquist.

That’s all Sean needed to hear, and he immediately invited
the guy to open the show the next night.

For several of these headlining shows we’ve had a comedian
in the opening slot, and he’s been great.

His name is Dean Delray, and he’s a funny guy.

And he’s been going over really great.

But it’s not an easy gig to open for a rock band.

So imagine that you’re a ventriloquist.

Who speaks English as a second language.

And has less than 24 hours to prepare an act.

For an audience who has no idea who you are.

Did I mention that you’re a ventriloquist?

Now that you’ve imagined all of that, you can guess how the
whole thing went over.

It was like bewilderment ran a red light and crashed into silence,
spilling a sea of discomfort and awkwardness all over the street.

I felt bad for the guy, because he was really nice and he
clearly was a big Alice In Chains fan, but I just don’t think an audience who
was fired up to see a rock concert quite knew how to respond to a Brazilian ventriloquist.

But after about 7 minutes, the stage was cleared and the dummy was packed up, and Dean
came out and did a great set and things got back on track.

Then the band came on and steamrolled the place.

It was a happy ending to a story that got off to a bit of a
rough start.

And like all great stories, there’s a lesson to be learned.

If you’re walking the streets of America and can
juggle, perform mime, or do card tricks, keep your eyes peeled for Sean Kinney.

You may get hired to open an upcoming Alice In Chains
concert.

Rainier Fog

Available August 24