No name is not an especially small bar, but its stage is jammed into a corner to the right of the entrance, and while the proprietors have gussied it up with purple velour curtains and some eye-catching light fixtures, there’s a roadhouse vibe that will probably remind anyone performing there of their early days. While such a setting might not fit, say, Mariah Carey, in different ways it suited both Jerry Cantrell, Margo Price and rapper Gashi down to the ground at the BMG throwdown on Wednesday night.
Cantrell, the driving force of Alice in Chains, performed acoustically and accompanied by another guitarist and played two songs: “Fly,” from the group’s Grammy-nominated album “Rainier Fog,” and “Got Me Wrong” from its 1990 EP “Sap.” Cantrell (pictured below with BMG’s Hartwig Masuch, Jerry Thomas and David Benveniste) spent a good half hour greeting fans and industry admirers by the photo area after he performed.
Price, one of the most exciting country artists to emerge in the recent years, is down-home singer with a hell-raising range who also happens to be at least seven months pregnant. Perhaps for that reason, she had an incongruously palatial entrance that we don’t remember from previous times we’d seen her, with the band striking up a lively intro while a road manager with flawlessly feathered hair guided the very pregnant singer through the crowd to the stage with a flashlight —a touch that was almost comical in a venue this size.
Price gently castigated the chatty and more-than-slightly-inebriated crowd — which featured an unusual mixture of L.A. rockers with a disproportionately large number of jet-lagged and boisterous Brits — for “schmoozing” (at a label showcase during Grammy week, go figure) but captured everyone’s attention with a siren-like a cappella intro to “Tennessee Song.” She and her road-tested band then blazed through a handful of songs from her two albums (including the Grammy-nominated latest, “All American Made”) before leaving the couple hundred assembled schmoozers to the open bar; BMG recording artist Perry Farrell was seated at a booth at the back while Gashi played a loud and lively set, running out into the crowd on more than one occasion.