An Alice in Chains Tour of Seattle

In Seattle, musical landmarks are as much of an attraction as Pike Place Market or The Great Seattle Wheel. Along with Pearl Jam and Heart, Alice in Chains is one of the Seattle bands that you can still hear on constant rotation on rock radio and who are still touring as a major headlining act. This Alice in Chains tour of Seattle is arranged in chronological order as much as possible. Here are 14 places you can still visit.

CENTRAL SALOON

The Crocodile

Layne Staley

THE MOORE THEATRE

London Bridge

Hard Rock Cafe

Blue Moon Tavern

MoPOP

Space Needle

International Fountain

Gas Works Park

Easy Street

Paramount

Gas Works Park

Located in Seattle’s Northlake neighborhood, Gas Works Park is where Alice in Chains had their first-ever photo shoot in 1990. The 19.1-acre park along Lake Union is also the setting for Steve’s marriage proposal to Linda in the 1992 Cameron Crowe film Singles. Spoiler alert: she says yes.

There are clips of Alice in Chains playing “It Ain’t Like That” and “Would,” the live versions of which are available on the Singles Soundtrack Deluxe Edition. Gas Works Park was also the original venue for the Pearl Jam headlined Drop in the Park Show in 1992. It was later moved to Magnuson Park.

The towers are surrounded by a double fence, making it impossible to recreate the photo shoot without advanced editing techniques. But it’s still an essential stop on any Alice in Chains tour of Seattle

Central Saloon

One of the last grand old saloons, The Central, dates back to the 1890s. The venue opened just three years after the great fire. Before Alice in Chains, Nirvana, and Soundgarden headlined arenas and festivals worldwide, they all played at the Central. The venue is similar in size to the former CBGB and still hosts bands. The walls are lined with photos and concert flyers from the days that led up to the brief period when Seattle seemed like the center of the musical universe. Andrew Wood, who was the inspiration for the AIC song “Would?,” gave his final performance here in March of 1990.

Nearest light rail station: Pioneer Square

London Bridge Studio

 The first four Alice in Chains recordings were done at London Bridge Studio. Those two full-length albums and two EPs combined sold more than 12 million copies, with only the four-song Sap peaking at gold. All four are mounted on the wall, mixed among Pearl Jam’s TenTemple of the Dog, and Soundgarden’s Louder Than Love

One-hour guided tours are available on Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays for $55. London Bridge Studio is located in Shoreline, 13 miles north of Belltown. Local tour guide Eric Magnuson does driving tours that include London Bridge.

El Corazon (formerly the Off Ramp Cafe)

The former Off Ramp Café is most well known as the small Seattle venue where Mookie Blaylock played their first show on October 22, 1990. The following year, they (renamed Pearl Jam) opened for Alice in Chains on their Facelift tour. AIC played two headlining shows here between August 1990 and February 1991, which you can find rough footage of on YouTube

The building is still there, but it’s been renamed El Corazon. If you search for it on Google Maps and find Funhouse, it’s the same building. And you can still catch shows at both venues today. Both spots were among the more than two dozen participating venues that hosted shows as part of the second annual Cloudbreak, which is a 21-day Seattle music festival started in 2022. 

Nearest light rail station: Westlake

The Paramount Theatre

The Paramount has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1974. Alice in Chains has played here at least four times between 1991 and 2016

Nearest light rail station: Westlake

Easy Street Records

Dating back to 1988, when CDs started to replace vinyl and cassettes, Easy Street is an independent record store located in West Seattle. It also serves as a café and special occasion performance venue. Yes, this densely packed music store has hosted over 500 in-store performances. 

Easy Street is an essential stop on any Alice in Chains tour of Seattle because it’s where the Dirt record release party was held. At midnight, on April 29, 1992, Owner Matt Vaughan opened the store to sell the first of what would eventually be 5 million copies of the band’s best-known album to date.

The Moore Theatre

Dating back to 1907, the Moore is the oldest Seattle theatre still in use. Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden played there before they headlined arenas and stadiums. If you want to see a healthier-looking and more energetic Layne Staley, check out the Alice in Chains Live Facelift concert film from December 1990. Less than five years later, Mad Season (a Seattle grunge supergroup fronted by Staley) recorded their only concert film, Live at the Moore, in the same venue. It was their final show and Staley’s final performance in his home city. He died of an overdose in his University District apartment less than seven years later.

Free tours of the venue are available on the second Saturday of every month. For paid, customizable tours, check out Eric Magnuson’s Seattle Grunge Redux

Nearest light rail station: Westlake

Blue Moon Tavern

Layne Staley rarely appeared in public during the final five years of his life. Very few pictures (and no video) exist past the date of his final live performance in Kansas City, where Alice in Chains opened for Kiss on their 1996 reunion tour.

While there are no authorized Layne Staley books, Alice in Chains: The Untold Story is well-researched and mentions a waterproofing company employee who saw him a couple times at the Rainbow Tavern. A couple of other interviewees corroborated these sightings, dated from late 2001 to early 2002. That University District address is now occupied by Ladd & Lass Brewing, adjacent to the Blue Moon Tavern.

Nearest light rail station: University of Washington

Layne Staley’s Final Residence

Layne Staley spent his final years as a recluse in his University District apartment. We know that he made regular ATM withdrawals and used some of the cash to support the habit that he often sang about and which claimed his life in April 2002. Despite him being 6′ tall, Staley’s body reportedly weighed just 86 lbs at the time of his death. He had been decomposing for roughly two weeks by the time his body was found. The coroner’s report put his date of death around April 5, which is exactly eight years after Kurt Cobain.

Today, there’s a Preschool and Women’s Health Clinic on the ground floor. Staley lived on the 5th floor, which is off-limits to non-residents. There’s nothing commemorating him on the property, but you can get the address from a quick Google search. In 2019, the city of Seattle declared August 22 (his birthday) Layne Staley Day. The Crocodile hosts the annual Layne Staley Tribute around his birthday.

Nearest light rail station: University of Washington

International Fountain

On the evening of April 20, 2002, a fan-organized vigil was held for Layne Staley at the International Fountain. The surviving Alice in Chains band members were among the more than 200 attendees, along with Chris Cornell and Susan Silver. The private service was held at Kiana Lodge on Bainbridge Island.

The public memorial service for Mike Starr was held at the International Fountain on March 20, 2011, immediately following the private service at MoPOP.

Nearest light rail station: Seattle Center Monorail (connection from Westlake)

Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP)

In November 2016, the former Experience Music Project rebranded itself as the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP). Jerry Cantrell’s G&L Rampage “blue dress” is among the guitars on display here. A private memorial service for Mike Strarr was held at MoPOP on March 20, 2011, 12 days after his death. 

Nearest light rail station: Seattle Center Monorail (connection from Westlake)

The Crocodile

The former Crocodile Café has hosted a who’s who of major music acts. Layne Staley’s side project, Mad Season, played their first live show there as The Gacy Bunch. 

After closing in December of 2007, the venue reopened as The Crocodile less than two years later under new ownership. Current investors include Sean Kinney and former Alice in Chains manager (Chris Cornell’s ex-wife) Susan Silver. AIC played a secret gig here to mark the release of their 2018 Rainier Fog album

The venue has since moved to the corner of 1st Avenue and Wall Street and still hosts a variety of shows. Among the Charles Peterson photos of 90s Seattle music icons, you’ll find one of a healthier-looking Layne Staley. The Crocodile hosts an annual Layne Staley Tribute around his birthday in late August.

Nearest light rail station: Westlake

Space Needle

To promote their 2018 album Rainier Fog, Alice in Chains played an acoustic set in the Space Needle’s glass floor 500-foot observation deck. The four-song, 35-minute show marked the first time a band played the Space Needle and the first time that Alice in Chains played “Fly” live. 

Nearest light rail station: Seattle Center Monorail (connection from Westlake)

Hard Rock Cafe

The Hard Rock Cafe in Seattle has Sean Kinney’s drums displayed at the entrance/foyer. There’s even an Alice in Chains section to the left (after you enter) with framed magazine covers and a guitar signed by all four members.

You’ll have to get here no later than December 1, as the location is set to close

Nearest light rail station: Westlake

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An Alice in Chains Tour of Seattle

This post was sponsored by Visit Seattle. I stayed at the Kimpton Palladian Hotel, conveniently located across the street from the Moore Theatre and within walking distance of many other Seattle grunge landmarks. Kimpton properties are part of the IHG Group. By signing up for the no-annual-fee IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card via this link, you can earn up to 80,000 bonus points.

All pictures were shot with my Sony RX100 VI compact digital camera, with the exception of any Instagram pics. If you’d like to support this site at no additional cost, you can do your Amazon shopping via our link.

Planning a trip to Seattle? Any Alice in Chains tour spots I missed? Feel free to leave a comment below!