Alice in Chains’ Jerry Cantrell does his best Hendrix impression with a grungy, wah-driven Star-Spangled Banner at a Seattle Seahawks game

Jerry Cantrell performs the Star-Spangled Banner at Lumen Field in Seattle, Washington on October 29, 2023
(Image credit: Seattle Seahawks/YouTube)

Last weekend (October 29), the Seattle Seahawks recruited Alice in Chains electric guitar hero Jerry Cantrell to perform The Star-Spangled Banner prior to their home game against the Cleveland Browns.

Though also (and more recently) a Gibson endorser, Cantrell picked up an older signature guitar of his – the G&L Jerry Cantrell Rampage – for the occasion.

Cantrell's take on the US national anthem – and indeed his choice of the Strat-style Rampage, rather than one of his signature Les Pauls – seems to indicate that another Seattle guitar hero, one James Marshall Hendrix, was on Cantrell's mind.

Though not quite as avant-garde as Hendrix's immortal Banner rendition at Woodstock, the Alice in Chains man's take on the song has more Marshall power – and certainly a lot more wah pedal – than your average sporting event national anthem performance. 

“What a great weekend, got to play the national anthem before the Seahawks game,“ Cantrell wrote of the performance on Instagram. “Hawks brought home the W at the end of a slugfest with the Browns. Very proud to have been a part of the festivities. Thank you Seattle!“ 

The up-close, HD video of Cantrell's Banner performance offers a killer look at his vibrato, and the physicality of his playing. 

In a recent interview with MusicRadar, that very physicality was discussed by Guns N' Roses bass guitar player Duff McKagan, who recruited Cantrell for a guest solo spot on I Just Don’t Know, a tune from his recent solo LP, Lighthouse.

“Jerry fights for his leads,” McKagan said. “I’ve seen so many different guitar players. Some guys can just come in and [do it]. And, ‘Wow, that’s fuckin’ amazing.’

“Jerry comes in and he fights. He fights his guitar and, by the end – by the time he gets the lead on – it’s like, ‘Wow man, that was a piece of work. I saw your brain working.’

“He fuckin’ swears,” McKagan continued. “He gets through this thing. I’ve seen him do it plenty of times, and I knew he’d do it on [I Just Don’t Know].”

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Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.