Robby Krieger and Alex Lifeson lit up the stage on Monday, 24 October, at the Medlock-Krieger All-Star Concert when they joined forces for an epic performance of the Santana classic Evil Ways.
Hosted at Bogie’s Westlake Village Inn, California, the event was held in memory of Scott Medlock, Krieger’s friend and co-founder of the Medlock-Krieger Foundation, and raised money for various charities including the Pat Tillman Foundation, Colontown/PalTown Development Foundation ad Cancer Support Community.
As in past years, when the likes of KISS’s Tommy Thayer, Lukas Nelson and Richie Sambora have turned up to jam, there were no shortage of big names onstage. The evening welcomed the return of the Cars’ Elliot Easton and Orianthi, but one of the highlights of the night – captured in the fan-shot footage below – arrived when the Doors met Rush on Santana’s Evil Ways, with Krieger and Lifeson on guitar, and Santana’s Andy Vargas handling lead vocals and tambourine.
With Lifeson playing a Les Paul, Krieger on his Gibson SG, the pair took turns on rhythm and lead. Krieger cuts loose first a fusion-style lead before busting out the slide half-way through.
Other guests on the night included former Chicago drummer and co-founder Danny Seraphine, singer Haley Reinhart, and the comedian Mark Eddie. But look closely at the video above, there’s another Doors connection, with Dan Rothchild wearing the Joan Jett t-shirt and playing bass guitar. Dan is the son of Paul A Rothchild, who produced the Doors’ first five albums.
Speaking to Total Guitar in 2020, Krieger said the band were in awe of Rothchild at the time, and looked on him as a mentor.
“We loved Paul,” Krieger said. “When I learned that he was going to produce us, I was really excited. I thought that was amazing. In fact, he was my favorite producer way from before The Doors, because I had been listening to the stuff he produced when I was in high school, like the Paul Butterfield Band, the Even Dozen Jug Band and there was an album called The Blues Project that he did with all kinds of cool and unknown players – at least to us on the west coast. the Even Dozen Jug Band… He really did help us on the first three or four albums because we had never recorded before. He taught us a lot.”
The Medlock-Krieger All-Star Concert was the latest in a string of guest appearances for Alex Lifeson. Most recently, the guitarist performed some Rush classics alongside Geddy Lee and Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl at the Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concerts, first at London’s Wembley Stadium, then in Los Angeles. In August, the Rush legends reunited to play Closer To The Heart at a concert celebrating the 25th anniversary of South Park, with the show’s co-creater Matt Stone playing drums.
Lifeson has also kept himself busy with his Envy Of None project. Speaking to MusicRadar, he described the band's eponymous debut, his first after Rush disbanded, as a "life saver" that got him back in love with playing again.
“I came to realise, with this project – especially in the last year where we’ve really focused on it – for me, it was a life saver,” Lifeson said. “It was a kind of renaissance for me. I got back into playing on a much more regular basis, I looked forward to the songwriting, I really wanted to do my very best and be innovative with what I was doing.
“All of those things that relit my reason for living happened, and now I’m clearing the past of a lot of things in my life, and I’m looking forward to the sparkly things on the horizon that are catching my interest. This has definitely been the key for me.”