I was worried when I heard that Weiland tickets were reduced to $10 last week.
I know the economy is bad. I know that he’s going through his musician’s mid-life crisis where he just wants to jam and be on his own. I know that the album this tour is promoting and is a result of said crisis is slightly forgettable.
But this is Scott Weiland. STP fronting, Velvet Revolver fronting, stellar front man Weiland.
Despite all this, a good sized crowd showed up. However, it was definitely the $10 crowd; oddly heavily stocked with Cougars, along with men who looked like they belonged at a sports event and those that were still living in the nineties. I didn’t give a shit about any of them though, because I got the best spot in the house- an unobstructed view at the corner of the retardedly huge barrier where I was able to jam out…
The Color Turning is on stage, a young LA band signed to Weiland’s label. Their psychedelic pop rock sound was palatable, led by a sweet-voiced singer/guitarist. There’s nothing objectionable about them, but nothing to really sink my teeth into.
Weiland’s band hits the stage, and I pray that the band isn’t absolute mediocrity like what Chris Cornell travels with on his solo binges. While there’s no DeLeo, Slash, or McKagan star power for me to glom onto, these guys are definitely interesting characters. The lead guitarist was a total head scratcher in his Jackie O specs, oddly colored silk shirt, and satin pants.
Out comes Weiland…or shall I say out dances Weiland, in all his Clint Eastwood channeling Christopher Walken in that Fatboy Slim video infamy. He immediately starts diddling with some distortion thingamajig, a takes a swig from a milky white substance that could have been straight from The Clockwork Orange.
It’s immediately apparent that tonight will consist of jams. Now, I do not normally tolerate jams, but I will for certain artists. Luckily, Weiland is one of them.
The chain smoking begins. And when Weiland smokes, it becomes part of the show; a prop. He smoked three in a row and then took a small break before picking them up again towards the end. He never touched the Korova milk again, though he had a myriad of other drinks displayed for him, all of which looked blatantly benign.
I realize that it may sound like I am monitoring Weiland’s intakes to a strain- but I am not alone in this endeavor. There is always a collective thought amongst ta crowd seeing Weiland: will he be sober tonight? Those of us who have seen both sides know it can make things interesting, even though the result is always great. And we worry, because he is one of our rock stars, and it seems that he can just never stay away from his demons.
He twirled and danced with his usual fervor, though the material fit his moves in a different way than STP’s grunge (which made the dance ironic) and VR’s everyman’s rock (which made the dance subversive). Tonight, when influences such as Burt Bacharach, Bossanova, and Bowie were mentioned, the dance suddenly fit like a glove.
The new songs sound good live. It was great to hear “Vasoline”, “Unglued”, and “Interstate Love Song”…but it particular “Atlanta”. The first three made the star band deficiency apparent, but “Atlanta” is all Weiland. And the covers, The Smith’s “Reel Around the Fountain” and Bowie’s “Fame” were fun…especially “Fame”, where he admitted to taking liberties with the lyrics.
Interesting things that occurred during the set:
– Someone threw ice at Weiland early on. He remained unphased.
– Video backdrops of the drummer playing when he left to play the keyboards. He wore Elvis glasses. It was weird.
– Weiland’s statement saying “This was the best band he ever played with”. Hrmmm…
– At the end of the regular set, they cranked a fog machine that originated from the drum kit. The bassist and the lead guitarist started playing in front of it, and it made it look like their axes were smoking. Then the guitarist fell onto his back, followed by the bassist, and the other guitarist, and Weiland, in on big musical pileup. They continued to play their instruments. It was a fun gag that I rather enjoyed.
– Bubble machines in the encore. I like bubbles, what can I say.
Weiland delivered once again. I got the setlist. And everyone who paid $10 got a helluva deal.
Scott Weiland & Band performance: 8.75/10
The Color Turning performance: 7.5/10
venue (The Grand): 7.5/10
value ($28.00 (or $10)/ticket): 8.5/10