By: Will Bavinger
Stone Temple Pilots :: 07.27.08 :: Qualcomm Stadium :: San Diego, CA
The Stone Temple Pilots' reunion tour brought the band back to their roots, San Diego, California. For nearly two hours fans were reminded that this was once, in Scott Weiland's words, "the greatest fucking rock 'n' roll band in the world." Though this statement would be hard to debate in their prime, one thing is for certain, until STP can put a leash on their infamous frontman, they may never return to their former glory. But, there just may not be enough time for that to happen.
Stone Temple Pilots|
With an epic marquee that also included Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Wolfmother, fans that braved the $50 general admission were rewarded for their investment and perseverance. An estimated 5,000 people gathered on the green at Qualcomm Stadium hoping to hear their favorite songs. Put a checkmark in that column. STP's setlist included favorites like, "Plush", "Wicked Garden", "Interstate Love Song," "Crackerman," "Sex Type Thing" and not to be overlooked, the megaphone classic "Dead and Bloated."
So, we had the band we all wanted to see and we had the original lineup all together onstage for the first time in seven years. We were in the city where the band originally built their fan base playing local strip clubs. We even had the songs we wanted to hear. So, why were people seen leaving early? Weiland.
His erratic behavior has long been chronicled, as have the breakups of his former bands (STP, Velvet Revolver). When he is on, Weiland is one of best frontman in the modern rock age. His flamboyant presence and dynamic vocals have proven to captivate audiences for over two decades. However, when he is off, the band doesn't seem to have the same energy that inspires fans to bleed their wallets for a night of legendary rock. San Diego experienced the later Weiland.
Look, I don't know what happened. I don't know if Weiland strained his voice rocking out at the Greek Theatre on Friday night. I don't know if he was coming down with a cold. And I'm certainly not saying that there was any inappropriate behavior. All I am saying is that it was obvious that his voice was hurting right off the bat.
The good news was the rest of the band, which wrote the music to these songs, was on. Guitarist Dean DeLeo, bassist Robert DeLeo and drummer Erik Kretz were in full effect. The better news was that Weiland pulled it together by the end, and for those of us that stuck around, we were rewarded with something special. I obviously feel that Weiland wasn't all he could be, but time was on our side. Starting with "Dead and Bloated," the band seemed to hit their stride. Weiland's voice had loosened up and the rock was flowing. By the end of the show we all wanted more. The place had erupted with energy.
It's entirely unlikely that this go round is going to be any different for the band. And it's likely only a matter of time before news leaks to the press about some sordid affair. My advice to you: go see STP while you can. They have the music and they have the talent, and when they are on, it is truly one of the greatest rock 'n' roll shows out there.
Stone Temple Pilots are on tour now, dates available here.
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