I really enjoyed the Stone temple Pilots concert tonight at The Venue in Hammond, Indiana.
I hadn’t seen singer/frontman Scott Weiland in a few years and I was worried that he might be looking disturbingly thin or strung out, but at this weekend’s show, Scott looked very healthy and fit. Scott’s face and entire physique looked filled out, muscular, robust and youthful again. Weiland impressed us with his fantastic pitch perfect rock voice and it was a pleasure to see and hear him sing.
Especially after the recent loss of musician, Amy Winehouse, it is never pleasant to witness the descent of someone with so much depth of emotion and real talent self-destructing over time and in front of you on the stage.
Tonight’s performance was just the opposite as Weiland, a childhood abuse survivor, with bipolar disorder, and a great dancer, moved sinuously and with flowing ease through the band’s hit list.
Scott referred to his drug dependency in his memoir, "Not Dead and Not for Sale",
"I was running wild during the second Velvet Revolver tour [in 2007]... At the beginning of the tour, I was okay, but then a single line of coke in England did the trick. I snorted it. And soon the demons were back. Thus began another decline... I was out there again, going to dangerous places to buy substances. All this was done in secret; the guys in Velvet Revolver didn't know I was using. When I told the guys that we'd have to miss a couple of gigs because I needed treatment, their reaction shocked me. They told me I'd have to pay them for those cancellations - in full. I reminded them that when they had relapsed and needed rehab, I had supported them completely. It made no difference to them.... It didn't matter that Velvet Revolver had sold some five or six million records. I was out."
It really disturbs me to hear stories like this where truly gifted musical artists like Weiland and Winehouse are pushed past the limits of their own physical and psychological endurance, whatever that level of endurance may be at the time, in order to fulfill financial obligations.
The lyrics from their hit song "Trippin’ on a Hole in a Paper Heart" … "I’m not dead and I’m not for sale…" "So keep your bankroll lottery eat your salad day deathbed motorcade" flashed on the big screen behind the band and as Scott encouraged the crowd to sing along with him. I thought that those lyrics were a perfect mantra that all gifted and often over-worked musicians should think about to remind themselves of their personal intrinsic value each night.
I loved the heavy, rolling, bass lines, Robert DeLeo, puts down as well as his brother, Dean DeLeo’s rich, crunchy, growling, psychedelic guitar sounds. Along with super solid drummer Eric Kretz, this seasoned rock band really holds it all down and lays out one of my favorite bouncing drum beats and guitar riffs in the song "Big Bang Baby".
STP touched on many favorites throughout the night including, "Vaseline", "Plush", and "Interstate Love Song" that Scott said moved him the very first time he heard it and went on to say how the band had written it in less than fifteen minutes.
Scott Weiland seriously looks ten years younger and healthier than he did in 2008 and if he keeps up whatever he’s doing healthwise, Grammy Award winning Stone Temple Pilots will be recording creative new albums and touring successfully for many, many years to come.
Stone Temple Pilots are now touring with their 2011 self-titled release and I highly recommend catching them when they come to your town.
For more information on tour dates check out their website at www.Stonetemplepilots.com.