Live Review: Stone Temple Pilots — Nokia Theatre, Los Angeles
Mon, 01 Nov 2010 07:45:14
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Friday Night at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, Stone Temple Pilots practically set the stage ablaze.
Firing on all cylinders, the band's chemistry was palpable, poetic and powerful. The fire they wielded is something that all legendary bands intrinsically possess, but it's so rare in this day and age. However, that's exactly what makes Stone Temple Pilots the most important and impactful American rock 'n' roll band of the past two decades.
As the lights dimmed, Scott Weiland, Dean DeLeo, Robert DeLeo and Eric Kretz slyly took to the center of the stage. Scott stepped on a raised platform. With his signature megaphone in hand, he began windmilling like Pete Townsend, revving up the crowd as Dean ignited the opening to "Crackerman." His raw and rugged riff steamrolled like a freight train in tandem with Robert's rumbling bass and Eric's elegant bashing. Scott sang pristinely, plowing through the anthemic refrain. As the screen behind the band blurred all kinds of psychedelic visuals, it was a unified and unique sensory assault for the next 90-plus minutes that made for a night no one in attendance would ever forget.
"Wicked Garden" grew from Dean's impenetrable riffing into a massive sing-a-long that circulated throughout the whole venue. Channeling Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, Scott and Dean stood back-to-back during an incendiary lead. As the song culminated on one final crescendo, the two hugged, and that understated but warm moment set the tone for the rest of the evening.
Tearing through an intricate and invigorating bass line, Robert epitomized cool, emanating genuine swagger as he nailed each note on Purple classic "Vasoline." "Heaven and Hot Rods" drove the audience into a state of aural bliss with its seesawing rhythm and chugging chorus. The first single from their 2010 self-titled album, "Between the Lines," exploded with the same energy that made Core so dangerously unforgettable. During an awe-inspiring solo from Dean, Scott was on his knees singing his very soul out. No bands bleeds quite like Stone Temple Pilots do.
"Hickory Dichotomy" flew on the wings of Dean's slide solo as Eric churned out an impeccably countrified beats. "Still Remains" started with dreamy guitar swells reminiscent of '50s surf tones. Dean played a wah'ed out opening, and the band stood bathed in blue lights. The song conjured an eerie beauty as Scott sang, "If you should die before me ask if you can bring a friend." A mind-blowing jam capped the song off with Dean once again proving his guitar god status.
Scott sounded divine on current single "Cinnamon Girl." With its swirling and sweet hook, the song touted a gorgeous melody like only Stone Temple Pilots could create. The singer continued to shine on "The Big Empty." Scott transcendently carried the hook with an unshakable delivery. A spacey take on Led Zeppelin's "Dancing Days" stirred up massive cheers, and it showed just how creative STP truly are, breathing new life into the timeless tune.
Smiling at the audience, Scott announced, "We're going to step things up a little bit."
At that, the band kicked into "Silvergun Superman," which practically shook downtown Los Angeles to its very core via its Black-Sabbath-meets-David-Bowie breakdown. Epic renditions of "Plush" and "Interstate Love Song" dissolved into "Down," careening with a calculated chaos and another sing-a-long.
Another classic moment came during "Dead and Bloated." Scott's ten-year-old son Noah stepped out on stage with his dad and gave the intro to the track via through the megaphone. The song ravaged the senses paving the way for set closer "Trippin' on a Hole in a Paper Heart." The final chorus of "I'm not dead and I'm not for sale" rang loudly, and the band proceeded to take one final bow with all of their kids on stage.
Watching Stone Temple Pilots is an experience. It's like a classic film that could burn up the celluloid it's so goddamn good.
Were you there?
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