Live Review: Stone Temple Pilots — San Manuel Casino, Highland, Ca
Fri, 23 Oct 2009 10:42:26
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Sometimes, nothing needs to be said.
That was the case last night when Stone Temple Pilots played the San Manuel Casino in Highland, CA. The typically talkative Scott Weiland didn't speak much between songs. In fact, the enigmatic frontman took on a Clint Eastwood posture, with his scruffy visage, wild hair and undeniably cool jean and blazer combo. Weiland didn't need to utter a word, because he and his band mates once again proved that they are one of the greatest rock n' roll bands of all time.
Opening track "Silvergun Superman" swung from hazy psychedelic distortion into warm melodic bliss. Dean DeLeo's Gibson crunched, crushed and curled around Robert DeLeo's bass thud. As Eric Kretz hit each cymbal, Stone Temple Pilots opened up a doorway into better days for rock n' roll. They sonically conjured pain, paranoia, passion and power all in the first song. This must've been what it was like to see Led Zeppelin back in the day—watching four distinct artists focused on bleeding together on stage.
There was no shortage of classic songs on the set list. "Wicked Garden" and "Vasoline" carried a timeless fervor, resounding through the casino ballroom as the packed crowd sang every word. "Big Empty" could've served as the soundtrack to a classic film noir or the end of the world. Weiland's voice vibrantly brought the song to life. He gripped the microphone with an unwavering conviction as he channeled the song's refrain from the depths of his soul. Weiland's one of the few frontmen that can bare raw emotion, while preserving true rock star swagger. He's even gotten better at it over the years, and there wasn't a dry eye in the house as the final words, "Conversations kill," poured through the P.A.
"Army Ants" and "Crackerman" kept Weiland dancing, as he flawlessly nailed each and every note. DeLeo had a guitar god moment, as he ripped through a masterfully moody solo in the middle of "Sour Girl." In between songs, the band kept jamming, so even though much wasn't said, the music never stopped. During "Interstate Love Song," highway footage behind the band propelled everything forward, while "Plush" made the audience explode with the evening's loudest sing-a-long.
"Down" felt atomic, while "Sex Type Thing" and "Unglued" oozed sex and raw attitude. "Dead and Bloated" cackled with a foreboding fire. Weiland screamed for the final few times, but it wasn't in fear. His screams were the battle cry of a band revived, reborn and ready to continue their legendary legacy.
"Trippin' On a Hole In a Paper Heart" capped everything off triumphantly, and Stone Temple Pilots took a bow for Southern California. There's been a lot written about Stone Temple Pilots, since they're reunion in 2008—I've done about ten pieces myself. However, there's no amount of words to adequately describe just how magical they've been at each and every show.
Nothing really could be said…
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