Live Review: Stone Temple Pilots – The St. Jude Rock 'N Roll Hope Show
Thu, 02 Jul 2009 01:21:40
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Music still has the power to change the world.
Stone Temple Pilots' performance at the West Hollywood House of Blues for The St. Jude Rock 'N Roll Hope Show proved that. As soon as this charity concert became announced, it sold out. That evinces the band's power. For every screaming fan in attendance, these four legends delivered something very special.
It's not the Fourth of July just yet, but Stone Temple Pilots lit up the Sunset Strip like never before. The band crept onto the stage with the cacophonous distortion of "Silvergun Superman." Frontman Scott Weiland quickly put out his cigarette and clenched the mic with an impenetrable passion. From the first note until the last, the singer sounded flawless. Weiland looked warm in his leather jacket and dapper longsleeve button up, but Dean Deleo's wall of distortion provided an even tighter blanket around his voice during the song's crescendo. With his hair parted to the side and classy shades, Weiland looked like a '50s movie star, and this performance transcended Oscar-worthy.
The band followed their enchanting opener with a one-two hit combo of "Wicked Garden" and "Vasoline," both of which saw Weiland slinking across the stage with an undeniable swagger. Then the band slowed everything down with one of their most poignant and powerful songs, "The Big Empty." Dean Deleo's solo bled true emotion with each string bend. His fiery fretwork matched Weiland's vocal vibrancy, and the two carried the song to the heavens and back as every audience member chanted along. A psychedelic "Lounge Fly" illustrated how creative bassist Robert Deleo and drummer Eric Kretz are. They locked into an airtight groove that culled from funk, classic rock and jazz.
With a huge smile, Weiland laughed, "If it's half as fun for you as it is for us, then we're doing pretty good!" It was twice as fun for the crowd though.
The band kicked into a pulse pounding rendition of the rarely played "Army Ants." The propulsive back beat blasted forward like a freight train as Weiland screamed the refrain. Then crowd favorite "Sour Girl" took hold. Deleo shined on an epic solo that took the song to a new level.
"Interstate Love Song" and "Plush" sparked massive sing-a-longs. However, the show's best moment came during another rarity, "Seven Caged Tigers." Weiland spoke again, "This is one of those songs we haven't played in awhile." He sounded poetic on the song's refrain and all of the loss, longing and confusion in the lyrics became utterly beautiful inside the House of Blues due to his delivery. The frontman sounds better than he ever has, and as the track's rhythm buoyed his vocals, it was clear that Stone Temple Pilots are still one of the best live bands ever.
Seeing the band in such a tiny space was a treat, but seeing them play songs they haven't played in years was simply rapturous. The chemistry on stage was explosive and each and every song enthralled—especially tripped-out heavy versions of "Down" and "Sin."
They played for nearly two hours, but the momentum never stopped. They kept kicking all the way through the end. The concluding salvo of "Dead and Bloated" and "Tripping On a Hole in a Paper Heart" hypnotized. Weiland's line "I'm not dead and not for sale" was fitting. Stone Temple Pilots are not going anywhere, and that's a comforting thought.
Opener Kingsize set the stage for Stone Temple Pilots. They churned out an intense set of raw rock n' roll with style and substance. Each and every chorus hit hard, and the band definitely caught the eyes of STP fans in the house. It was a powerful set from a young group that's more than worth keeping an eye on. Big things are on the horizon for them, for sure.
Rock n' roll with a purpose is the best kind of rock n' roll. Supporting St. Jude, both bands played for an extremely good cause tonight. Stone Temple Pilots can still change the world. Just wait for it. They aren't dead or for sale.