Velvet Revolver – Gibson Amphitheatre, Los Angeles
Thu, 13 Dec 2007 09:10:00
Velvet Revolver Videos
"We are Velvet Revolver, and forever we will play motherfuckin' rock 'n roll," proclaimed wiry rock god Scott Weiland. That statement was quite comforting, because Velvet Revolver have far surpassed all supergroup expectations and become the epitome of "motherfuckin' rock n’ roll." Weiland's statement came three songs into the band’s sold out show at the Gibson Amphitheatre, just as the crowd had begun to sink into the set. Velvet Revolver have always represented everything great about the bands the respective members came from: namely Guns 'N Roses and Stone Temple Pilots. However, at Gibson, the band emerged as an entity beyond that pedigree.
Everything simply worked. During "Do It For the Kids," "Superhuman," and "She Mine," Slash played with the same fury and fire that made him a rock legend. Signature top hat adorning his head and a cigarette dangling from his mouth, he ripped through his leads and riffs with no regard for anything but kicking ass. He ran across the stage, and kept the energy high throughout the near two-hour show.
During "Sucker Train Blues," Duff McKagan's bass was completely edgy and foreboding, kicking the crowd into high gear as Matt Sorum bashed away on his kit in the back. After a phenomenal "American Man" from 2007's Libertad, the band pulled out Stone Temple Pilots classic "Vasoline." Weiland danced across the stage with the swagger of a born rock 'n roller, and led a huge sing-a-long. Slash transformed the song with his metallic, bluesy shredding. After that, the band slowed everything down. They sat down on stools center stage for a captivating "Last Fight" and lovelorn "Interstate Love Song." Weiland channeled the same energy from Stone Temple Pilots' early days on every note. He then announced that it was "participation time," and the band kicked off Guns' classic "Patience." The LA crowd instantly ate that up, and every word resounded through the packed house. After Slash jammed out some blues licks back-to-back with Weiland, "Set Me Free" ignited the audience again. They left the stage for just a few brief minutes, returning with an encore of "Mr. Brownstone," "Sex Type Thing," and their first single from Contraband "Slither." It was the perfect ending, drawing from the catalogs and ending with their first Velvet Revolver hit.
However, Velvet Revolver's members weren't the only rock gods in the house reviving the genre. Alice In Chains played a phenomenal support set. Opening with "Again," the band sounded as trippy and tortured as ever. New singer William Duvall has risen up as a fitting successor to Layne Staley, belting out those huge choruses with a newfound pain on "We Die Young," "Them Bones" and "Rain When I Die." However, it was Jerry Cantrell's night. The crooked riffs on "Sickman" were nauseating and entrancing. "It Ain't Like That" sounded like a musical guillotine with each note bend. Jerry’s pained harmonies carried "Would?" channeling the regret and power that’s made the song legendary. The set remained heavy with the exception of the acoustic "Nutshell," which highlighted Duvall's range. Alice In Chains were officially resurrected.
At one point during the show, Weiland encouraged the crowd not to pay attention to rumors in the press, but rather to focus on personal spirituality. Perhaps if more of the music industry listened to him, bands would be able to create "real" rock 'n roll again, and some kid will get to have the same longevity that Weiland and Co. have enjoyed. If younger bands worried more about their songs than their look, this whole game might have a chance. If not, we still have Velvet Revolver and Alice in Chains.