Monday, September 1, 2008

Bumbershoot 2008: Stone Temple Pilots give decent showing at Memorial Stadium

Before last night's show at Memorial Stadium, it was rumored Stone Temple Pilots might not even perform. This is because lead singer and bad boy Scott Weiland appeared out of it the previous night when he surprisingly turned up to watch Beck.

But, the rumors proved to be false as the group slid onstage thirty minutes tardy, mind you, and opened with "Big Empty". It was such a slower start than one might expect for a band that hasn't toured together for nearly a decade.

Weiland looked good, in tight black jeans, cranberry shirt and gray vest, but unfortunately it was evident his vocals lacked the bite they once did in the 90s. The rock star Scott Weiland was present, but the gritty vocalist was not.

Concertgoers didn't really care about how great the Grammy-winning act sounded like, or not, they just sang out the songs' lyrics with enthusiasm and wiggled wherever they found room. A petite girl next to me danced by herself with her eyes closed the entire time, and she didn't even mind being rammed into by fellow fans en route to the front.

"Wicked Garden" was electrifying, though that was partly due to a giant, colorful digital screen behind the drummer. What Stone Temple Pilots lacked in quality, they returned with sensational lighting. "Vasoline" was great, yet "Creep" sounded as if it was plucked directly from an MTV Unplugged session - very uninspiring.

Audience members began to leave midway through the group's set, and one fan in particular said he was disappointed that such a long wait to see this reunited act had resulted in a mediocre appearance.

On the plus side, "Plush" was quite memorable. It brought back memories for me, as I used to listen to it over and over again when I lived briefly in Hawaii. It sounded fresh even after all these years, and even after personal turmoils the band has faced.

I left soon after "Plush" was played, and I wished I'd been given me reason to stay. This just wasn't vintage Stone Temple Pilots, this was a band giving a worthy try at being what it once was.

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