Scott Weiland didn't take a header off the stage last night at Arizona Fall Frenzy. Nor did he accidentally reveal he was lip-synching or abusing heroin for that matter. In fact, other than a 45-minute delay due to "suspicious packages" found at Tempe Beach Park earlier in the evening, the Stone Temple Pilot's headlining set during the first night of AZFF was wholly without incident.
Sorry to disappoint.
That's not to say that Weiland didn't appear to pour his heart and soul into the show. Despite being tardy for almost an hour, the band didn't offer any excuses or pre-show patter. Instead, they simply dove right into performing. The thousands in attendance at Tempe Beach Park also seemed to enjoy the shit outta STP's set, particularly when they played all the big hits of 1992's Core and 1994's Purple. As for their later songs in their repertoire?
Eh, not so much.
Whenever Weiland and Company busted out with their standards ("Sex Type Thing," "Plush," "Interstate Love Song," et al.) the sweaty dudes and dudettes in the packed crowd went absolute batshit and sung along with every word. When it came time for "Hickory Dichotomy," however, (and "Huckleberry Crumble" or "Silvergun Superman" for that matter) you could practically hear a pin drop.
As a matter of fact, a couple in front of me promptly left right after STP finished their first three songs ("Crackerman," "Wicked Garden," and "Vasoline"). "We can go any time you want," the guy said. "I heard what I wanted to."
Feh. They probably shoulda just stayed at home and listened to their CDs. Speaking of which, Weiland's performance wasn't of the Memorex variety in the slightest. There were enough vocal vamps and variations that it seemed like he wasn't pulling a Milli Vanilli, at least not this time around.
He might've switched heroin for crystal meth as his drug of choice, however, as Weiland was running about the stage like a silly little freak, kicking at the air and building up a nice coating of sweat. The singer's ensemble of a black suit, white shirt, skinny tie, and porkpie hat (think Elvis Costello, except without all that bothersome song-writing talent) was disheveled within mere moments.
By the end he looked like, dare I say it, a someone who'd been on a three-day heroin bender. But at least it was a good performance, if you had STP's first two albums memorized.
Critic's Bias: I first heard "Plush" during my senior year in high school.
The Crowd: Tattooed bros with bandanas on their heads like Mike Muir from Suicidal Tendencies, heavy metal burnouts, and vapid tubetop-wearing chickadees.
Random Notebook Dump: The guy to the left of me has switch from throwing hook'em horns to doing barrel rolls with his arms.
Heaven and Hotrods
Between the Lines
Interstate Love Song
Sex Type Thing