It seems like you never know what's going to happen at a New York-area Scott Weiland solo show. Cases in point: a 1998 gig being canceled due to a drug bust and a show in 2008 beginning well past the expected start time. So when the singer took the stage last night at the Emporium in Patchogue, New York, fans couldn't have helped but wonder what lay ahead.
Billed as the "Purple at the Core" tour, Weiland's latest solo jaunt focuses primarily on Stone Temple Pilots' first two classic releases, somewhat fulfilling the promise that both Weiland and STP guitarist Dean DeLeo gave Rolling Stone last year about a proposed STP tour to feature Core in its entirety. However, when STP did hit the road, fans were treated to a greatest hits set instead. That tour ended abruptly; last week the band announced it has severed ties with the singer.
Fronting a group dubbed Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts, the singer hit the stage sporting shades, fingerless gloves, a scarf and a dangling lit cigarette. A bluesy psychedelic jam led into a rockin' "Crackerman." Unlike STP, the Wildabouts are a five-piece, including part hipster/part mountain man Doug Grean (jumbo glasses, bushy beard), who alternated between keyboards and a Telecaster.
The STP tunes were performed in a professional manner, including such obscurities as "Naked Sunday," "Still Remains," and "Where the River Goes," as well as the expected standards ("Wicked Garden," "Big Empty," "Vasoline," "Interstate Love Song").
It soon became evident that Weiland isn't entirely comfortable addressing a crowd. Although he did chat between every number, he gave off the vibe of an uneasy high schooler practicing public speaking, and it wasn't always clear what point he was trying to make.
While the singer did his trademark shake/slither dance and sang bits through his trusty old megaphone, it was on the night's surprise cover tunes that he seemed to be enjoying himself the most, especially such crowd pleasers as David Bowie's "The Jean Genie," Jane's Addiction's "Mountain Song" and a heavy bass reading of the Doors' "Roadhouse Blues," an audience favorite.
The evening ended with a romp through the tune that introduced many to STP in the first place, "Sex Type Thing," which was played with much more of a punk rock flair than the original gargantuan metal riffing. At its climax, smoke blew onto the crowd from machines up in the lighting truss.
With the future of STP up in the air, Weiland seems to be having a hoot revisiting his past. As evidenced by this early stop on the Purple at the Core tour, his fans are right there with him.
"The Jean Genie"
"Kitchenware & Candybars"
"Where the River Goes"
"Can't Stand Me Now" (Libertines cover)
"Interstate Love Song"
"Sex Type Thing"