“Scott Weiland is a fucking selfish asshole” proclaimed one very drunk and very angry concert-goer at last nights Stone Temple Pilots show in Abbotsford at the Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre.
I think many attendees from last night concert would agree with this statement, it was a fucking train wreck. After the band delayed their start time by nearly 2 full hours, they came out and played a mediocre set. Weiland was never really present, he always seemed far away. He sang a mumbled mix of inaudible moans. Although a good portion of the notes he sprayed over the crowd were in tune and in time with the rest of the group, the real words were lost in his mind. It was like a really horrible cross-over between junky-rock and that Sigur Rós made-up-word approach to singing.
We all know Scott’s battle with drug addiction. When he is clean and sober he is an amazing front man with mounds of charisma, but when he is using he is a sloppy, selfish mess. The Weiland of last night seemed like the sloppy, junky version. We learned this morning that STP cancelled their show in Lethbridge, Alberta tonight with a statement released via the bands Facebook page stating they had cancelled because Scott “has been put on 48 hours complete vocal rest due to strained vocal cords”. Anyone at the show last night will tell you, it seemed like more than strained vocal cords that were the problem. The aging rockers was a mess on stage, and seemed to be unable to keep up with the rest of his mates.
Looking at the whole thing it wasn’t terrible. I mean the rest of the band sounded great. Dean, Robert and Eric, were killing it on stage. Dean ripped through some meaty solos and lit the night up. Robert was a maniac, stalking his edge of the stage like a tiger. Eric was energetic and aggressive behind his kit. But, alas, the band is based on a single front man, one the blows you away and delivers that rockstar sex appeal by the boat load. And Last night, while the songs sounded half decent, the vocals were not clear, the lead signer was not present and the crowd was not happy. It all added up to a sad site.
For those of you that have seen the sober Weiland kill it live, then you know what he is capable of. He owns that stage, he works the entire crowd and he leaves you begging for more. Last night it seemed like he was there to get paid and to get the fuck out.
Only the band will ever know the true reason, was it vocal strain, was it drug use, was it too many hours at the paintball field (something brought up in this Blabbermouth article – link), regardless it doesn’t matter. At the end of the day the night was a write off. When the band had finally taken the stage, half the audience were already on their way home; angry at the band that let the down. Now, I get that it is hard to play shows day in and day out; all the traveling, being on the road. But if you can’t handle it, then don’t do it. People paid to see a band play a bunch of songs, and play them well. If you were too sick too play then you should have cancelled the show. People would have been angry, but at least they would get their money back. But instead you took the money, and pissed off a bunch of concert-goers, and left everyone feeling taken advantage of.
People always talk about the artistic side to Scott, how he gets on stage and his whole persona is raveled up in this live performance piece. To that I would say BULLSHIT. Scott has the ability to
be one of the greatest front men of all time. When I saw him back when he fronted Velvet Revolver, those were some of the greatest concert memories I have. He set the bar so high one night at the Showbox in Seattle, that I don’t think any other performance, by any other artist will come close to surpassing it in my mind. And maybe that show allows me to place Weiland on a pedestal, but I think it allows me to see what he can really do. And to see him call in a show like he did last night, after strolling on to the stage 2 hours late, is unacceptable.
To those in attendance, I am sorry. Do not use that single event to help base your opinion of the man or of the entire band. All four members are masters of what they do, and when they pull together in that perfect harmony, they are glorious.
To the band, I love you guys, but that was a hard pill to swallow.
To the die-hard fans that are going to read this and rip me a new one, be gentle.
Photos © Jamie Taylor