Scott Weiland Concert Review – 5/24/11 – Viper Room – W. Hollywood, CA
I have always loved Scott Weiland. I think he’s absolutely incredible. As a matter of fact, I would easily rank him in the top three of the greatest frontmen of our generation. Seriously, he might even be number one. Of course, because of Weiland’s notorious substance abuse problems and sometimes cantankerous nature, you never know what you’re going to get when you purchase a ticket to see him live.
In my case, I am very fortunate to have never witnessed one of his legendary onstage meltdowns involving drunken ramblings or general miscreant behavior that has ruined many a STP & VR show. Nope, I have only seen the Scott Weiland that is onstage performing his ass off like a modern day Mick Jagger. The guy can sing, dance, and work a crowd like no other. He’s truly gifted. To date, I’ve seen him onstage with Stone Temple Pilots on three occasions, twice with Velvet Revolver, and now twice as a solo act. He was amazing each and every time… with the lone exception of this past week’s Viper Room show in West Hollywood, CA.
I was so excited for this show, which was booked to celebrate the recent release of Weiland’s autobiography, Not Dead and Not For Sale, primarily because the Viper Room is a very intimate venue with a total capacity of 275 people. It’s tiny, loud, and very rock n’ roll. I paid $30 for my ticket.
I will just cut to the chase and describe the show in one simple word: boring. There was none of the usual bravado that I’ve seen from Weiland, and tragically, only two songs from his vast catalog were played. The Viper Room marquee should have read “Scott Weiland does Karaoke,” because it was nothing but covers, until he mercifully concluded the evening with “Barbarella” from his 12 Bar Blues solo debut and the classic STP track “Unglued.”
We heard songs from Stone Roses, David Bowie, Depeche Mode, and various other classic artists. The opening jam included a snippet of Jane’s Addiction’s “Pigs in Zen.” He didn’t interact much with the audience. His band was good yet unremarkable, particularly compared to the likes of the DeLeo brothers, Slash & Duff McKagan, etc., so there just wasn’t nearly enough substance exhibited to justify $30 for a night of seemingly random cover songs. I will readily admit that I enjoyed hearing Nirvana’s underappreciated In Utero track, “Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle.” I am also a sucker for all things Nirvana and Weiland nailed it.
I’m not upset by the experience. After all, I completely understand that you should never expect anything with Scott Weiland. I was just surprised… that’s all. I mean, only one track from either of Weiland solo records? 2008’s Happy in Galoshes has a number of fine singles that would’ve worked nicely here. Throw in one Velvet Revolver cut or just one more STP tune and I’m satisfied. Oh well; they can’t all be winners and I still love the guy. I am looking forward to reading Weiland’s book and will likely purchase a ticket the next time he’s in town. Hopefully, he’ll be in the mood to play more from his excellent and diverse catalog of songs.
Waiting For Superman (Flaming Lips)
Into Your Arms (Lemonheads)
But Not Tonight (Depeche Mode)
I Am The Resurrection (Stone Roses)
Let Down (Radiohead)
Jean Genie (David Bowie)
Dead Flowers (Rolling Stones)
Road House Blues (The Doors)
Fame (David Bowie)
Francis Farmer Will Get Her Revenge On Seattle (Nirvana)