By Rosie Judd
Scott Weiland & The Wildabouts “Purple to the Core Tour” is Weiland being a rockstar. He knows most people just want to hear the songs from “Purple” and “Core” so he took his new band on the road to prove that he can deliver what the fans really want. Weiland knows his voice and his stage presence is what those songs need.
The opening set by the New York based “The Last Internationale” delivered a half hour of solid bluesy, garage rock sung with the right combination of sex and attitude. The set mixed originals with a couple of covers, including some old blues standards. I think the emotion of some of the songs was lost on this party crowd, but the attitude behind “Moanin’ At Midnight” couldn’t be denied as Delila sang her heart out. Their brand of blues rock reminded me of a female-fronted Rose Hill Drive (or for those of you more mainstream folks, think The Black Keys with a female singer.)
I was a little doubtful about Weiland’s set at first, but a couple of songs in, it didn’t matter who else was standing on the stage, because all eyes were on Weiland and wondering what he was going to do next. (Possibly a reason that his old band decided to give him the boot?) The beautiful thing about Weiland’s stage presence is that it is truly about his performance and not the words coming out of his mouth. When he’s singing with a mike in his hand, he’s a rock god. All slinky dancing, swaying hips, flailing arms and seemingly uncontrollable passion. His stage banter is as nonsensical and weird as ever, but he’s Scott Weiland. He’s been getting away with saying nonsense on stage for over 20 years, so why change now? The man could recite the ABC’s and we’d probably all stand there and watch just to see where he’ll go with it.
The set list was spot on. A good mix of the hits from Core and Purple, interspersed with some deeper tracks and some amazing covers. The show opened with a mini jam session of the backing band until Weiland took the stage and immediately plowed into the triple hit of “Crackerman”, “Meatplow” and “Wicked Garden”. By the time the chorus kicked in for “Wicked Garden”, the entire crowd was singing along at the top of their lungs and the girls were dancing. All was well in the kingdom of rock.
Other highlights included the cover of Bowie’s “Jean Genie” (though I admit I’m a little offended how few people knew the lyrics) and the medley of “Where The River Goes” and Jane’s Addiction’s “Mountain Song.” The set climaxed again into “Vasoline” and “Sex Type Thing” before ending on “Dead & Bloated” which devolved into a cacophony of feedback and noise. The encores involved a raging cover of “Roadhouse Blues”
Weiland is delivering a great night of classic alternative rock without the DeLeo brothers and that’s just fine. Some purists may be offended, but these songs were played well and Wieland delivered a good vocal performance. By the end of the night, the audience was appropriately rocked and stumbling off into the night, without missing a single DeLeo brother.
1. Opening Jam
4. Wicked Garden
6. Jean Genie
7. Kitchenware & Candy Bars
8. Where The River Goes/Mountain Song
9. Big Empty
10. Can’t Stand Me Now
12. Sex Type Thing
13. Dead & Bloated
14. Road House Blues