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Stone Temple Pilots .."
" Back from the Dead"
6/10/00 Sacramento CA.

Scott Weiland


......It appears that the only thing Stone Temple Pilots lost while waiting for leadman Scott Weiland to calm his demons was time. The group's members certainly haven't lost the ferocity and musicianship that made the band neo-grunge stars. If anything, it's gained some. After a three-year hiatus, which Weiland spent getting clean from drug addiction and continued run-ins with the law, the Stone Temple Pilots have finally gotten out on the road to support its last album, No. 4, released in October. It might be understandable if the band was a bit rusty as it reassembles the pieces.

.........Guess again. For 95 minutes on Saturday, STP turned the 18,000-capacity Sacramento Valley Amp, into a Monsters of Rock stadium show. The body surfers rolled in tsunamis. Through the chaos, the band performed a tightly orchestrated guitar offensive, with Weiland leading the bombast with graceful body theatrics. "People said that this band was broken up, that we'd never get back together," said Weiland squatting on two speakers at the front of the Dean Deleopandemonium. "We're not going anywhere. No way." STP was always accused of being copycats of grunge-fathers Nirvana and Pearl Jam. In retrospect, the only sin committed was putting out its first album, Core, second. Dean DeLeo's guitar has been as ranging and exploratory as the Seattle bands, and Weiland may be a more engaging visual spectacle then Eddie Vedder or Alice In Chain's Layne Staley. Dressed in a tiger-striped scarf, shiny rayon and a wide-brimmed hat, the gaunt Weiland walked on stage snarling Crackerman through a megaphone. STP hasn't abandoned its '90s identity entirely and showed a genuine preference for its two albums, Core and Purple, both dating from before 1995. In the 17-song set, only three songs from No. 4 were featured. He juxtaposed it with the lounge swagger of Vaseline and engaged the audience with stage personas much like David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust. In years past, Weiland was always a curled-lipped punk. On the Lollapalooza tour in 1993, he brooded until he was about to explode. But now the 32-year-old STP leader is more interested in body artistry and vaudeville. His shallow cheeks, flamboyant clothing and black-lined eyes give him the androgynous appeal a younger Mick Jagger executed to perfection.

By Randy Cohen

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