Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I'm Not Dead & I'm Not For Sale

I had the pleasure this weekend of attending K-Rock's Return of the Rock concert. K-Rock is New York's premiere rock radio station, and they know how to set-up a show! The concert featured Ashes Divide, Filter, and Stone Temple Pilots, and they all put on great performances.

Ashes Divide kicked off the festivities with a short but great sounding set including "Enemies," "The Stone," and "Too Late," amongst others. They also threw in a cover of Fleetwood Mac's "The Chain," which got a great remaking for the Ashes Divide sound. If anyone doubted Billy Howerdel's ability to make a band on his own without superstar help, rest assured, they sound great! I've seen them twice now and was extremely impressed with the entire band's effort at both shows. If you liked A Perfect Circle, you will like Ashes Divide as Howerdel has retained much of the same songwriting techniques he used in his former band.

Filter came on next with a very fan friendly setlist. They opened with the greatly progressive "Welcome to the Fold," and then played through all their hits, "Dose," "Jurrasitol," "Hey Man, Nice Shot," "Take A Picture," "It's Gonna Kill Me," and their hit collaboration with The Crystal Method, "(Can't You) Trip Like I Do." They also included their current single, "Soldiers of Misfortune," and a few other new songs. All in all it was a good set, but I feel that Filter's sound is much better captured in a club than a wide open amphitheater.

The stage was all set for Stone Temple Pilots to grace us with their music, and it seemed to be taking longer than expected. Fans grew restless as they booed and chanted "this is bullshit" after about an hours break since Filter. I began to grow concerned for a potential riot as moods turned real sour on the rainy night. As fans have waited for over six years since the last STP tour, people grew worried that the band was not going to show up. Not to disappoint, STP finally came out after an hour and a half wait. Scott Weiland was clearly under the influence of something, as he stumbled out onto the stage, mumbling something indecipherable to the audience as the band broke into "Big Empty". Weiland seemed to struggle singing throughout the song, but shortly after picked it up to near perfection. Yes, some of his melodies didn't quite match the album quality, but after playing the same songs for 15 years, you grow tired and look for some different embellishments. The changes sounded great and the setlist included everything you'd imagine it would. At one point Weiland began to apologize for something, but was quickly cut off by Robert DeLeo who said, "Apology accepted, brother!" After the opener they continued with...

Wicked Garden
Big Bang Baby
Lounge Fly
Lady Picture Show
Sour Girl
Interstate Love Song
Trippin' On A Hole In A Paper Heart
Sex Type Thing

For the Love of Money (O'Jays cover)
Dead & Bloated

It really is remarkable how many classic hits that STP has, and they still sound just as fresh as ever! The set was only made more powerful by the uncanny relationship between the DeLeo brothers. They play and feed off each other with an unparallel relationship sounding as if they're one gigantic incredible person. Really though, they're two awesome musicians that have been playing together their entire lives, and it shows! Extended solos during Lady Picture Show, Dead & Bloated, and Down were amazing sonic additions to the already great songs! I am concerned about how long this reunion will last, and I hope more than anything Weiland can pull everything in his life together. Maybe a 60+ date tour at the moment wasn't the best idea, but they keep adding dates, so let's just hope for the best, and catch them live while you can! They truly put on an amazing show, and are without a doubt one of the greatest bands of our generation!


steven said...

good shit dan...keep em coming.
steve p

Mor said...

I'm so excited!!! Can't wait to see them in San Diego, considering getting tickets for the LA show too now