STP Light Up The Rocks

‘it’s not us, it’s you…it’s these big, amazing rocks…’

If Scott Weiland is sober, he could’ve fooled me.  Sober or not, I have to say Scott and the rest of Stone Temple Pilots are proving they arn’t just some over-aged rockers trying to cash in on a fading popularity.  I only saw STP once in their heyday, at SDSU in 1995.  I have now seen them 3 times in as many years since their reunion and they have never let me down, as improbable as that might sound.

When STP announced their comeback in 2008 I probably would have laughed it off if I had not seen Velvet Revolver rock the shit out of the Live 8 stage in London a couple years prior.  That show made me a believer in Weiland‘s rock-star skills, if not in his new found sobrity.

The Berkeley stop was not only nostagilic, as I hoped it would be, it was a kick-ass rock show.  This didn’t seem like a band just reliving the 90’s; they seemed current, fun and non-apologetic. They did the same thing at the Fillmore here in Denver the next year.

I had serious doubts Weiland, who now resembles Eminem in his wife-beater, would make it long enough for me to see them once, much less twice.  And now, here we are, 3 years later and they are headling Red Rocks…is support of a new album?!!!  An album that doesn’t live up to their first 2, but is actually pretty damn good?!!!  What the hell is going on?

Unfortunately for STP, there is a difference between 2010 and 1995.  In 1995 they would have been able to sell out back-to-back nights in any given city.  In 2010 it’s hard to sell out two venues in the same city within an 8 month period.  The Fillmore show was pretty packed last October.  Red Rocks was much less so on Tuesday night.

That being said, those who didn’t make it missed a great rock show. The weather was perfect; it doesn’t get much better than a warm evening with a cool breeze coming through Red Rocks. STP performed all their major hits like Wicked Garden, Interstate Love Song, Vasoline and Sex Type Thing.  They did 4 or 5 from the new album, of which Huckleberry Crumble really resonanted live…a down and dirty blues number.  A real highlight for me was Still Remains, a song from Purple they had not performed live in over 12 years.  That, along with a cover of Led Zeppelin‘s Dancing Days, both brought me back to the carefree days of beach living in San Diego.

The encore of Dead & Bloated and Trippin’ On a Hole in a Paper Heart (dedicated to the troops) ended the night right.

To be honest, I wasn’t going to attend this show, but my wife had never seen them and we were able to score 15th row seats.  The sound was amazing down there and the light show was pretty impressive.  This was one of the few shows I have seen where the band didn’t prefer the natural rock backdrop on this iconic stage.  But even though STP were labeled grunge, they always tilted away from that scene and more toward the glam of L.A.’s sunset strip…so I can see them prefering an over-the-top light show vs. some old red rocks.

Stone Temple Pilots Setlist Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, CO, USA 2010