Stone Temple Pilots entered our consciousness with authenticity problems. When they first hit it big in 1993, the quartet from San Diego were derided as biting off the success of Pearl Jam and Alice In Chains. It didn't help matters that in STP's second video for "Plush," their lead singer Scott Weiland's singing style and appearance bore an uncanny resemblance to Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder. The media gave them no respect, and Pavement, a band with actual indie cred, mocked them memorably in "Range Life," as "elegant bachelors. They're foxy to me, are they foxy to you?"
But something funny happened as the nineties turned into the aughts, Stone Temple Pilots grew more and more legitimate when viewed in the annals of rock history. Part of it was their competitors either faded away (Pearl Jam), disappeared (Alice In Chains), or died (Nirvana). More importantly, mainstream rock radio grew so God awful with its Limp Bizkits and Linkin Parks that at one point, STP's "Sour Girl" was the best song on the dial. But the lion's share of Stone Temple Pilot's credibility came from Scott Weiland's disastrous behavior.
The stories were legendary. The drug busts, jumping out of moving cars, shacking up in the Chateau Marmont for a lost weekend with Courtney Love. In other words, Weiland behaved like a rock star. He was able to put Eddie Vedder in his shadow and entered the hallowed halls of decadence an equal to Iggy Pop or Keith Richards.
However, what's charming on stage can grow old up close, so it was no surprise that the three other original members of Stone Temple Pilots kicked Weiland off a planned reunion tour this spring.
What was surprising was those three other members of STP decided to motor on under the name of Stone Temple Pilots with a new singer. At the same time, Scott Weiland with his backing band the Wildabouts are touring the country singing Stone Temple Pilots songs. South Floridians have a chance to see both acts as Stone Temple Pilots play the BB&T Center September 17, and Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts play Revolution Live, August 24. And so twenty years later credibility issues rear their ugly head again.
On the one hand, you can see three quarters of the band touring under the original name in a large arena with a replacement singer in Chester Bennington or you can see the original singer with a few cronies in a mid-sized club. The choice of which side to take depends on how you define rock 'n' roll. If you believe it is about putting on a professional, reliable show of the songs the audience knows and love Stone Temple Pilots with the former Linkin Park singer Bennington might be the pick for you. According to many sources -- including Slash and Duff McKegan (who played with Weiland in the defunct Velvet Revolver) -- they sound like the STP from their albums of the 1990s; although to these ears their one new song "Out of Time" sounds more like Linkin Park than STP.
If however, you think rock 'n' roll's charm comes from its sense of rebellion and hedonism, then there is no choice at all. You must see Scott Weiland & the Wildabouts. There is greater risk that they will sound terrible or that they might not show up at all considering the Fort Lauderdale date is the last stop on a 14-city tour. But that's just part of the fun. After all, the cliché isn't stability, chamomile, and rock 'n'roll.
Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts with the Last Internationale. 7 p.m., Saturday, August 24, at Revolution Live, 100 SW 3rd Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $29.50 plus fees in advance, and $32 day-of-show. Call 954-449-1025, or visit jointherevolution.net.
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