Written by Samuel Barker
Jun 28, 2008 at 08:00 PM
When I picked up the Chronicle before the show, I read an interview with Dean DeLeo talking about how this reunion tour for Stone Temple Pilots was a good business decision. With the turbulent past of vocalist Scott Weiland and his public exile from his last band, Velvet Revolver, not even the band’s lead guitarist was overly optimistic.

On this night in the Woodlands, business may be good, but this band looked like they were having a blast. When a band starts out, gels and comes together to be a powerhouse rock band despite being slagged by the media early on, something special is there. While it may dim from time to time, when all the parties are there, it is amazing.

With the opening notes of Big Empty, things were tense. Dean and his brother Robert were patrolling with their instruments, drummer Eric Kretz brought the mellow vibe of the song out on the kit and then Weiland hit the stage.

Part of being a strong frontman is demanding attention and keeping the audience on the edge of their seat. Weiland had this done before the set started, but once he spoke “Driving faster in my car…” there were no more worries. His vocals were strong, he looked a bit off, but that is nothing new. He slithered around the stage, fell to the ground and made the emotion of the music come to life. Once the chorus hit, it was fun and games for the band.

Bright lights, killer riffs and unbridled rock n’ roll was unleashed. Weiland hung on the DeLeo brothers as they shared laughs and smirks throughout the set. They were visibly having fun and it kept the set firing on all cylinders throughout the night. Business seemed far from the band’s mind on the stage.

The hits flowed out nonstop. Wicked Garden followed Big Empty, favorites like Plush, Interstate Love Song, Lady Picture Show, Trippin’ On A Hole in a Paper Heart and Vasoline filled the set with non-stop rock. The band showed that all those critics who wrote them off as tail-riders of the grunge movement had no vision of the potential the band held.

Weiland spent time in the audience, all over the stage and even took the time to throw in some cymbal hits. He was alert, energetic yet mildly buzzed for the evening. He was the Weiland that owns the stage and shows what a great frontman does. The rest of the band was solid as a rock, which is nothing new, just look at their work with Army of Anyone and Talk Show. On this night, the Weiland wild card was an ace and everything fell into place perfectly.