Tonight: Scott Weiland at Warehouse Live
Stone Temple Pilots, "Big Empty," from MTV Unplugged
You never know what you'll get with Scott Weiland. The former lead singer of Velvet Revolver, sometime Stone Temple Pilot frontman and full-time enigma has continuously cheated death and career calamity for almost two decades. Some days, like on his solo efforts, you get the sullen and wistful troubadour. Maybe you get STP's strung-out, feral grunge-era icon. Or the haughty mouthpiece in front of three-quarters of Guns n' Roses belting out active rock radio fluff.
Tonight, Weiland hits the stage at Warehouse Live behind his new solo album, "Happy" In Galoshes. It's a torrid chronicle of a year in the life of a troubled yet talented artist stuck in rock and roll purgatory. This past year, Weiland lost his brother and collaborator to cancer, separated from his wife of seven years, and cut ties with Velvet Revolver. That should make for music to mope to.
"Missing Cleveland," from "Happy" in Galoshes
But ultimately, Galoshes comes off hopeful and is not half as cluttered and druggy as his first solo outing, 1998's 12 Bar Blues. That album was recorded after a five-year run of STP radio hits and Weiland's random stays at rehab clinics across the West Coast. It had its moments of Bowie-stained clarity, but mostly it was a heartbreaking look into a man literally on the edge of either death or jail. Plus, dude really got into the '90s techno-boom it seems. Hella drum machines abound.
Weiland has never disappointed as a live performer. He's always had the Iggy moves down pat, and is never one to shy away from the random full-blown drag show. His voice has only become more muscular with age, and he's been known to trot out a few of the big STP singles during his solo shows, especially "Interstate Love Song" and a few lesser-known tracks from the band's wild and varied catalog. But yell out your favorite VR song and you may get pummeled in the face with Weiland's signature megaphone.