Last Night: Stone Temple Pilots At The Woodlands
For more images from the show, see our slideshow here.
It took a good hour past their stated stage time to get Stone Temple Pilots in front of the crowd at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion Sunday night.
But that hour in between vanished once lead singer Scott Weiland and company sauntered out around the time your late local news would be starting. They would turn in a perplexing and harrowing hour 75-minute set of their radio hits, some album nuggets, and a few new songs from this year's self-titled comeback album.
The evening began with San Francisco's leathery Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. The cultishly-beloved band was a strange choice as a tour opener but the value of having a band like this playing before STP shows a certain amount of moxie on someone in a corporate office's part.
For the already converted (like ourselves), BRMC - above - aren't such a hard sell. Their five-minute drone-y landscapes of jittery blues and psych candy are the norm for us now. Sunday's set, mostly drawing on this year's Beat the Devil's Tattoo, was an excellent primer for newbies and satisfied old-timers who have been there since their 2001 debut.
Opening with Tattoo's title track, BRMC let forth an hour of reverb and brackish snarl. The band played in front of black stage curtain, with their vintage amps and cabinets pressed against it. "Stop" came next, with co-leader Robert Levon Been making use of the array of pedals at his feet.
The band was either bathed in light or awash in strobes for most of their set, with great mood-hedging effect. "Ain't No Way" and it's harmonica stomp was delivered with sufficient raunch. "Weapon of Choice" received the night's best reaction, and its straightforward grit had fists pumping and hair whipping from the pit to the lawn. Its mother album, Baby 81, remains one of BRMC's most accessible.
Like we said, a good hour passed between BRMC's exit and the entry of Weiland and company. Our sources tell us that Weiland was still in transit to Texas when the gates opened. STP's last gig was Friday night in Tempe, Ariz., leaving the band a day off before Sunday's show.