Stone Temple Pilots

AVA at Casino Del Sol, Wednesday, June 25

Despite the fact that the Stone Temple Pilots' concert took place outdoors during one of the season's first monsoon storms, fans got what they came for: STP's performance was purely rockin'.

The nearly two-hour performance came with no surprises (other than lengthy waits during set changes); STP stuck to the tried-and-true, and played a set full of their radio singles.

The noncapacity crowd sang and rocked their hearts out while reminiscing on the grunge/alt-rock genre of the 1990s. Frontman Scott Weiland bore a smile throughout the night, clearly enjoying what he was witnessing. Even though rumors have circulated about band infighting, the musicians seemed to enjoy being back together.

Taking the stage with no fanfare, STP oddly opened with mellow rocker "Big Empty," from 1994's Purple and best known as part of The Crow soundtrack. The crowd erupted upon hearing the opening slide-guitar notes from Dean DeLeo, and sang the chorus more loudly than Weiland. Displaying their multitasking talents, both Weiland and DeLeo managed to play the opening song while smoking, à la Led Zeppelin.

"I love Tucson, Arizona," stated Weiland after the opening number. "It's the best place to sing," he continued, while bassist Robert DeLeo nodded in approval. Weiland's knows of what he speaks, as Wednesday night marked his second performance at AVA in nine months (the first as frontman for Velvet Revolver).

A video screen designed like a gigantic windshield covered the stage, and was the only prop. A cluster of lightning bolts blinded the crowd during "Wicked Garden," while the famous car-chase scene from Bullitt was shown during "Crackerman."

The highlight of the night sadly turned into the most disappointing moment: During "Creep," Weiland sang while walking through the crowd with hordes of women frantically following him. At the song's conclusion, a concertgoer chucked a beer at Weiland, who quickly became pissed off.

"I'm going to keep my thoughts in my head," Weiland announced after the incident. "The rest of you are beautiful."

More by Jon Hobson


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