Trees (Dallas, TX)
– Words and Photos by James Villa –
Scott Weiland is one of the most enigmatic front men in rock and roll today. Some may even call him a schizophrenic genius. His unpredictable behavior off the stage has become tabloid lore. His musical brilliance in the spotlight, however, will secure him a place in rock and roll history.
With a career that has spanned three decades, Weiland has nothing left to prove other than the fact he still lives life by his own set of rules. Yes, he could have assembled an all-star cast of musicians to move forward in his career, but he’s been there and done that. This spring fling he’s currently undertaking is more of a back-to-your-roots type of tour. There’s no pressure to be “on” every night. He can play any number of hits from his vast songwriting catalog or none at all. The bottom line is this. Scott Weiland can settle back and just be himself, which is exactly what he did.
Tonight’s performance ended up being a celebration of music from this performer’s illustrious past. Hitting the road under the moniker Scott Weiland and The Wildabouts, the capacity crowd at Trees in Dallas was treated to seven Stone Temple Pilot gems, three Velvet Revolver favorites, a David Bowie cover song (a brilliant rendition of “The Jean Genie”) and a few solo cuts. And folks, Scott’s voice is in fine form despite the persistent rumors that have dogged him for years that his signature sound was failing him.
The show started around 10:30 PM and no one seemed to care. This audience wasn’t made up of STP or Velvet Revolver fans – it was comprised solely by people who admire and respect Scott Weiland. Everyone knew his on and off again track record of drug arrests and rehabs. Everyone was well aware of his two contentious marriages before finally settling down last year with photographer Jamie Wachtel. None of that mattered. Tonight’s audience was there to pay homage to a truly gifted songwriter whose music they had grown up with. It was as simple as that.
Weiland kicked the show off with two STP hits, “Crackerman” and “Tumble in the Rough” before the crowd could catch its collective breath. He then rolled out the Velvet Revolver favorite “Do It For the Kids” before he allowed the assembled masses to take a breather by shouting into his microphone, “Here’s a new one!” On cue, the Wildabouts proceeded to knock out the tune “The Way She Moves” before unleashing their wicked version of the Bowie classic, “The Jean Genie.”
The rest of the evening would see Weiland go back and forth between STP and Velvet Revolver tunes. After a brief recollection by the singer of his last performance at Trees, the band launched into “Slither” and ”Vasoline” before settling down with another solo offering, “Beach Pop Rock.” The mercurial singer would end the show with the deep cut “Dead & Bloated” from the Core album. Curiously, he ended the show with “Circles” another new song Weiland stated he had just completed. Without saying a word, the band walked off stage.
After what seemed like the longest five minutes on earth where the crowd was anticipating perhaps, “Interstate Love Song”, “Sour Girl” or just maybe “Plush”, the Wildabouts instead launched into “Unglued.” The minor hit off the STP album Purple was well-received, but still somewhat of a letdown. The show ended with Weiland’s signature megaphone siren wailing relentlessly throughout the venues the band disappeared. And just like that, it was over.