On Tuesday Stone Temple Pilots played their first show since singer Scott Weiland’s release earlier this year from L.A. County Jail, and he and the rest of STP rose to the occasion by treating the packed House of Blues to a blistering demonstration of the band’s enduring ability to overcome adversity with the sheer liberating power of their hard-rock music.
“This is a celebration of being free from jail, and free from chemical slavery,” Weiland said, referring to the drug and legal problems that have sidetracked STP. He then led his multi-platinum group through an exciting, nearly-two-hour performance featuring the best songs from their four Atlantic albums.
A handful of songs, including current single “Sour Girl” (from their latest album, “No. 4”) and past hit “Creep,” were offered mid-show in dazzling acoustic versions. The popular “Interstate Love Song” especially benefited from the unplugged arrangement; it was nicely frosted with backing from the violin, viola and cello players.
Band bowed with a hard-hitting, back-to-back trio of live favorites, opening with powerhouse “Crackerman.” Quartet quickly hit their collective stride with a tight version of the radio hit “Vasoline.”
Weiland, wearing heavy eye makeup and dressed in pinstripe pants and vest and a feathered hat, used a megaphone during that tune as well as a couple of others to further punctuate his expressive vocal delivery.
The musicians were solidly in-the-pocket throughout the concert, evoking thoughts of Led Zeppelin with their diverse and often mystical mix of sounds and moods.
Focus throughout the concert, lensed for a pending pay-per-view TV special, was squarely on singer Weiland, who likely spent much of his drug-related incarceration looking forward to getting back onstage.
Gig came to a rousing close when Weiland announced the band would go beyond its prepared setlist to include a guest turn from former Doors guitarist Robbie Krieger, who joined STP for an excellent, roof-raising rendition of the Doors’ “Roadhouse Blues.”