Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts
The Icarus Line
The Slater Slums
Date: November 4, 2015
Location: House of Blues Anaheim
I noticed that Scott Weiland and his new band were set to perform at Anaheim in the fall of 2015. I had a gut feeling that I should attend the show or I’d end up regretting it. Even if I had to buy my own ticket I knew I had to attend this show. I’ve been a fan of Weiland since high school as those were the years where I first experienced the music of Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver. The concert provided an excellent opportunity to see this legendary front man who left an everlasting impression during the 1990s rock era. As luck would have it I won a pair of free tickets! After answering the question of which song did Weiland covered for the Not Another Teen Movie soundtrack and who original sang it (“But Not Tonight“ originally by Depeche Mode) I won with ease. I’ve viewed Not Another Teen Movie a whole bunch of times but never noticed the song until I looked up the answer. His cover ranks as one of my favorite songs of all times; his cover is one of the few songs that can make me emotional on a given day.
Weiland and his newly formed band, The Wildabouts, were on tour promoting the release of their album “Blaster.” Unfortunately this would prove to be the only album the band would release as Weiland would pass away (more on that later). The newly formed band came about when Weiland had a falling out with the other members of Stone Temple Pilots. STP would continue to tour that year with Linkin Park front man Chester Bennington stepping in to provide the vocals. Actually this newly formed version of STP performed at this exact venue six months prior this day. I had the opportunity to attend but decided against it as it didn’t feel like STP without their original singer.
Initially I invited a now former friend to the concert who would later bail on me the day of; he blew his only chance. His loss would be another person’s gain as another friend accepted my invitation within minutes. The two of us arrived to the venue around 9:30 pm – a bit later than I anticipated but nothing I could do. Completely missed The Slater Slums set, so not sure how they performed the night. I did though see the last few minutes of The Icarus Line as they rocked on stage. What I remember of the band is that they were extremely loud to the point I could not coherently understand any of their lyrics. In retrospect this would be one of, if not the first, band that I did not enjoy seeing live. Their music did not resonate as I’m not a fan of this heavy metal genre. The six members on stage generated too much noise instead of music in my opinion.
As the band bid adieu I surveyed the venue disappointed in the turn out. To me Weiland is a big name that could draw a large crowd, but for some reason the people were missing. Up to this point I’ve never seen the venue so empty and I hated seeing the low turn out. I felt like this because it felt like a disrespect to the artist, but I did my part and showed up that night. My friend and I stayed in the back chatting about podcasts and such. The one conversation I do remember is the revelation that Charlie Sheen would come out as HIV positive (he later would). To the left of of us turned out to be the most interesting person I had seen at a concert. An old man laid sprawled on the floor drunk out of his mind. Still clenching a beer bottle he would take a swig here and there. He made odd noises that caused me and my friend to back away from him. The noises he created sounded like drunk babbling, burping, and farting. Later in the evening the man disappeared, I never saw him again but he turned out to be memorable to me. Within the next half hour people trickled in including the concert promoter who gave me the free tickets. He appeared extremely important, and busy, as people swarmed around him. I would have given my gratitude but felt I would have bothered him, my stupid shyness.
As people chatted among themselves the lights suddenly went out. Lights beamed on stage illuminating and astonishing everyone in the room. The three Wildabout members, all of whom wore black, hit the stage prepping their instruments. The band members started playing the chords of “Crackerman“ which signaled the arrival of the legendary front man. Weiland burst on stage grooving to the beat of the music as fog blanketed the stage. The front man decked out in a white dress shirt with grey pants held a red and white megaphone as he dazzled the audience. This man displayed such strong raw energy that I’ve never seen previously before. Weiland incorporated members of the band in his performance whether that meant going behind them as he wailed his arms adding excitement. Other than Weiland that megaphone stole the spotlight as it stood front and center. I’ll never forget the instance that Weiland clutched the megaphone against the mic as he sang into it. That’ll be one moment that I’ll never forget from this night. As he sat the megaphone down the next tune started up – the first track off Blaster, “Modzilla“. Through the night his vocal strength and unique voice astonished me through his whole performance. The hits kept on coming as “Amethyst“, “Meatplow“, and one of the singles off the album “Way She Moves“ followed. The next performance blew me away as the best performance of the night came up next. Of course I’m speaking about “Big Bang Bang“, one of Stone Temple Pilots best tracks. “Big Bang Baby it’s a crash crash crash” Weiland sang these lines into the megaphone starting the performance. His swaying dance moves, unique growling voice combined with the fog atmosphere mixed with the flashing red, blue, and purple lights equivocated to an explosive performance. There were other aspects of this performance which I enjoyed that included spinning in place during “spin me up, spin me, spin me out”, harmonizing with the left guitarist during the chorus, and singing into the megaphone for the last few seconds of the song. Tracks from”Blaster” were played masterfully as the band dove into “Hotel Rio”, “Parachute”, and “White Lighting”. Moving to the center of the stage, Weiland started playing another Stone Temple Pilots song, “Vasoline“. Coming to the center he sprung into action channeling his inner rock star. How I wish I could have seen Weiland in his prime back in the 1990s when this song first came out. Departing from alternative rock Weiland took a turn to play some blues rock. Paying tribute to one of his icons (David Bowie), he did him justice covering “The Jene Genie”. Returning to his roots he played yet another classic Stone Temple Pilots “Dead and Bloated“. Signaling the introduction of the song the megaphone made a quick appearance. The flashing blue lights combined with Weiland’s dance antics left the audience wanting more. Soon he left the stage microphone in hand.
As I waited for the encore performance something dawned on me. I realized that Weiland never engaged with the audience. What I mean by that is he never spoke to us, the only words out of his mouth were the lyrics to his songs. The crowd grew smaller as the night dragged on with half the crowd staying at this point. Weiland took the stage for one final time, but instead of standing up he sat down on a stool which had been placed in the center of the stage. His most emotional performance came out that night as he played “Circles“.
The “Circles” performance easily became the most emotional aspect of that night. The somber atmosphere as well as the seriousness displayed made this the most powerful performance of the night. Changing gears by getting out of the stool Weiland performed his next number; “Do It For The Kids”. He became re-energized moving quite a lot around stage again. Last performance of the night was a Stone Temple Pilots number “Unglued“. Weiland grooved on stage while swaying his arms like he did in the “Sour Girl“ music video. He finished strong giving it all that he had for that final number. As he finished singing he approached the guitar amp creating distorted noises as the band finished. Getting up he put down the megaphone back on stage turned to the crowd and took a bow. Just like that he left the stage without saying a word.
Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts Setlist
5. Way She Moves
6. Big Bang Baby
7. Hotel Rio
9. White Lighting
11. Jean Genie
12. Dead and Bloated
14. Do It For The Kids
The Icarus Line Setlist
1. Frankfurt Smile
2. Fshn Fvr
3. Keep Your Eyes Peeled
5. Up Against the Wall Motherfuckers
6. You Make Me Nervous
9. Gets Paid
10. Black Presents
- 1st and only time I would see Scott Weiland.
- 10th concert at the House of Blues, Anaheim in Downtown Disney.
- Scott Weiland passed away 29 days later on December 3rd, 2015.
- 1st artist that I’ve seen that would pass away.