Scott Weiland Rocks NYC

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Scott Weiland / Photo by Jackie Roman
WRITTEN BY
William Goodman

With chart-topping hits, past drug problems, a lofty ego, flashy duds, and an ever-present cigarette, Scott Weiland is a living cliché of the classic "rock star." But there's no denying it: Even after 20 years in the music business, he still has what matters most -- talent. And he proved it with a memorable solo show at New York City's Fillmore East Friday night.

"Sometimes you take risks, sometimes they're glorious," Weiland said a few songs into his lengthy set, referring to the musical variety of his new solo album, Happy in Galoshes. And though there were a few off-key notes and murky sound issues, Weiland's show was mostly spot-on. Dressed like an extra from Dick Tracy with a grey suit and red tie, top hat, and vintage sunglasses, the alt-rock misfit slithered and wiggled across the stage, as his backing band -- drums, bass, and two guitars -- played with an excited vigor.

"This is a love song in the nature of Burt Bacharach," Weiland said before the band dove into "Killing Me Sweetly." The quartet's slow-burning bossa-nova groove matched Weiland's emotive vocals about love lost. "Told me she needs me... we were so happy, like a couple on the silver screen," he crooned.

"Mockingbird Girl," which the rocker explained was the "first song I ever wrote with the DeLeo Brothers," off his first solo album 12 Bar Blues, rode on a crunchy riff and dynamic verse-to-chorus switches.

And "Paralysis," Happy's lead single, proved itself live with his machine-gun lyrical delivery and fist-pumping 'tude.

The crowd was already familiar with the album and sang along on certain tracks, especially the bouncing and silly "Big Black Monster." But with the first sliding notes of Stone Temple Pilots' "Interstate Love Song," the venue erupted as fans chanted along, waving lighters -- not cell phones -- in the air. Yep, Weiland fans, like their idol, definitely smoke.

And after Weiland left the stage for a quick break, he returned with his band to rip out a two-song encore. "Hold on to something still/ Don't let go," Weiland piped in the huge, slick chorus of "Crash," easily his new album's best song. He certainly has. And after nearly two decades, his work as an artist and musician has hit a unexpected high point.

More photos after the jump!


Photo by Jackie Roman


Photo by Jackie Roman


Photo by Jackie Roman


Photo by Jackie Roman

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