REVIEW: Stone Temple Pilots at Big Night Out Day 1

It was a very long wait for Scott Weiland and co. after a strong performance from support act I Am Giant. About 45 minutes in, comedian Sugar Sammy (the opening act for Days 1 and 2) had to step up to diffuse the tension, only to have the audience boo and chant, “What the f**k!” Some even pelted the poor man with little white objects, whatever they were. When STP finally came on stage, they launched into “Crackerman” after a cursory, “Thank you for waiting,” from Scott.
They played mostly numbers from their first four albums, peppering the set with a few songs off their latest, self-titled, 2010 album. We were very distracted for the entire set, by the snaky-smooth moves from Scott and the coolness of the DeLeo brothers, especially Dean DeLeo’s mastery with the axe. This is one good-lookin’ band, with good substance to boot—they delivered all without a hitch, making almost the entire experience much better than listening to them on CD.
Almost, because they seemed a little detached from the crowd. With the speed at which they moved on from one song to another, with little or no banter with the audience in between, it felt as though they just wanted to play and leave. It could have been because of news of the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan, where one of Scott’s brothers lives, just hours before the gig. Something the crowd didn’t really understand—he asked for a moment of silence for the victims, only to have them cheer.
“We’ve always wanted to come here. And now we’re here,” said Scott rather unenthusiastically later in the show. It could have been because of worry for his brother, and it could have been because of the crowd’s insensitivity to what the band must be feeling in the wake of the disaster in Japan. That they went ahead to deliver a flawless performance despite being dogged by unfortunate circumstances is truly commendable. Thumbs down to those in the crowd who cheered at the wrong moment.