Stone Temple Pilots
with Palo Alto
Hard Rock Live, Orlando, FL• July 26, 2000
When I saw the Stone Temple Pilots for the first time back in 1996, I went because I thought it would be my only chance to see them live. With frontman Scott Weiland in and out of rehab centers, struggling with addiction, I was sure that the end was near for this great band. Thankfully enough, though, Weiland fought his addiction and won. He overcame his battle with drugs and has now decided that he has no choice but to stay off of them for good.
With Weiland closing one chapter of his life by divorce and beginning a new one, the Stone Temple Pilots were due for a new record. Their fourth album, cleverly titled No. 4, was released in October of last year. Since then, the band has been busy with touring and promoting. It was a pleasant surprise to discover that I would soon be seeing STP again.
When I arrived at Hard Rock, I realized that it would be a more interesting show than I had expected. Living in Florida, you always have to expect the unexpected as far as the weather goes, and that night was no exception. I don’t even remember the last time I had seen such a downpour. It’s usually about a 10-minute walk from the parking lot to the actual venue, so by the time I grabbed a poncho out of the garbage and got to where I needed to go, I was drenched. I was not alone, though. As I walked in, I noticed that the whole place was full of soaking wet fans. I was not going to let a little rain affect my night, so I dumped out the water from my Converse and was on my way.
I was not aware of an opening band for this concert, but as soon as I heard what was on stage, I realized it was not the Stone Temple Pilots. Instead, it was Palo Alto. They had some acoustic songs and sounded good for the type of music they played, but their performance alone seemed kind of boring to me. After about three songs, it got kind of old, and I had no choice but to find a nice wall to sit against. The crowd seemed to enjoy it, though.
After what seemed to be forever, the Stone Temple Pilots finally took to the stage. Scott Weiland appeared with glowing eyes, a feathered boa, and a fancy-looking hat, which hid his newly shaven mohawk. He seemed rather animated and more lively than usual. The set began with hits like “Wicked Garden” and “Sex Type Thing” from their 1992 debut album, Core. The packed venue seemed to be full of loyal fans, all of whom were absolutely loving every second of the show so far.
As Weiland paraded around on stage, they continued with one of my personal favorites, “Tumble in the Rough” from Tiny Music… Songs from the Vatican Giftshop. Their latest single, “Sour Girl,” was performed in a more intimate setting of acoustic guitars, while fans watched in awe. The show was just amazing, with just about every single played, including “Big Empty,” which proved to be one of the most enjoyable parts of the night. It seemed as though it was just one great song after another. Towards the later part of the evening was “Sex Type Thing,” a song about sexism, control, and abusive power, with lyrics like “I am a man, a man I’ll give ya something that ya won’t forget/ I said you shouldn’t have worn that dress.”
By the end of the night, everyone seemed very satisfied with the show. Not only had they played everyone’s favorite songs, but they played them well. They played like a dream where everything seemed perfect. It makes for a much more enjoyable show when you can tell that the band themselves are giving it all they’ve got. The Stone Temple Pilots came out of a world dominated by grunge music in the ’90s, appearing to be lost in the pool of bands at that time. With the release of their latest album, they seem to have finally risen above that to a higher level. It seems as though the Stone Temple Pilots are back on track again, and going strong, so be on the lookout for more records to come! ◼