SXSW 2010 Quick Hits, Day 2: Stone Temple Pilots

Off to the Austin Music Hall in the warehouse district, where ’90s alternative heroes Stone Temple Pilots were scheduled for a full headlining set. The hall was packed and the band delivered the goods, mixing in strong material from their forthcoming new album with plenty of older classics. “Wicked Garden” sizzled, with vocalist Scott Weiland sounding great and the band firing on all cylinders. “Big Empty,” “Creep,” “Plush” and “Interstate Love Song” all rocked the house. New single “Between the Lines” rocked with the classic STP sound, mixing the hard rock with melodic lyrics, suggesting Weiland’s drug days are finally behind him. A Weiland relapse is the only thing that can stop this band, because the power trio behind Weiland was on fire. Dean DeLeo dazzled on guitar throughout the night, proving a master of grunge guitar, particularly with the tight harmonics. Robert DeLeo and Eric Kretz still make a formidable rhythm section, demonstrating STP as a band ready for a second prime. The new “Huckleberry Crumble” was another winner, combining a groovy bass line with psychedelic guitar for something of a ’60s feel, yet with that modern rock twist. “Sex Type Thing” and “Dead and Bloated” shook the rafters to close the set, but the best was still to come.


“We’d like to introduce someone that’s part of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band in history,” said Weiland at the beginning of the encore as he introduced Robbie Krieger from the Doors. The band then tore into a smoking “Roadhouse Blues,” with Weiland nailing Mr. Mojo Risin’s vocals while the DeLeo brothers and Krieger got off on what may have been the best jam of SXSW 2010. The electrifying performance thrilled the assembled, with this clearly being one of those rare and special moments that you hope to be lucky enough to catch at SXSW. Krieger exited triumphantly to a standing ovation and the band then wrapped it up with one of their best tunes, “Tripping on Hole in a Paper Heart.”


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