The legendary rocker Scott Weiland, known primarily for his work with Stone Temple Pilots, brought his new band, The Wildabouts, to the World Cafe Live in Philadelphia for a stop on their ‘Master Blaster’ tour run. This tour is in support of their first upcoming release as a band titled “Blaster” and will run through out the coming spring leading up the festival season bringing Weiland & and the Wildabouts to numerous stops across the country. The album has been a long time in the making for Scott Weiland and the band starting creation back on their last tour in 2013, since then the line up has shifted down to a traditional 4-piece band giving the group a slightly different sound both live and in the studio.
Coming on promptly at 9pm, Scott Weiland walked out onto the World Cafe Live stage to a crowd roaring in total anticipation for his arrival. Without much delay the band joined him as they kicked into an instrumental jam that lead right into the Stone Temple Pilot classic “Crackerman,” at which point Scott Weiland ran around the stage with his iconic megaphone in hand as he sang top form. It was clear from the first song that this was going to be a special performance for the Philadelphia crowd as Weiland’s vocals were truly on point that evening. The band stopped by Radio 104.5 in Philadelphia earlier in the day for a live broadcast acoustic session and even during that short session listener were treated to a stellar performance from Weiland and company.
The set moved quickly into some new material, “Modzilla” followed by “Amethyst,” that the crowd seemed very familiar with already despite the official releases of the songs not being available yet. Through out the set Weiland talked to the crowd and certainly appeared to be in great spirits about the performance and tour as he was cracked plenty of jokes during the night and smilled all the while. At one point he shouted out to everyone in the back of the World Cafe Live eating “steak and lobster” at the restaurant, Weiland then jokingly said that everyone in the standing section was more of a “hot dog and hamburger” crowd which made many in the crowd chuckle. There was little talk before the Stone Temple Pilots songs played during the evening but that was okay because the night wasn’t about the old material, it was solely about the new material and the future for Weiland.
Two of the new tracks, “White Lightning” and “The Way She Moves,” are possibly the strongest songs of Weiland’s expansive career and as I watched him perform them live that thought for solidified for me. The band vibed best on the new material and Weiland sounded the strongest on these songs, don’t get me wrong he sounded great when singing his hits like “Vasoline” and “Crackerman,” but there was something truly powerful in his voice when he belted out the new songs. It is a hard sound to capture in words but the best way I can describe it as Weiland sang like he had something to prove and something to tell the world, I haven’t heard him sound this raw lyrically since the release of “Core” in the early 90’s. There is no doubt that this tour is going to build the hype of the release of “Blaster” even more, an album that was already one of the most anticipated release of 2015 for rock music.
From a critical stand point the band has done nothing but improve since the last time I saw them under the Scott Weiland & The Wildabouts banner. In fact the last time was at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center and the show started quite late, not only that but it took place in the midst of the Stone Temple Pilots controversy with Weiland being terminated from the line up. That being said I think it is fantastic to see Weiland and The Wildabouts putting that all drama behind them, pressing forward, recording an album as a band, and hitting the road for a much tighter live performance. It speaks to their ambition as artists in my opinion.
Starting with The Wildabouts performance as a band I thought they were very cohesive and musically sound as a whole, there were very few if any hiccups during the night as they transitioned from song to song. Moving on to what everyone is dying to hear about most likely, Scott Weiland’s performance. To be honest I really only have one word to describe it, outstanding. From start to finish Weiland was vocally on point, hitting a wide range of notes and of course still had the growl in his voice that he became famous for. The highlights were certainly the new songs yet to be released but he really shined on the Stone Temple Pilot’s song “Big Bang Baby” also with a masterful delivery of the iconic song. The full setlist for the World Cafe Live show in Philadelphia is below for those curious what Scott Weiland & The Wildabouts are doing on this tour run:
Scott Weiland & The Wildabouts March 12, 2015 Setlist – Philadelphia
The Way She Moves
Big Bang Baby
The Jean Genie (David Bowie cover)
Dead & Bloated
Philadelphia was treated to a fantastic night of rock music last night and Scott Weiland is to thank for that. The World Cafe Live venue lended itself greatly to the show due to it’s superb layout, sound system, and unique lighting rig; all crucial parts in a top notch performance. I’d highly recommend catching a show on this ‘Master Blaster’ tour run if you can, Pennsylvania fans can rejoice if they missed this show or just want another dosage of Weiland because he will be back on May 12th in Lancaster at the Chameleon Club. Until then you can stream a few of the new songs from “Blaster,” drop a pre-order on the album, and take joy in the fact that Scott Weiland has reclaimed his rightful throne at the top of the rock and alternative genres.