I kind of liked Stone Temple Pilots back in the early ’90s, but I’m not especially nostalgic for their sound. Plus, part of me blames them for all those increasingly annoying grunge ripoff bands that made rock radio suck so bad at the turn of the millennium.
So I would have much rather kept kickin’ it over at the Fisher Green stage with 72-year-old reggae icon Lee "Scratch" Perry Sunday night at Bumbershoot. But a lot of people seem to think the STP reunion is a pretty big honkin’ deal. And I felt it my obligation as a rock critic to at least catch part of the band’s main stage set over at Memorial Stadium. Besides, you never knew if embattled singer Scott Weiland would show off any of the “erratic onstage behavior” that got him booted out of Velvet Revolver.
My girlfriend and I showed up just in time to catch the guy making a request.
"Please don’t throw beers cans,” he said, speaking in a spacey, disconnected voice before his band launched into grunge-era rocker, “Crackerman.” I’m not particularly in the mood for beer right now."
What? I hadn’t seen anything fly up there (granted I was pretty far back.) And I’m almost positive no one was selling canned beer at Seattle Center. Recalling how visibly wasted Weiland had appeared last time I saw STP at the Tacoma Dome years ago, I figured this could get interesting. But to his credit, the singer was charismatic and remained coherent during the tail end of the STP set, which included some of the bands biggest hits – “Creep,” “Sour Girl,” "Interstate Love Song" — all delivered in front of a psychedelic backdrop of kaleidoscopic color, cascading rose petals and sub-oceanic views.
"There’s a song off our first record that even if you don’t own it you’ve probably heard it once or twice. It goes like this," Weiland said by way of introducing "Plush," which sparked big cheers.
The material mostly went over well, with fans singing along with their favorite parts. I enjoyed some of the catchier numbers, but it mostly sounded pretty dated. If I’m going to party like it’s 1993, I would have much rather have been watching a recently reunited Soundgarden. But who wouldn’t, huh? We took off a few minutes early to beat the traffic.
Ewww! What’s that smell, mon?: Reggae titan Lee "Scratch" Perry lights his incense hat early during his set on Bumbershoot’s Fisher Green stage. “I don’t smoke ganja anymore,” he once told PopMatters.com. “I smoke incense. Because when you smoke incense, your senses are in.”