I arrived yesterday at LA Live for the MusiCares MAP Fund Awards Show, headlined by Stone Temple Pilots with the main honoree being their new lead singer Chester Bennington. When I first arrived I saw the red carpet for arrivals, and at around 6:15PM the stars began to show up. The first person I recognized was Scott Stapp, the infamous lead singer of Creed and the namesake of my Ten Club Community name (scottstappsucks). Stapp took his sweet ass time on the red carpet, I swear to God he was on it for at least 45 minutes, soaking in all of the reporters pretending to give a shit about him. When Stapp finally left the red carpet I sarcastically yelled ‘Stapp!’ at him and he sarcastically waved back before his wife dragged him away. The poor guy never got to hear my rendition of “My Sacrifice.” I also saw Slash, Duff McKagan, and Andy Dick.
But Stone Temple Pilots were the main attraction, showing up last. As the band moved their way near the end of the red carpet I called out to Robert who saw my STP shirt, and I was able to get a picture with him. I also briefly spoke to him, asking if STP actually did re-record “Only Dying” post Mighty Joe Young. Robert told me that they never re-recorded it, ending the near 20 year myth that they did. Next I saw Dean, and got my picture taken with him. I asked Dean when the Shangri LA DEE DA documentary would be coming out. Dean, likely taken aback, thought for about 10 seconds and sarcastically said, “We’ll have to find it again first.” I also told Dean that STP were one of my favorite bands and he was very humble. Last but not least was the Kretzel, who I also got my picture taken with. I could have gotten my picture taken with Chester Bennington, but I didn’t want to screw over the Linkin Park fans (and I still do have some loyalty to Scott Weiland). Speaking of Scott, Dean (it might have been Robert) refused to sign a group picture that included Scott in it. This scared me away from asking the guys about their issues with him, but it was a dream come true meeting them. I met Scott Weiland in 2008 (who was also kind, like his ex-bandmates were last night) so I have now met all four members of STP.
Once I walked up to Club Nokia they didn’t allow cameras unfortunately so I only got some iPhone pictures. The actual show focused on MusiCares (foundation to help musicians struggling with addiction) a lot, as it was a benefit show/awards ceremony. Bobby Lee from MadTV was the host. Anthony Kiedis from the Red Hot Chili Peppers made a speech. One performance that stood out was Ida Maria, she really rocked. I had heard her song “Bad Karma” during the credits in Scream 4 a couple of years ago and that song immediately impressed me. Her performance was solid and she was in full on punk rock mode by the end of her 3 song set. Andy Dick also came out for a speech that was pretty funny, he told a story about walking into a black barbershop last week.
Chester Bennington received the Stevie Ray Vaughn Award. Bennington was very humble in his speech, mentioning that he believes many deserved this award before him and that this is all about MusiCares and not him. He talked about the satisfaction he gets from helping out at children’s hospitals, and helping out musicians struggling with addiction.
Stone Temple Pilots kicked off their set immediately following Bennington’s speech. It felt quite weird at first seeing the guys perform “Wicked Garden” without Scott, I saw the band 8 times from 2008-2012 and the final image I saw of the original lineup was last September on stage with their children. It’s been a very weird 10 months or so since then. “Big Bang Baby” made me forget about any hesitations I had, Chester killed it on this song. “Big Bang Baby” was the one song that Scott never seemed to get right during the reunion era, but this performance was fantastic. “Out of Time” was a highlight of the set, and got the best crowd reaction. It sounded great and you could tell the new incarnation of STP were thrilled to be playing something they’d written and recorded together. Dean’s solo during ‘Trippin’ on a Hole in a Paper Heart” was fantastic, better than at the September 2012 STP show I attended. Dean in general seemed more energetic and happy to be there, unlike the last year and a half the original STP were touring where at times Dean looked bored on stage. Robert was Robert, if the band hate each other’s guts or are getting along great (like tonight) he is always fantastic.
The best moment of the short set was when former Guns N’ Roses/Velvet Revolver members Slash and Duff McKagan came on stage to perform a cover of “All The Young Dudes.” For this song Robert switched to acoustic guitar. Chester blew me away on this song, his best vocal performance of the night. Robert was all smiles during this, everybody was hugging before and after the song. It was quite surreal to see the most important people in Scott Weiland’s career all on stage together performing without him. Overall this was a great experience, I got to meet the STP guys and the set (while short) was very inspired and it has me excited about the future of this new supergroup/incarnation of STP. I don’t give a shit what they call it, as long as the performances and music is solid. I’ve never been a big Linkin Park fan but Bennington impressed me, and I think Scott Weiland is totally wrong in his assumption that CheSTP will fail.
Big Bang Baby
Out of Time
Trippin’ on a Hole in a Paper Heart
All The Young Dudes (with Slash and Duff McKagan)