Review: Scott Weiland’s Comeback Is In Full Force At Wellmont Theater

Photos by Greg Capra for AlternativeNation.net

After a rocky year, Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts completely tore the roof off the Wellmont Theater in Montclair, New Jersey on Saturday night.

After sets from local band American Diesel and Georgia rockers the Biters, Weiland and his band came out promptly at 10 PM, starting the set megaphone in hand for a rendition of STP’s classic crowdpleaser, “Crackerman”.

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Right off the bat, the band was tight. Scott Weiland hit all the notes, and Tommy Black’s bass lines punctuated Nick Maybury’s crunchy guitar tones. Joey Castillo of Queens of the Stone Age fame, who has been rounding out the band on drums since the departure of Dan Thompson earlier this year, has really added to the band: his trademark powerhouse drumming really adds an edge to the Wildabouts, making this current lineup the strongest in Weiland’s live history.

Weiland’s latest album, Blaster, had the widest representation out of any other album of his career in the setlist. The garage rocker “Modzilla”, Lawless homage “White Lightning”, “Hotel Rio”,  “Amethyst”, slinky “The Way She Moves”, and the ethereal “Parachute” all made it into the night’s set, the latter standing out as a highlight with its psychedelic harmonic vocals from Tommy Black.

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Funnily enough, Scott seemed most at home during his sprawling cover of “Jean Genie” (featured as bonus track on some copies of Blaster), boasting a smile on his face and churning out his trademark slither dance like a modern Jim Morrison.

The usual fan favorites from the STP catalog creeped their way into the set: “Big Empty”, “Big Bang Baby”, “Meatplow”. The Wildabouts’ new version of “Dead And Bloated” updates an old classic with a thrash metal-meets White Zombie vibe.

By the time Weiland and the band nailed the classic “Vasoline”, in the wake of a viral video from earlier in the year of a performance gone wrong, the former STP frontman already completely won the crowd over, which had erupted into a circle pit during the final chords of 1994’s “Unglued”.

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I met Weiland briefly before the show walking the streets of Montclair; he was walking at a brisk pace along Bloomfield Avenue with Tommy.

“Hey… big fan.”

“Thanks,” he said as he continued to walk towards the venue.

An exhausted Weiland would later tell the fans waiting outside by the tour bus that he had to do a meet and greet and didn’t have time. Most of the crowd dispersed at that point, and Tommy Black told the remaining fans that Weiland would be turning in for the night before offering to hang out at a local bar.

Weiland’s had a rough year in general, and the fans said they understood. However if tonight’s performance was an indication for things to come in the future, 2016 will be a total return to form. While the setlist needs a little bit of a shakeup, Scott hardly missed a beat and reminded the audience why he’s one of the great rock frontmen of the past twenty years.

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Check out AlternativeNation.net correspondent Greg Capra’s website GrungeMetalGraveyard.com, and Scott Weiland at ScottWeiland.com

  • Raj

    I don’t know if it is in full force but he sounds great on ‘Big Empty’. Conversations kill!!!

  • Felonious Punk

    Doug would have to be a “big fan” to consider Blaster a better album than most of STP’s stuff

    Regardless, if this show was as on point as he claims it was, it brings a wry smile to my face. THIS is the Scott Weiland I like to read about: the one who is performing to his potential and rocking the joint from beginning to end.

    Even if this whole Wildabouts phase is just a dress rehearsal for the impending STP reunion, he has to prove to the other three that he has his shit together. When he performs this well, he makes a good case for a potential reunion.

  • JoelS

    It seems ever since he got a new manager things have been on the upswing for the guy.

  • Jack

    Nothing worse than going to a show to stand behind some d-bag blocking your view while he records an unwatchable video with poor audio on his phone, that not even he will watch after uploading it to wherever.

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