STONE TEMPLE PILOTS
In 2003, after over a decade in existence, the core lineup of Stone Temple Pilots - vocalist Scott Weiland, guitarist Dean DeLeo, bassist Robert DeLeo, and drummer Eric Kretz - parted ways to pursue other musical ventures. Notably, Weiland fronted the uber successful Velvet Revolver and, despite widely reported ongoing problems with drug/alcohol addiction over the years, has remained an iconic and respected singer/songwriter within the rock/metal fraternity. And the news of Stone Temple Pilot's reformation with their original lineup in 2008 would've undoubtedly been most welcome news to a whole generation of rockers. An eponymously titled brand new studio album followed in 2010 and it was in this year that their first ever official live concert release was filmed, at the Riviera Theatre in Chicago in front of a capacity crowd. Two years on, here it finally is on DVD.
Filmed in March of said year, the show actually took place just before their comeback album was unleashed. The setlist contains a small amount of new material but, predominantly, the band's considered classics such as 'Vasoline', 'Sour Girl', 'Creep', 'Plush' and 'Big Empty' form the largest part of the show. Pro-quality, multi-camera footage, from close-ups to wide-angle shots, has been edited together in fairly composed and relaxed montages so there's generally no speedy cross-cutting between different shots, providing plenty of focus on individual performances as well as that of the band as a whole. And while bros DeLeo and Kretz are fairly laid-back in their stage personas apart from occasional bursts of movement, it's Weiland who provides the onstage energy with one of his eccentrically charged performances, occasionally with cigarette in hand (the smoking ban won't stop this man, which was in effect in the state of Illinois at the time of the show...yeah, okay, I was sad enough to look that up!) Mid-set, Weiland claims: "we're sort of bringing things down a little bit in the middle section because we're seventy five years old and have to catch our breath". Well, they were all in their forties in March 2010 but, based on the DVD evidence here, they still look like they're capable of rocking it out , albeit perhaps not with quite as much energy as back in the day, but you have to admire the man's honesty!
Sound-wise, there are three options to appease those with different home set-ups - Dolby Digital Stereo; Dolby Digital 5.1; DTS Surround - and each has a well-balanced, clear mix that efficaciously captures the audio of the performance. And, as a bonus feature, there's fifteen minutes worth of interviews with band members talking about a range of subjects from the new album, the fact they believe they're "still playing way too loud on stage", the state of the music industry, inter-band relationships and touring, intercut with brief clips of rehearsal/tour/backstage footage. The inclusion of a full-on tour documentary would've been nice but, as such, 'Alive in the Windy City' is a neat little package that'll be sure to please long-time fans of the band. For those of you where Stone Temple Pilots have been off your radar for some years, maybe this'll provide you with the ideal opportunity to rediscover your affinity with this rejuvenated bunch of American alt-rockers.
Eagle Rock Entertainment
ALIVE IN THE WINDY CITY
Review by Mark Holmes
25th June 2012
1) Vasoline; 2) Crackerman; 3) Wicked Garden; 4) Hollywood Bitch; 5) Between the Lines; 6) Hickory Dichotomy; 7) Big Empty; 8) Sour Girl; 9) Creep; 10) Plush; 11) Interstate Love Song; 12) Bagman; 13) Huckleberry Crumble; 14) Sex Type Thing; 15) Dead and Bloated; 16) Lounge Fly; 17) Piece of Pie; 18) Trippin' on a Hole in a Paper Heart
Bonus Feature: Interview with STP
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"...a neat little package that'll be sure to please long-time fans of the band. For those of you where Stone Temple Pilots have been off your radar for some years, maybe this'll provide you with the ideal opportunity to rediscover your affinity with this rejuvenated bunch of American alt-rockers."