Mar 13, 2015

Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts - Ottobar

By Bob Suehs

www.rocknrollexperience.com

Scott Weiland & The Wildabouts / Stocklyn

March 13, 2015

Ottobar

Baltimore, Maryland

It was a rather calm Friday the 13th in Baltimore when former Stone Temple Pilot singer Scott Weiland performed at the 300+ capacity Ottobar in Baltimore.

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The Ottobar is a quintessential dive bar located deep in Baltimore and set in a neighborhood right out of the TV show “The Wire”. Weiland’s show did not sell out fast....according to the ticketing website tickets were still available the day before the show which proved that many fans were skeptical as to whether or not Weiland would perform at the tiny club.

Those who paid for the VIP entry were allowed in early for a prime spot BUT to be honest with you the VIP entry was not necessary. Doors opened at 8 PM and a tiny line (15 people tops) had no problem getting up front for this show. The club was packed in tight just before Weiland took the stage...that’s when you could clearly see the show was sold out.

Stocklyn took the stage at 9 PM and their set was guitar heavy, leather jacket wearing, hard drumming rock n roll! I had no expectations for Stocklyn and was pleased with their set because they are really good at what they do.

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Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts are a tad different from Scott’s previous solo band which featured Doug Grean on guitar. The Wildabouts are guitar/bass/drums and a tad more STP-like than Weiland’s previous solo band.

On this night I joked that Scott should have called this show the “S.T.P. show” and the initials would stand for “Scott’s Teleprompter Party” because....spoiler alert: Scott is using a teleprompter onstage these days in small clubs!

In the video above Scott made a random comment about STP saying in code that they had made a mistake choosing Chester from Linkin Park.

Audience: “Chester Sucks, Chester Sucks!”

Scott Weiland: “God Bless him, They know not well what they’ve done.”

The audience continued to belittle Chester but Scott noticed I was filming and decided to keep his mouth shut at this point and you can clearly see Scott’s Teleprompter at the end of the clip.

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The Wildabouts sounded great, the rhythm section was spot on, the guitar tone was lean and strong....sadly though, the reality is that Weiland IS the only selling point to this band. The Wildabouts are an average bar band and Weiland chose strong backing musicians who sadly will never attained the level of rock stardom that he has.

Weiland delivered a strong performance and I’ve always said that when you see Weiland sober there is no better 90’s era frontman. Weiland didn’t look totally “healthy” if I’m being honest with you and at times he looked a tad frail while performing.

Weiland’s white sleeves hid some odd burn marks on his left arm and there’s a crackpipe joke in there somewhere but I’ll play nice for this review.

When a larger artist performs at a small club it’s usually a rare chance to perform “loose” without the confines of an arena styled set list....this entire tour Weiland has stuck to the same set list night after night and I will admit that I was let down by that. I understand why bigger bands stick to a certain set list when pyro, lighting cues, curtains, etc. are set down to timing but when an artist performs in a small club the sky’s the limit in terms of what they play....The teleprompter set list remains unchanged for this tour!

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I make casual jokes about the teleprompter in this review simply because it’s Weiland’s job to sing these songs.... his ONLY job is to remember those words which he wrote for an hour a night. Weiland is not as old as Steven Tyler or Ozzy.....if he forgets the words to a song he can ad-lib it, no one would really care!

“Dead and Bloated” was performed BUT the version they are doing on this tour is faster, heavier, and more “punk rock” than the original sludgy version. The show ended with a revved up version of “Unglued” which saw Weiland tweaking the bass pedal effect knobs to create noise & feedback....I was hoping Weiland would close the show like he did the last time he played Baltimore, “Goodnight DC!” but sadly he simply walked off stage at the end.

After the show Weiland did a meet and greet and charged fans $140 for a picture and autograph....there was a good amount of people who paid to meet him and hopefully they walked away with a good experience. At the merch table I was surprised to see Weiland shirts for $20 & $25 each because the shirts were almost the same price as the concert tickets for this show!

Despite my cynical comments, overall this was a fun rock show and probably the most legendary rock show ever performed at the Ottobar!