By Thom Jennings
Niagara Gazette — On Monday night, Scott Weiland, one of alternative rock music’s most talented and versatile vocalists comes to the Rapids Theatre in Niagara Falls to perform two groundbreaking Stone Temple Pilots albums in their entirety. The albums “Core,” and “Purple” are the first two releases from the grunge rockers and represent the height of the bands popularity.
Released in 1992, “Core” peaked at number three on the Billboard 200 charts and went on to sell over eight million copies. The album contains classic STP cuts like “Plush,” “Sex Type Thing,” and “Wicked Garden.” The title of the album refers to the apple from the Garden of Eden, and thematically the album addresses the inequalities that exist in the world, and a pointed critique of organized religion. “Plush” earned the band their only Grammy Award, it won in the “Best Hard Rock Performance” category.
Two years later STP released the follow up to “Core,” entitled “Purple.” While that album did not achieve the success of its predecessor, “Purple” did sell over three million units and solidified STP’s spot as a major headliner. It also hit number one on the Billboard 200 charts, the only time STP achieved the milestone.
“Core” contains the hits “Vasoline” and “Interstate Love Song.” The album saw the band expand their sound beyond the grunge style that dominated “Core.” The “Purple” era began what was to be a troubled time for Weiland, it was on the tour supporting “Purple” that Weiland later claimed he became addicted to heroin.
The band never reached the same level of commercial success again and Weiland’s personal life became more of a story than the band’s music, resulting in canceled concerts, arrests and eventually leading to STP’s breakup in 2003 after nine tumultuous years.
Weiland went on to join the supergeroup Velvet Revolver, which featured Slash on guitar. The band’s fate was similar to STP’s albeit in four years. Velvet Revolver’s debut album “Contraband,” released in 2004, went multi-platinum and the song “Slither” won a Grammy for “Best Hard Rock Performance.” By 2008 and after years of internal struggles which included the band members attacking each other in the press and on their personal blogs, the band split.
Since 2008 Weiland has reunited with both STP and Velvet Revolver for short periods of time. STP toured sporadically from 2008-2011 and released an eponymous album in 2010. Velvet Revolver played a one-off charity gig in January 2012.
Last year marked the 20th anniversary of the release of “Core” and in spite of Weiland telling media outlets that STP would celebrate the milestone, nothing ever materialized. Weiland has also been quoted in the press saying he would like to reunite with Velvet Revolver, but as recently as last month Slash said that a reunion was unlikely.
Weiland will be performing at The Rapids with his solo band called The Wildabouts. The “Purple at the Core” tour has limited dates so it’s a great opportunity to see two classic albums performed by their original singer.IF YOU GO • WHAT: Scot Weiland performing STP albums "Core" and "Purple" • WHEN: 8 p.m. Monday • WHERE: Rapids Theatre, Main Street, Niagara Falls • TICKETS: $35 in advance and $40 day of show Thom Jennings covers the local music scene for Night & Day.