Photo Gallery! Stone Temple Pilots, Jimi Hendrix All-Star Tribute Jam With Slash & Dave Navarro
Monday, September 23, 2002 @ 7:16 PM
Stone Temple Pilots; Slash, Da
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Went down to San Diego, California’s 19th annual Street Scene with two simple goals: Check out Stone Temple Pilots on Friday night, and check out the all-star Jimi Hendrix Tribute jam on Saturday. Mission accomplished.
There were to be some 90+ bands on… I don’t know how many stages. There was a terrific selection… from rock, blues, country, pop, international… something for everyone. I just want to start off by saying that I’ve been all over the US and Europe to many festivals and concerts, and this was by FAR one of the most highly organized, cleanest, friendliest events I’ve encountered. Nestled in the heart of San Diego’s Gas Lamp district, the streets were shut down and well secured – without hassle – plenty of parking, restrooms… beer lines were short and affordable, and actually served frosty beverages of all varieties. And the food stands were fantastic – not cheap little “fair” type stands, but actual restaurants from around the area set up shop. I was highly impressed. Their organizers are certainly on top of their game. I guess that’s why they’re into their 2nd decade of providing fine entertainment.
Now let’s get to the core of things.
STONE TEMPLE PILOTS
I was expecting some great things from Stone Temple Pilots. What I did not expect was to see Scott Weiland and the boys in immaculate form. Whatever trials and tribulations the vocalist had endured in his past were long, long gone – well, judging by his flawless and attentive performance anyway.
On a large open-air stage flanked by video monitors the size of a house, some five thousand or so fans crowded beneath the shining stars, as some gently-strummed blues emanated from the blackness of the stage for a minute or so. As the stage lights flashed on, vocalist Scott Weiland, guitarist Dean DeLeo, bassist Robert DeLeo and drummer Eric Kretz suddenly appeared in a strange, glorious moment. For me, it was almost a band that time forgot, and it suddenly became all so real and clear.
Hammering out Pink Floyd’s “Shine On You Crazy Diamond,” I just couldn’t believe how incredible and healthy Weiland looked. I was so close to him: I could see this…passion… just brimming a millimeter under his skin, ready to explode and ooze all over the stage.
They ripped through some great tunes: “Vasoline,” “Crackeman” (where Weiland murmured the underlying “…get away, gotta get away…” into a megaphone), “Hollywood Bitch,” “Big Empty,” and “Dead and Bloated.” I swear, he was looking directly into every single person’s eyes in the audience. He went one by one, burning into their retinas his message, silently but clearly: “I’m back.”
And the band played on… Led Zeppelin’s “Dancing Days” and then “Sour Girl.” Suddenly, the stage was rearranged so that the entire band sat down up front, even the drummer was up to the stage, and they softened up with “Creep.” Alright, I missed the next song, okay? I had to… go fix my hair. Yeah. So by the time I got back, they had pulled the chairs and drums back, and kicked into the sultry “Lounge Fly,” followed by the bizarrely titled “Trippin’ On a Hole In a Paper Heart,” and then into the very lovely “Interstate Love Song.”
Then it came, STP’s breakthrough of what would become a giant leap into the industry, “Plush,” and what is in my humble opinion, one of the finest songs ever written. Weiland stood dead center at the very edge of the stage:
“Wheeen the dogs do find herrr….” He holds the mic straight out across the masses…
“Got time, time, to wait for tomorroooooow….” the crowd sings back at him after the pin-drop silence of a pause, with a beautiful surge of gratefulness.
Suddenly, Weiland leaps into the crowd and continues the “duet” with the audience as he’s body-surfing a wave of arms and hands and heads. Chills. Complete chills and utter contentment.
It could have stopped there, and I would have been in heaven. Except one thing: we were missing a song here. But first they ran through “Sunday Girl.” Finally, they closed their amazing performance with “Sex Type Thing.” There it is! All their greats wrapped up into one goddamn fantastic show.
Amazing showmanship, flawless musicianship, undulating presence and power.
THE JIMI HENDRIX TRIBUTE
The second night, I headed back to the main stage again where STP left their burn marks from the fire they blasted the night before. Now, this was an annual tribute to the great, legendary guitarist where a variety of major talent commingles onstage, not attempting to replicate the music of Hendrix (how could that be done?), but to show their appreciation and the impact he’s had on so many musicians over the years. I will say, that with such a mixture of guitarists and bassists changing after each song, things got a bit awry sound-wise. There were quite a few pesky interruptions from the production side of things, although being the professionals that these musicians were, it still went off very well. I believe Jimi’s daughter Janie and son Bob introed all the musicians.
Well, let me tell you, band members changed around so much it was hard to keep track of who played with whom, so bear with me if the details are a bit sparse. I do know that the “core” rhythm section consisted of drummer Buddy Miles and bassist Billy Cox, and eventually Jimi Hendrix’s original drummer, Mitch Mitchell, joined in.
Bernard Allison, son of the late blues legend Luther Allison kicked things off with “Hear My Train A Comin’” with the help of Stevie Ray Vaughn’s Double Trouble -- bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton. Robert Randolph on his steel pedal guitar (which, as you can see in the pics below looks almost like a keyboard from it’s position) dove into “Purple Haze.”
Matchbox 20 guitarist Kyle Cook took to the vocals on “Little Wing,” with some help from Blues Traveler John Popper, and Cesar Rojas and David Hidalgo of Los Lobos. Ex-Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor did a terrific job on “Red House.” Kenny Wayne Shepard then stepped up on guitar with Cook back on vocals and the Double trouble guys backing them up on “(Come On) Let The Good Times Roll.”
“With the power of soul anything is possible…” ripped out Living Colour vocalist Corey Glover with the help of fellow bandmates guitarist Vernon Reid, drummer Will Calhoun and bassist Doug Wimbish on “Power To Love.” Wow, another band I forgot about. These guys are amazing! They also played their own separate set earlier in the day, but I didn’t get to catch it – I’m kicking myself now. The Los Lobos duo joined Billy Cox on drums and Buddy Miles on bass for "Spanish Castle Magic." Then joining Cox and Miles was guitarist Eric Gales on the smokin’ “Foxey Lady.”
Ahhh… now here’s what I came to see! Slash ripping it up with Cox and Miles on “Stone Free.” What I really wanted to see was Slash sharing the stage with the next guitarist, Dave Navarro, but alas, it was not to be. Nonetheless, Jane’s Addiction’s “pretty boy” joined Danny Glover in busting out their rendition of “Fire.” He announced before playing, “By the way, we have Mitch Mitchell on the drums, and it’s such an honor to share the stage with him,” with utter sincerity and an almost boyish worship. Now, Navarro started having some serious technical problems and spent a lot of time bent down at his monitor. It sure didn’t seem to daunt him, as he closed his eyes and let “Jimi take over!” Wrapping things up was Stephen Stills on guitar and vocals doing “Hey Joe.” It was lovely.
Now, if you read the initial report of this event, you may be now saying, “I thought Ace Frehley was supposed to perform?” Yeah, well he wasn’t there! Let the assumptions begin…
Overall, the tribute was nice, but being plagued with technical glitches and shifting around so many musicians, it was a little hard to really get into the vibe that was intended. Don’t get me wrong, it was fabulous, but there was just a bit of “flow” missing. Anyway, I’m glad I caught it! Apparently they do this every year with a bunch of different musicians, so check it out if you can!