"I ain't no sinner," Scott Weiland announced before he and the three guitarists and drummer comprising his five-piece band launched into a fevered rendition of "Interstate Love Song," the alternative-rock classic by Stone Temple Pilots, one of a handful of bands Weiland experienced problems with, presumably due to his well-chronicled, heroin-related sins.
Weiland at least gave the appearance of a redeemed rocker Friday at La Zona Rosa in Austin. It was the second stop on a tour in support of his second solo album, Happy in Galoshes, which arrives a decade after its predecessor, 12 Bar Blues. Weiland looked svelte in a dapper three-piece suit. He danced his own frenetic version of the twist, with the stamina of a long-distance runner. His only onstage vice was the occasional cigarette.
(Check out exclusive, intimate photos of Weiland backstage and onstage here.)
The thirtysomething males in the audience went as ballistic during "Interstate" as they did during fellow STP heavies "Vaseline" and "Unglued," raising their devil-horn hands high above their heads. In between said golden oldies, Weiland tried out the new stuff, albeit to lukewarm reception. That might have had less to do with the quality and presentation of the songs — "Paralysis," in particular, with its foot-stomping refrain, "call my name, shout my name," playing out against a backdrop of an EKG graphic and female silhouettes common to the mudflaps of 18-wheelers, was especially exhilarating — as it did with the scattershot nature of the songs. One minute there was a Latin lounge vibe, as on "Killing Me Sweetly"; the next there was an industrial tone with electronic accents, as on "Big Black Monster."
But while Weiland's repertoire was erratic, his faith in the absolution of his sins remained steadfast when, tiny bubbles floating about the stage during encore lead-off "Beautiful Day," he reiterated his newfound disposition: "Doing well/Feeling fine/Modulate/Higher mind."
"Reel Around the Fountain"
"Killing Me Sweetly"
"Big Black Monster"
"Interstate Love Song"