Velvet Revolver — the supergroup featuring Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland, former Guns n’ Roses members Slash, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum, and Suicidal Tendencies’ guitarist Dave Kushner — made their live debut last night at the celebrity-filled El Rey Theater in Los Angeles.
The band kicked off their six-song set with the Sex Pistols’ “Bodies.” Next was “Set Me Free,” their single from the Hulk soundtrack, which is already garnering heavy spins on L.A. rock radio stations.
“You’re never gonna see anything like that, motherfuckers!” a healthy-looking Weiland told the audience before launching into “Sex Type Thing,” from his other band’s 1992 debut set Core. “You wanna know who influenced that song for me?” he asked when the song was over. “You sure you’re ready for it?” The answer came in the form of a rocking cover of “It’s So Easy,” Weiland’s favorite Gn’R track, from Appetite for Destruction.
The set ended with a second new song, “Slither,” which drew raves from comedian David Spade. “When you can hear his voice, it’s good,” Spade quipped. “He nailed some shit in there like he does on Plush.”
Velvet Revolver returned with an encore of Nirvana’s “Negative Creep,” served up special for the band’s former drummer Dave Grohl. Also in the audience were Hulk director Ang Lee, No Doubt’s Tony Kanal, actor/musician Vincent Gallo, and members of the Cult and Lit.
“Weiland’s an amazing frontman,” Lit guitarist Jeremy Popoff said. “It’s great to see all those guys onstage together . . . it’s like watching an all-star basketball game.”
Velvet Revolver, currently unsigned, also drew many A&R scouts from such major labels as Columbia, Warner Bros. and Island Def Jam. One label executive, who didn’t want to be named, said the show “rocked” and that the band “didn’t look too old.”
At a press conference before the show, Slash said Velvet Revolver will do more gigs around L.A. “just to get in front of an audience” before entering the recording studio this fall. Now, they’re rehearsing full-time, five days a week, and still hoping for a pre-Christmas release for their debut album, despite Weiland’s looming July 11th court date, when he’ll face his latest round of drug charges.
“What happened to Scott could, and has, happened to all of us,” McKagan said. “There’s a common thread, and it relates to all of our pasts.”