Friday, December 09, 2011

Scott Weiland delivers yuletide dud in Santa Ana

Photos courtesy of Ida Miller

Bah, Humbug!

Ebenezer Scrooge returned from the grave last night.

Maybe rocker Scott Weiland thought he was bringing a bona fide holiday gift to The Galaxy Theatre in Santa Ana on Thursday night in support of his recently-released The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, but for the majority of the crowd who were gone before the Stone Temple Pilots frontman came to his encore just before midnight, Marley's Ghost would well have been a welcome sight.

I can remember only a handful of shows as bad or odd as the Weiland's Christmas-minded Dec. 8 concert. In fact, the whole affair had me actually bursting out in uncontrollable laughter during "I'll Be Home For Christmas" because I simply couldn't believe how awful it was.

Doing his best to mine a 1960s-era Dean Martin/Rat Pack/cocktail lounge vibe or something, Weiland's baritone rarely hit its artistic mark (and frequently even the right notes) despite the dozen or so talented musicians sharing the stage with the one-time area resident (he attended Edison High School in Huntington Beach). Taking the stage in a sleek white dinner jacket and sipping a can of a popular energy drink, at least Weiland looked cool.

Although there were an endless series of low points throughout the 70-minute concert (yes, there were no opening acts on the bill and Weiland didn't take the stage until about 10:45 p.m.), the reggae-styled version of "O Holy Night" was dreadful. I kept thinking of Johnny Mathis' great version and Daryl Hall's amazing soul-drenched working of the affecting classic, and wondered "What was Weiland thinking?"

About the only highlight (and I'm being generous here) was his duet with guitarist-vocalist Doug Grean on “Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy,” conjuring up the famous televised version featuring Bing Crosby and David Bowie immortalized in a 1977 television special.

Even a version of STP's “Vasoline” performed near the end of the night couldn't bring any real Christmas cheer to the proceedings.

Ask me about the Grinch and I'll tell you about a certain singer who stole Christmas. Big time.

1 comment:

ida said...

Sad but true, Robert. I also saw his El Rey show the night before. I had hoped the second night would be better, but sadly it was not. I am a huge fan, so it pains me to be bluntly honest about this debacle. Scott should stop embarrassing himself and get back to the rock & roll that he does so damn well.