Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Stone Temple Pilots @ Festival Hall, Melbourne (19/03/2011)

 Stone Temple Pilots @ Festival Hall, Melbourne (19/03/2011) 

STP performing PLUSH in Melbourne, March 2011. 

19 years after the release of their debut album Core, Stone Temple Pilots finally set foot on Australian soil. Was it worth the wait? An unsurprisingly sold-out Festival Hall treated openers Grinspoon kindly, despite older tracks such as Champion having aged as terribly as some of the tired old rock-dogs who had dusted off their old Van Halen and Aerosmith t-shirts just for the occasion.
The sparsely decorated stage was treated only with flood lights and a large psychedelic banner, a 15-foot reminder of STP’s latest – and extremely underwhelming – self-titled release. Set opener Crackerman instantly animated the audience, who threw themselves about as energetically as the band did. They followed with Wicked Garden and Vasoline, which almost the entire audience followed with volume and fervour. For a band that’s almost 20-years old and well passed its prime, they looked and played as if they hadn’t aged a day.

Three songs in and Scott Weiland had the audience eating out of his hand. As one of the best front-men in the business, he knows how to work an audience as few others do. The floor followed his movements from one end of the stage to the other, as he threw himself around with a youthful agility that belied a past of well-document excess.

Heaven and Hot Rods followed the perfectly executed introduction preceding it. The band then diverged into Between the Lines and Hickory Dichotomy from their latest album, which was met by a reserved audience, many of whom seemed unfamiliar with the songs. It was a reminder that the Stone Temple Pilot’s of 2011 are definitely not the Stone Temple Pilot’s of 1994, although this fact was pleasantly ignored each time they ventured back into those songs from the 1990’s.

Dean DeLeo’s huge, and somewhat lazy blues-inspired riffs tore through Still Remains and Big Empty. Drummer Eric Kretz and bassist Rob DeLeo impressively nailed the rhythmically driven Dancing Days by Led Zeppelin, which wasn’t met with the rapture it deserved by anyone except a few diehards scattered amongst the floor. Following this the band launched into a huge version of Silvergun Superman, backed-up by Plush and Interstate Love Song. They performed these songs with a genuine enjoyment, which bands that have been playing the same songs for close to 20-years could be expected to lack. Again the audience followed the huge choruses, occasionally drowning out Weiland’s own vocals.

Weiland was either quiet or indecipherable between songs. He introduced Huckleberry Crumble – another new song – to a similarly reserved response, after which he attempted to speak on behalf of one of the many tragedies around the world. This led to him repeating the word “freedom!” over and over, much to the audience’s consternation. The thick chugging riff’s of Down filled out the venue and then gave way to an uninspired version of the Door’s Five to One, which tested both the audience’s patience and enthusiasm.
Arguably the greatest moment was Sex Type Thing, which regained the attention of the crowd and thankfully eclipsed the lifeless Five to One. It was a pity that they basically ended it there. Leaving the stage for a short period they returned and closed with Trippin’ on a Hole in a Paper Heart.

At the conclusion of the song they met shoulder-to-shoulder, arrested by the loud and steady applause emanating from an audience that harvested a desire for more. The band wandered across the stage thanking almost every square inch of audience they could see. As they walked off the lights dimmed and the audience started up again, attempting to coerce the band into another encore. But when the house lights came on and the roadies started dismantling equipment, a long and justifiable sigh filled the venue.
For a band with such a strong back catalogue of material, the set contained some strange choices. The contrast between the new songs and the old reaffirmed the belief that the best years of their recording career are probably far behind them. But with albums like Core, Purple, Tiny Music… and No. 4 this hardly matters. It’s a wonder why it took them so long to come here, and if they ever find to time to return let’s hope they don’t forget Dead & Bloated. - Review hoipolloi906 from

One of the best ever

Friday, March 4, 2011

Iron Maiden Live Review Of Melbourne Concert At Hisense Arena


Everything about Iron Maiden is big.
From the album sales (now in excess of 85 million) to the specially-commissioned 757 jumbo jet ‘Ed Force One’ to the band’s standing in music history.
And as Melbourne fans witnessed on Wednesday night at Hisense Arena, the legendary British heavy metal band’s show is just as grandiose.
Not only were thousands of fans treated to a dose of metal just the way metal should be delivered, but the elaborate, futuristic-themed stage set-up was nothing short of gobsmacking.
While the spaceship setting, generous assortment of giant backdrops and two huge screens were mighty impressive, nothing compared to the robotic 12-foot version of the band’s iconic mascot ‘Eddie’ that walked on stage and interacted with band members.
Iron Maiden was in town in support of its 15th studio album ‘The Final Frontier’ and, aside from some gentle ribbing about Australia’s recent capitulation in the Ashes series, lead singer/band pilot Bruce Dickinson and Co. wowed a rabid audience.
The 16-song set was evenly split between newer and classic material - the band’s latest release was afforded the most attention with no less than five of its tracks blasted out.
While classics such as ‘The Trooper’, ‘Fear Of The Dark’ and ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’ whipped the crowd into a frenzy, the biggest reaction was reserved for none other than one of heavy metal’s greatest tracks – ‘The Number Of The Beast’.
And after the final song ‘Running Free’ came to an end, fans would have left the arena mighty satisfied with the performance they were given.
All six band members might be in their 50s but they looked anything but their age.
Guitarists Adrian Smith, Dave Murray and Janick Gers were sublime, bassist Steve Harris was at his thunderous best, Nicko McBrain didn’t miss a beat behind the drums and while Dickinson’s voice certainly wasn’t like it was at its prime, it still delivered in spades and was capable of hitting many high notes with precision.

Satellite 15... The Final Frontier
El Dorado
2 Minutes To Midnight
The Talisman
Coming Home
Dance Of Death
The Trooper
The Wicker Man
Blood Brothers
When The Wind Blows
The Evil That Men Do
Fear Of The Dark
Iron Maiden
Number Of The Beast
Hallowed Be Thy Name
Running Free