A Pair of Concerts

Last night I went to go see Stone Temple Pilots with my brother. We met up with my old friend there at the show.  We go back a ways…we went to the same middle school together and were in orchestra.  (The funniest story I can remember from that time is when he pushed me off a desk, so I ran after him and hit him in the face. That got him suspended and I was sent to ISS…that made me cool for half of a day until everyone remembered what a nerd I was and went back to ignoring me.) One of the security guards at the show looked very much like another middle school classmate, and he even looked at us a couple of times as if he recognized us. So it was inadvertently a reunion.

Anyway, I used to be excited about this show, until I heard that Scott Weiland was arguably back off the wagon and was accused of using a backing track for his vocals.  Then our show date was rescheduled.  I didn’t set my expectations after that.  We didn’t even go out in the crowd. Pat and I had been up late from a party the night before and hadn’t gone to sleep until 5. I had maybe 4 hours of sleep at the most, so neither of us were really feeling like being around more drunk people and putting a lot of energy into the concert.  So we relaxed on the grass, which actually was a great view. There weren’t a lot of people at the show.

Stone Temple Pilots came on at 9:30 and only played for an hour and a half. My friend said that bands usually don’t put a lot of effort when they play our hometown, and after seeing STP, I can agree.  It’s not like they were bad – they were technically decent and Scott Weiland sounded passable.  Maybe if this had been my first show, I would have been more impressed. But I’ve seen way too many excellent shows during the past two years, so my standards are understandably higher.

They were just going through the motions, song after song.  Scott Weiland didn’t even talk to the crowd at all, except for one really weird rant about the economy and buying alcohol 2 for 1 and don’t get DUIs, he should know. Ok. Then at one point, he stopped a song because some dude threw beer at a chick.  He kept on drinking something in between just about every song, and he wouldn’t just drink from one receptacle.  We strongly suspect that he was drinking liquor and then having a chaser afterward.  He kept on waving his arms and acting weird. “Is he high or is he always like this?” my friend asked.  I said, “I think both.”

They finished the show and everyone was yelling for “CREEP!” at the encore, but they didn’t play “Creep” or “Sour Girl.” I knew they wouldn’t play “Sour Girl” but I was hoping they would, because it’s my favorite of theirs.  They finished up with “Trippin’ On a Hole With a Paper Heart,” and I felt like it was Scott Weiland’s personal message to everyone in the crowd. I left feeling pretty underwhelmed. I don’t think I’m going to become a rabid STP fan anytime soon.

The Aziz Ansari concert last weekend was much more satisfying. I went with a group of my closest pals, and it was a great show.  Aziz came out and let us take pictures of him doing silly, mock stand-up poses since he said that photography going off during the show is distracting. He has a lot of energy, which I can appreciate.  He is definitely a comedian for the 20’s crowd. A lot of the jokes I could relate to. Like with dating – how you could text someone back and forth and they are all responsive until you ask them out somewhere, and BAM – no response.  I also found his jokes about his cousin Harris funny (especially when he was talking about Harris and Drake), and R. Kelly explaining what an ATM machine is (“Withdraw…deposit. Withdraw…deposit.”)  I also loved the joke he made about overhearing 50 Cent ordering a grapefruit soda (“IT’S NOT PURPLE.”)  Or how he hates playing Halo with his cousin because he steals the rocket laucher at the beginning and blows everyone up (“Let me explain that for the people who don’t play Halo. It’s like you’re playing Monopoly, and you just got Park Place, and then someone comes by and blows you up with a rocket launcher.”) Besides being hilarious, he seemed genuinely kind and just a good guy. It was a great show.


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