December 1, 2015 Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts Rattle Gramercy Theatre, NYC 11-25-15 w/ Ten Ton Mojo & Biters
On the night before Thanksgiving of any given year, most residents of New York are either rushing to get out of town for the extended holiday weekend to spend time with their families and friends or prepping for the big meal the next day. In 2015, there were still a good amount of people in attendance for the show at Gramercy Theatre on East 23rd Street to see Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts in support of their most recent album, Blaster, released this past March. Amidst lengthy touring 2015 for Weiland and his band, this Wednesday night stop in New York City featured support from Atlanta, Georgian Rock-n-Rollers Biters as well as local Hard Rock Blues artists Ten Ton Mojo. As for Scott Weiland, he needs no introduction. Besides being known for his infamous on and off stage antics, musically he has released some superb music since being thrust onto the scene in the early 1990s with Stone Temple Pilots and their 1992 debut album, Core, a record that produced numerous hit singles and made both the band and Weiland household names. In 2003, Weiland search for new bandmates for his newest project, the super group Velvet Revolver, landed the singer with legendary greats Slash, Duff McKagan, Dave Kushner and Matt Sorum before releasing the highly successful Contraband in 2004. Despite their success, Velvet Revolver disbanded in 2008, freeing Weiland up to set out as a solo act along with his backup band, the Wildabouts.
The night began with one of New York’s favorite local bands, Ten Ton Mojo. These rockers have been performing in the New York scene since 2010, putting out their brand of soulful Blues and hard hitting Rock-n-roll. With Ernie Papp on vocals and tambourine, Scott Lano and Gabe Mera on guitars and Paul Kane on drums, the band was joined by a fill in bassist, Monster Magnet’s Phil Vaivano, who also happened to produce Ten Ton Mojo’s album release. The band went straight into “Gotta Get that Love,” the kick-off track from their self-titled, 2013 release. Up next was “Karmalita” and “Got the Light On.” It is obvious why these guys are one of the top local acts in the Big Apple, because as they continued on, they became more and more intriguing. Next, Ten Ton Mojo performed “One and Only,” a single they released from their debut album, along with “Pinball Girl,” “Made to Suffer” and “99 Pounds of Soul” before finishing up with “High Forever.” They had a good amount of their own fan base in the audience and newer fans by the time they were done with their half-hour set time.
Up next on stage were Biters, who had just joined the tour in mid-November. Formed in 2009, Biters released four EPs in years past, starting with 2010’s self-titled, Biters. The band did not release newer material until summer 2015 with Electric Blood. The band is made up on Tuk Smith on vocals and guitar, Matt Gabs on guitar, Philip Anthony on bass and Joey O’Brien on drums. As the second act on stage at Gramercy, Biters began their set at the 9:15 mark and played material from Electric Blood, starting with “Low Lives in Hi Definition,” “1975,” and “Restless Hearts.” This band truly has an endless, powerful energy while performing and were very interactive with the audience, feeding off of the fans’ responses to them, a constant back and forth between the band and those on the floor. Biters continued on with “Heart Fulla Rock ‘n’ Roll” and “Dreams Don’t Die” before going into “So Many Nights.” “The Kids Ain’t Alright” and “Melody for Lovers” were performed next before the boys ended their set with “Loose from the Noose.” For some good old Rock, Biters is one band worth giving a listen.
Finally it was time for the man of the night to arrive, the one listed on the Gramercy Theatre marquee – Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts. Weiland came out with the rest of his band: Tommy Black on bass, Nick Maybury on guitar and Joey Castillo on drums. Weiland with megaphone in hand, the four men hit the stage and immediately jumped into the heavy and fast Stone Temple Pilots track, “Crackerman.” The show had started off well and the band played newer tracks from Blaster such as “Modzilla” and “Amethyst.” The people on the floor were rocked and happy with the music Weiland and his Wildabouts were blasting out for them to hear. “Meat Plow” from Stone Temple Pilots’ 1994 album Purple was next before the newer track, “Way She Moves,” a song penned for Weiland’s wife, Jamie.
A roar came over the audience when the bass line for “Big Bang Baby” buzzed through the speakers, another Stone Temple Pilots hit from 1996’s Tiny Music… Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop. Weiland and his cohorts mixed up the set, going from past to current material. The band continued on with songs “Hotel Rio,” “Parachutes,” and White Lightning.” Coming close to an end but before he said his goodnight, Weiland and the Wildabouts went back in time and if the fans were not enjoying the show already, they lost their minds when the beginning chords from “Vasoline” hummed over the crowd before the band slowed the pace down with “Big Empty” and a fun cover of David Bowie’s “Jean Genie.” This portion of the show ended with a sped up version of “Dead and Bloated,” surprising way to hear a familiar song that introduced fans to Stone Temple Pilots back in 1992. After a quick break, the band came back out for an encore of Stone Temple Pilot’s “Circles,” “Do It For the Kids” – the only Velvet Revolver song of the evening – and then ending the night with “Unglued.”
As fans both young and old piled out of Gramercy Theatre and prepares to go home to begin their Thanksgiving festivities, all of them had one more thing to be thankful for during their turkey dinner, and that was a fantastic show from a legendary artist and his superb, musical support system. Weiland and the Wildabouts round out a positive 2015 with dates from now until December 22nd so be sure to check out one killer Rock-n-Roll show.