Scott Weiland & The Wildabouts Keep Em Cheering in Baton Rouge (SHOW REVIEW/PHOTOS)

Scott Weiland is a lucky man. After success with two hit-producing bands – Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver – he currently has a hot trio behind him he calls the Wildabouts. They are solid, they rock out and they have an electric atmosphere, even if Weiland weren’t in front of them singing. On a recent Tuesday night in Louisiana’s capital city, Weiland was battling a flu so his band picked it up a notch, surprising a room full of fans whose eyes were solidly focused on their frontman. Although it was one of the smaller shows of the current tour supporting their March 2015 release, Blaster, Weiland stood onstage and gave fans a good sampling of new songs and a couple of STP gems before having to cut the set short, as “I’d rather be puking right now.” But he tried and by the end he was sounding reenergized on “Vaseline” and “Unglued.”

However, it was the Blaster cut “White Lightning” that became the showstopper, with young guitar player Nick Maybury, who replaced Jeremy Brown in March upon his sudden passing at age 34, bass player Tommy Black and drummer Joey Castillo blowing away the crowd. They absolutely come alive when they hit their rhythm, “Modzilla” and “Dead & Bloated” being noteworthy examples.

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Weiland, himself, stood mostly behind his microphone but brought out the bullhorn for “Big Bang Baby” and “Dead & Bloated,” and showed the fans some of his snake-slither sway for the final two songs. A slight rasp in his voice didn’t deter the crowd from cheering loudly and upon hearing the opening notes of “Vaseline” begin singing along to those familiar lyrics.

Blaster is actually a better album than some people give Weiland credit for. With a taste of the past intermixed into the sonics of today, “Parachute,” “Way She Moves,” “Amethyst,” “Modzilla” and especially “White Lightning,” all of which were played in the set, as well as “Youth Quake,” “Bleed Out” and “Hotel Rio” have a nice energetic kick to them. “The album has its own distinctive sound, but it also can entice those Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver fans who have stuck by me,” Weiland said at the time of Blaster’s release. “Over the years, I’ve gone back and forth between art records and being in a band. This is a hybrid. What we’ve come up with is really heavy, slinky, and sexy.”

This is probably Weiland’s strongest recording in some time, something a nasty flu couldn’t take away from live, and the fans in attendance were more than appreciative. Weiland may have had more ups and downs than a nine-life cat could bear but he has yet to give up.


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