Scott Weiland strikes a pose.
Story and Photos by Rob GrabowskiLast Friday evening The Family Values tour made its neighborly stop at the Allstate Arena, but with a such a motley crew of melody makers to instill their unconventional values on Chicagoland's youth, it was no surprise that the city's welcome wagon was nowhere in sight.
Lubing the crowd for the obvious headliners - Stone Temple Pilots, Static X opened with their own unique style of industrial metal. This L.A. based quartet ran through a set rich in hardcore thrash-metal which has, for better or worse, become part of the mainstream. Unfortunately, however, this style of music would've been better suited at an underground club, complete with bone-crushing mosh pit, rather than this cavernous, sterile stadium.
After the onslaught brought on by Static X, Linkin Park kicked into their aggressive, metal ‘house' music. Even though they exuded enough energy and enthusiasm to work the younger crowd into a frenzied lather, it seemed like a good excuse for the slightly older members of the audience to binge and purge fluids, as they flocked to the concessions. Although the boys in Linkin Park obviously gave their all for this performance, their raw angst ultimately overshadowed their substance.
Staind brought forth their wallowing, hollow drones that are inescapable in today's so-called alternative music scene. They may be the current flavor of the week, but their audience gladly licked their chops as Staind served up strong versions of popular hits such as "Outside" and "It's Been Awhile." Even though the crowd, in cliché rock stadium fashion, lit up the arena like fireflies in the night air with their lighters, the band's heartfelt renditions may have been a little more convincing had vocalist Aaron Lewis done more than simply sulk across the stage holding himself. Perhaps as the Family Values tour rolls on, some of the stage antics from the boys in Linkin Park will rub off on Lewis.
Closing the night were the alt-rock darlings, Stone Temple Pilots. Lead vocalist Scott Weiland flamboyantly pranced onto the stage cloaked in Catholic priest attire as he preached God, country and rock ‘n' roll. Wasting no time, the band ripped straight into "Vaseline" and "The Big Empty" as they playfully interacted with the capacity crowd. Weiland opened up the stage as he introduced members of the band Filter, referring to them as, "a local band that plays real f**king rock-n-roll music," before breaking into Filter's signature number "Hey Man Nice Shot." Vocalist Richard Patrick of Filter coyly added backing vocals to the number, before Weiland relinquished the spotlight allowing Patrick to take over the helm. It was spur-of-the-moment numbers such as this that gave the show a welcome shot-in-the-arm. Weiland offered the audience to "get your f**king money's worth, " as he pleaded for them to sing along with him on "Creep." Despite the fact that Weiland had some lyrical problems with an acoustic version of Led Zeppelin's "Dancing Days," the crowd continued to sing along for nearly every other song. After all of his problems with drug addictions and run-ins with the law, Weiland proved that he's still got what it takes to front one of the hottest acts in rock today.
With a lesson in patriotism that most parents wouldn't want their children marching to, the daring Weiland dropped his pants to the floor and covered himself with a U.S. flag, which the other members of the band soon stripped him of, leaving him holding his goods from the Vatican gift shop in his hands.
While they may not be the type of folk you invite to your next family barbecue, you can be sure that whenever the Family Values Tour rolls through town again, the kids will still be be clamoring for seconds from this meaty, if not morally loose group of musical misfits.
Richard Patrick of Filter and Scott Weiland
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