Our Man in Miami: Scott Weiland Slinks Into Ricochet To Kick Off Art Basel

The rumors started circulating a month or so ago—a rash of feverish whispers, that at the time, felt like nothing more than wishful thinking. Even after local media ran semi-blind items on the matter, the news seemed too good to be true. When the cat from Spinlab officially tipped me to the occasion, I allowed myself the luxury of believing there might indeed be some serious substance to the murmurings. Still, it wasn’t until I was two feet away from the stage, that the reality fully kicked in: Scott Weiland wasn’t just coming back to the MIA; he was coming back to play an intimate joint named Ricochet. And I was one of just a handful of folks fortunate enough to be there for the spectacle.

Okay, so it wasn’t much of a spectacle. It wasn’t much of a show either—not in an arena way anyway. But it was a rock show. The down and dirty mix of rumble and roar from which all rock springs, and to which all rock stars are indebted. Since Weiland has always been the kind of rock star who, even at his most glam, kept respect for his roots, the stripped bare affair made seemed to perfect sense. For the die hard fans of Weiland’s solo efforts, the Ricochet staging undoubtedly proved to be a perfect (and rare) occasion to hear their hero sing many of the songs that represent his life after the demise of both Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver. The largest part of the 200 folks in the sold-out crowd seemed quite content simply to hear and see Weiland sing, no matter what he sung.

Of course, Weiland will never rid himself of the fact that he is much more than the sum of his solo parts—nor should he. A particularly trenchant take of “Barbarella” closed the show, providing ample evidence that the later output can stand alongside anything he’s ever performed; just as a particularly feverish version of The Libertines’ “Can’t Stand Me Now” showed he can still stand and deliver. But it was when the 80-plus minute set was over, and Weiland and his mates returned to blister through STP’s “Vaseline” and (I think) Velvet Revolver’s “Dirty Little Thing,” that the crowd got the full wow they’d wanted all along.

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