Columbus, OH, Germain Amphitheater, August 12, 2005


Written and photos by: Jason Perlman

 

Scott Weiland preached the word of rock and roll and the band transported the sermon loud and clear to the members of the Church of '90s Rock. Easily one of today's most underrated frontmen in music, Weiland commanded the stage for the entire set, which was not an easy thing to do when the band behind Weiland (minus Matt Sorum who was out with a broken hand) dominated the late 80s and 90s music world like Michael Jordan and the Bulls dominated sports.

Velvet Revolver for nearly a year was like the Loch Ness monster, a mythical creature that was talked about in hush tones behind closed doors, because no one wanted to actually admit the legend might be true. But unlike Nessy who was disproved on a dying man's bed, Velvet Revolver released Contraband in 2004 amid huge expectations and a dying rock scene looking for life.

Although met with early critical praise, Contraband took a while to get into fan's heads as each and every lover of Guns and Roses or Stone Temple Pilots had an interpretation of what the band should sound like, and VR went its own direction with little regard of what was expected.

In that year, VR has toured the world and continues to draw in new fans, and with the exciting and polished live show, it is easy to see why the band is becoming more accepted amongst the diehards.

Even with just the one record, VR's variant style and eclectic fashion of rock make it seem as the band has a catalogue 20 records deep. Somehow, in just one record VR has put together such a variety of songs, yet the band still maintains a constant mechanism to draw it all together. And the live show was just an extension of that as bassist Duff McKagan got the early spotlight as he took center stage, posing on the monitors like a God over his disciples. And as soon as Weiland had the spot on him, there was a constant battle in the crowd's head of who to watch, Weiland's snake-like moves or Slash's head back, Gibson standing tall poses.

For the 90 minutes the band played, there was a sense of a tennis match taking place, as heads in the crowd were turning from side to side trying to take in each icon on stage.

With this band and the past that follows it like a grim reaper just waiting for a last breath, it is impossible to say just how long Velvet Revolver may be amongst active bands. So for those in attendance, it may have been their one chance to see these icons in a format that can carry out an arena-style show, and keep their past traditions in tact.

This was a show that was worth the price of admission and then some. To get a rock show the way is should be done is just too hard to find in this age of music. As bands are scaling back on stage lights and trying to sound more like a CD than the actual CD, VR puts that theory in the grave as the vibe and electricity of the live performance became the center of attention, and to hear Slash play his licks live without any thought of copying the record was a treat that should be desired in any live show, but too often is left in the oven as cut-and-bake cookies are served instead.

Slash
Scott Weiland
Slash
Slash
Duff McKagan
Scott Weiland