April 8, 2008 / 6:38 AM / 12 years ago

Stone Temple Pilots reunite in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Reunited rock group Stone Temple Pilots, a band that never got much respect during its heyday, played its first show in almost eight years on Monday, taking a few hundred fans on a nostalgic trip to the ‘90s.

Velvet Revolver singer Scott Weiland performs during a sold-out show at The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, June 11, 2004. Reunited rock group Stone Temple Pilots taking a few hundred fans on a nostalgic trip to the '90s. REUTERS/Ethan Miller

The Los Angeles foursome, fronted by ill-starred singer Scott Weiland, performed a half-dozen hits during a 30-minute set at a bucolic setting in the Hollywood Hills.

“I wish I was here at this party,” Weiland, 40, said between songs, a wistful reference to the free alcohol and hot dogs that fueled the radio-station contest winners and usual industry denizens.

The band has reunited for a 65-date tour of North American amphitheaters that kicks off May 17 at the Rock on the Range festival in Columbus, Ohio. Reunion plans were already in the works before Weiland’s ouster last week from Velvet Revolver, the “supergroup” he ditched Stone Temple Pilots for in 2003.

Tunes performed Monday included opener “Big Empty,” “Vasoline” and “Interstate Love Song,” all drawn from STP’s second album, 1994’s “Purple.”

Weiland, backed by brothers Dean and Rob DeLeo, on guitar and bass, respectively, and drummer Eric Kretz, was in strong voice and a chatty mood.

STP, often dismissed as clones of Seattle grunge rockers Pearl Jam, released five studio albums between 1992 and 2001, racking up an impressive array of hit singles. In later years, the band’s ability to promote the discs was hampered by Weiland’s snowballing drug and legal problems.

STP last toured in 2002, playing about a dozen shows to promote its final album, “Shangri-La Dee Da.”

Weiland enjoyed a second act with Velvet Revolver, which was founded by three former members of Guns N’ Roses. Its debut album, 2004’s “Contraband,” was a surprise hit and yielded a Grammy. But sales for last year’s follow-up, “Libertad,” were disappointing.

Weiland was given his walking papers last week, with the band citing his “increasingly erratic on-stage behavior and personal problems.”

Weiland angrily countered that his bandmates were “discontents” engaged in a “a blatant and tired excuse to cover up the truth,” which was that the band had not been getting along for some time.

On the other hand, Weiland said his STP colleagues “have always had my back.”

Reporting by Dean Goodman

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