LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Velvet Revolver singer Scott Weiland paid tribute to his recently deceased brother on Thursday, during the first show of a brief North American tour to promote the band’s upcoming second album.
Michael Weiland died of a drug overdose during the recording of “Libertad,” and a brother of drummer Matt Sorum died about the same time in similar circumstances, the singer told the crowd at the Avalon Hollywood club.
“It literally crushed us,” said Weiland, who has long struggled with drugs himself. “It made this record happen for both of us.”
He then turned his back to the crowd to sing Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here,” with Sorum singing harmony, as he looked up at a video screen playing home video footage of Michael, his wife and two young daughters. The concert was a benefit for Michael Weiland’s family.
Velvet Revolver also unveiled a handful of tunes from “Libertad,” which comes out July 3 via RCA Records. It marks the follow-up to 2004’s “Contraband,” which yielded the Grammy-winning hit single “Slither,” the final tune of Thursday’s 90-minute gig.
The band formed in 2003, Weiland previously having been in Stone Temple Pilots, while Sorum, guitarist Slash and bass player Duff McKagan were in Guns N’ Roses. The lineup is rounded out by Dave Kushner.
New material previewed included the first single “She Builds Quick Machines,” for which the band had shot a video the day before, “The Last Fight,” “Get Out the Door” and “Just Sixteen,” according to a set list.
The abundance of unfamiliar songs, combined with the show’s late start — 50 minutes behind schedule at 10:50 — was a drain on the crowd. The floor emptied steadily throughout the performance.
The band also dusted off an extended version of the Stone Temple Pilots’ “Vasoline” and Guns N’ Roses’ “Used To Love Her.” The penultimate song was another cover, Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer.”
The audience included former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Izzy Stradlin, and Alice in Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell.
The band has 11 more club shows scheduled through May 22 in New York, and will then spend June playing throughout Europe. A big American tour is scheduled for the end of summer.