Thursday, March 10, 2011

Watching the Stone Temple Pilots made me reminisce

Watching the Stone Temple Pilots made me reminisce
by rick olivares

Went to watch the Stone Temple Pilots at the Araneta Coliseum last night and it’s been a while since I went to watch a concert. That sounds kind of odd for those who know me as a bigger musichead than a sports enthusiast.

There was a time when I’d go watch a gig or concert at least twice a week. Moreso when I lived in New York.

I was really excited about going to STP even if I do like a few of their songs for the simple reason that I’m not big a fan of theirs. Nevertheless, I am still glad I went to watch.

For someone weaned on 80’s new wave and punk rock, I totally enjoyed the 90s alternative scene more. There were fewer one hit wonders that was the hallmark of the 80s.

Watching STP and seeing Scott Weiland gyrate on stage and sings many of the band’s hit songs brought back great memories of the yesteryears. I thought of the time that grunge was starting out and how an exciting time it was. The second wave of local bands was getting underway and it was a great time to be a fan.

Moving to the United States later got me an opportunity to see many bands who I only saw on MTV and later VH1. And some of them remain a great memory.

Here’s a list of some of the best shows I’ve seen in my life:
The Cure – Curiosa Tour at Randall’s Island in New York on July 31st 2004 (this was the time they released Bloodflowers and in one show they played songs from Pornography and Disintegration that are my favorite albums). In this tour, the other bands that played were Interpol and Mogwai.

Reel Big Fish – I became a fan of this band in 1997 and seeing them at the Irving Plaza in New York was a dream. This remains one of my all time fave shows as it was once dance-a-thon from start to finish. Everyone was drenched in sweat after the nearly two hour show.

Limp Bizkit – Madison Square Garden. This was at the height of their popularity and Significant Other just ruled the world. Yep, they did it all for the nookie and I couldn’t care less because for the first time in my life I joined the mosh pit.

My Favorite at Sin-E in the Bowery. One of my all time favorite bands who I still listen to a lot even after they broke up. The Sin-E is a small club but that rainy night in Manhattan, the club throbbed and swayed with so much energy. I will never forget the mohawked female bartender. She just looked really really beautiful.

Vans Warped Tour 2002 – 2004 I went to watch this series of tours primarily for one band – Rancid. I first saw them on the cover of Spin magazine at the time of the release of And Out Come the Wolves that prompted me to check them out. I purchased the album at the Silvercord Centre in Hong Kong in 1995 (it came out a few months before Oasis’ (What’s the story) Morning Glory and I got them at the same time. I was fortunate because I got to see the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Reel Big Fish, Tsunami Bomb, NOFX, the Used, and the Dropkick Murphys. I felt out of place at first coz I am not the sort to go to the mosh pit as I stayed in the back. But it was enjoyable. I wanted a picture of with Tim Armstrong and Lars Fredericksen but it was impossible to get close.

Death Cab for Cutie – Coney Island. I’d say there were like 4,000-plus people watching them on this sunny and breezy afternoon. It was such a narrow place to watch that some fans climbed a fence to get on top of a small guardhouse. One fan ripped his hand open in the wires but that didn’t stop him from watching. This was at the time of Transatlanticism which was fairly new. When Ben Gibbard began singing the melancholic lines of that songs it was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. It was like everyone was witness to a masterpiece. When I think of Gibbard singing the lines “The distance is quite simply much too far for me to row it seems farther than ever before oh no. I need you so much closer…” It was like he knew what I was feeling. Then at the end of the song when he sang “I need you so much closer” again the whole crowd chimed in. the poignant moment was not lost even as the thousands of voices joined in. It was and remains an awesome awesome moment. I have frozen that moment in my mind.

The Pixies – Coachella. Where is my mind? I have to admit after not being able to see their faces on their album sleeves (courtesy of the artsy and weird 4AD sleeve designers), it was a let down to see this band way past their prime as they had put on weight and were balding. But the moment they launched into “Debaser” they were that band I played endlessly in those college days of mine.

The Misfits – Virgin Records Times Square 2003. I am not a fan of the band. Really. When we talk about punk rock, I like Rancid, Bad Religion, X, the Dead Kennedys, Fear, Ramones, and those from the LA scene. But this was a different line up then – Jerry Only, Lee Ving (of Fear), and Marky Ramone of the late lamented Ramones. Seeing Marky in the R train from the Forest Hills station was a shock. He was carrying the bass drum with “Ramones” in front. I it was a great performance (and they played “Sheena is a punk rocker”) and I got the band’s autographs on the Project 1950 album.

Broken Social Scene – New York and Singapore. I will not forget the ads for their New York show in the Village Voice and how it trumpeted the message that if I missed the show I will not forgive myself. So I did watch. This was around the time they released You Forgot it In People. I bought the album at the gate and never even heard the CD. When they played I thought of Yo La Tengo and Modest Mouse. But they were different. That is perhaps the best album I bought in 2002. Then eight years later, I see them in Singapore for the release of Forgiveness Rock Record and it was like a happy homecoming.

Dave Matthews Band – the Concert at Central Park. I worked halfday thinking I’d get a nice place at the Great Lawn. Wrong! It was packed with lots of people already. So I had to stay a lot farther out. I was one of the 120,000 plus people that night (and it was a bitch getting home in Queens that night). I think they played like 20 songs that September night and it was just really awesome. I later saw Devo, the Strokes, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs also at the Great Lawn later on but it did not compare to this.

Versus – I saw them at the Bowery Ballroom during the time they released Hurrah. It was such an explosive performance and this was right before their near decade-long hiatus. Perhaps for many of my favorite bands this was the sweetest because they are one of the reasons why I moved to New York (the other is Marvel Comics and the Yankees and Islanders)

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