Stone Temple Pilots Alive in the Windy City

Stone Temple Pilots Alive in the Windy City
During their mid-'90s heyday, few would have compared L.A. alt-rockers Stone Temple Pilots to classic-rock radio legends Aerosmith. But watching the perpetually reuniting band's new live DVD, Alive in the Windy City, the comparison seems apt: fairly derivative group pen a series of pretty awesome radio singles before their preening lead singer descends into drug-fuelled oblivion, only to pull himself out and reform the act as a shadow of their former selves. It's no secret that after peaking with their third album, Tiny Music… Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop, Stone Temple Pilots have fallen prey to the law of diminishing returns, something immediately evident from a quick glance at the set list from their 2011 tour, which leaned heavily on the band's first two albums ― 1992's Core and 1994's Purple ― and their most recent self-titled disc. The performance is nothing to write home about; it's competent yet hardly transcendent, filmed with few visual flourishes. Fans are clearly there for the nostalgia, which the band are more than happy to play to, doling out modern-rock radio classics like "Vasoline," "Tripping on a Hole in a Paper Heart" and "Plush," in between too many new cuts. But where previous tours had offered a pleasant ebb and flow to the set with an acoustic interlude, STP circa 2011 are operating on one gear, as quiet numbers like "Sour Girl" and power ballad "Big Empty" fail to match the respective intimacy or massive size of their studio versions. The DVD comes with a bonus interview with the band, who chat about the creation of their new album and do seem to still genuinely like each other. But Alive in the Windy City fails to make the case that Stone Temple Pilots have much to offer the world these days. (Eagle Vision)