Stone Temple Pilots / Secret Machines Bell Centre, Montreal QC July 11

Stone Temple Pilots / Secret Machines Bell Centre, Montreal QC July 11
The Secret Machines continue to be one of the best underrated indie rock bands. Opening with the mesmerizing "First Wave Intact,” the Machines might have gone right over the average STP fan’s head but that’s what made their set all the more enjoyable. It’s not often that you get to sit through an inaccessible, loud, physically blinding set at the Bell Centre. The three-piece’s sound resonated in the arena, making me think their stint as an arena rock band should maybe be a full-time thing. Their droning, shoegazer songs usually topped out at the seven-minute mark and therefore their half-hour set seemed too short. It’s hard to go wrong when a band like Stone Temple Pilots decide to tour for the fun of it because you are guaranteed virtually no new, unfamiliar material. Instead, the band played a solid two-hour set of their hits, which when played in succession you realize just how many hits STP actually have. Opening and closing on rather sombre notes, the band stepped onstage to "Big Empty,” one of their slower, bluesy hits from the ’90s. To their advantage, STP don’t look like old men onstage. They are fit, stylishly dressed and still razor-sharp musicians. Scott Weiland looks positively skeletal, clearly demonstrated during "Plush” when he ripped his clothes off and jumped into the general admission floor. At times —especially during "Big Bang Baby” — Weiland sounded and moved a lot like Axl Rose, perhaps the result of the influence of his previous band. Much of the band’s ability to stay in fine form must be credited to the De Leo brothers, Dean and Robert, who on guitar and bass respectively sounded greater than ever.