So we went to a rather surprising concert last night. Surprising, because the part of the show I thought would depress me was actually really good, while the part I was expecting to really rock was incredibly depressing.
The concert was Alice in Chains (sans the late Lane Staley, of course) opening for Velvet Revolver (which, if you don't know them, is essentially the instrumental part of Guns 'N' Roses plus Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots fame as the lead singer). I was thinking that it would be kind of sad seeing Alice in Chains, since I never got to see them with Lane Staley, and he had such a distinct voice that it's hard to imagine anyone taking his spot. Well, as it turned out, their current singer, William Duvall, was really very good, once I got past my initial "oh no, he looks like Lenny Kravitz" reaction. So that part of the show turned out to be dynamite, especially their concluding rendition of "Rooster" (which, sadly, remains as topical as ever).
The tragic part of the show turned out to be Velvet Revolver, specifically the lead singer, Scott Weiland. I've seen him perform with Stone Temple Pilots three times or so and he's really put on dynamic shows--in fact, I wasn't a huge fan of STP but was turned around by seeing them perform live. Unfortunately, Weiland is one of these guys who is always in and out of rehab and, this time, I seriously think he might be on the way down, never to emerge. I really think he's going to die. He looked skeletal and had lost a lot of muscle mass; the band went on really late due to "technical difficulties" which I'm almost positive meant they had to scrape him up off the floor and dump a bucket of water over his head or give him a shot of adrenaline or something. He looked and acted pretty messed up, and his singing voice was thin and lacked the richness it had in previous performances. It was depressing as hell. I couldn't help wondering to myself if, for instance, this kind of thing happened to Jim Morrison before he died (not that Weiland is quite at Jim Morrison level, but just in the sense of being a tragic drug-addicted frontman). We actually had to leave early because it was too hard to watch.
Oh, well. Very sad.