Walter Tunis: Rocker Scott Weiland has been on a wild ride in his 25 years onstage

Contributing Music WriterMay 8, 2014 

Scott Weiland performs at Revolution Live

Scott Weiland will perform with his band, The Wildabouts, on Sunday at Buster's Billiards & Backroom.

JEFF DALY — Invision/AP


    Made to Break at The Bazaar: Perhaps the biggest thrill during this consistently engaging Outside the Spotlight performance came from not knowing what would happen next. One sensed the same feeling was shared by the musicians.

    First there was the sheer instrumental might of Made to Break. Its roster boasted two Chicago jazz pros, both veterans of many OTS shows during the past 12 years — Ken Vandermark (on tenor and baritone saxophones and clarinet) and Tim Daisy (on drums and percussion). That both played with equal levels of stamina and invention should come as no surprise, nor should their ability to construct and dissolve a melodic idea. But their playing here was especially groove-conscious, often to the point of approximately rock and funk. Add in the clean bottom end of a fine young bassist from Amsterdam, Jasper Stadhouders, and the grooves — especially ones that stopped on a dime at the end of each piece — packed even greater force while still sounding rhythmically flexible.

    That was just half the fun. The rest came from Christof Kurzmann, an artfully clever sound sculptor from Vienna who, with Stadhouders, made his OTS debut with this performance. Kurzmann's musical byline was simply "electronics." What that translated to was a variety of multipurpose sounds summoned with the help of a laptop. Sometimes that mimicked the role of a second horn to Vandermark. At others, it approximated the more traditional placement of keyboardist. And there were several instances when Kurzmann's variety of oscillating sounds gave a ghostly, almost calliopelike ambience to the music.

    But Kurzmann was as much a processor of sounds as a creator. In one particularly arresting sequence during the first of the program's two sets, he captured bits of Vandermark's playing on loops and shot them back his way. That essentially allowed Vandermark to harmonize with himself in an almost completely live fashion.

    Outside of that, the four members took cues from one another like actors playing out a scene. When one idea shut down, another immediately started anew from a different musician, pushing this already exhilarating performance to yet more undiscovered territory.

Scott Weiland and The Wildabouts

8 p.m. May 11 at Buster's Billiards & Backroom, 899 Manchester St. $25 in advance, $28 day of show. (859) 368-8871.

During the past 25 years, few celebrities have taken the role of rock star to more effective but frustrating extremes than Scott Weiland.

From his commercial heydays with Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver to a confounding solo career that included, incredibly, a Christmas album, to well-chronicled drug problems to a final break with STP — the last in a series — that probably will keep him in court for years, Weiland's life and career have been a circus.

The wild thing, however, is that when he has control of his creative wits, Weiland can be an extraordinary performer. A Derby Week concert in 2002 at the Louisville Palace offered a vital glimpse of the singer and STP in seemingly happier times. Weiland sailed with authoritative ease through the psychedelic haze of Pink Floyd's Shine On You Crazy Diamond and early STP hits like Vasoline, Plush and an acoustic Creep.

With Weiland and STP now tangled in multiple lawsuits, the singer comes to Lexington on Sunday with his current band, The Wildabouts, and a show filled with STP hits and assorted covers. Looks as if we will have to wait until then to see how wild about Weiland Lexington still is.

Brit Floyd

7:30 p.m. May 11 at Rupp Arena. $41.50. (859) 233-3535 or Ticketmaster, 1-800-745-3000 or

There is a certain irony in having Brit Floyd, the English tribute troupe that boasts of presenting "The World's Greatest Pink Floyd Show," at Rupp Arena on Sunday. If Weiland launches into Shine On You Crazy Diamond again down the block at Buster's, you might actually have a case of dueling Floyds.

But the true irony is that Rupp was the last Kentucky venue to host the real Pink Floyd. The post-Roger Waters lineup of the band played a sold-out, two-night engagement there in November 1987.

Brit Floyd aims to cover segments of the entire Pink Floyd catalogue, from its psychedelic beginnings with the late Syd Barrett to music from the band's final studio album, the David Gilmour-led The Division Bell, released 20 years ago this spring.

This is likely to be the closest Rupp gets to a Floydian encore.

Not to take anything away from Brit Floyd, but I hope the arena also can land a booking by an established rock unit performing its own music sometime soon to mesh with its near exclusive lineup of country and Christian concerts.

Trio Brasileiro

7:30 p.m. May 9 at the Downtown Arts Center, 141 E. Main. $10. (859) 225-0370.

Speaking of encores, the Downtown Arts Center will present an attractive one Friday. On tap is a return performance of the Brazilian choro ensemble Trio Brasileiro. The group — seven-string guitarist Douglas Lora, his percussionist brother Alexandre Lora and bandolim (mandolin) player Dudu Maia — performed at the DAC as recently as late October, the same night downtown streets made way for the annual Thriller parade.

Choro is a form of traditional Brazilian music built largely around the bandolim that has attracted many American followers, including noted bluegrass/new grass/jazz mandolinist Mike Marshall. There were also echoes of classical and bossa nova within the tunes the trio played last fall from its 2012 debut album, Simples Assim, and a forthcoming collaborative recording with Israeli clarinetist Anat Cohen.

Unlike the 2013 performance, Friday's performance also will extend into more locally familiar string sounds. Lexington's Restless Leg String Band — Alex Guagenti, Brandt Miller, Casen Baumgardner, Joe Schlaak and Jacob Wigginton — will open the evening with a bluegrass set.

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