Scott Weiland(Photo Credit: Jennifer Pottheiser for iHeartRadio)

I admit, I was skeptical about Scott Weiland’s decision to release an album of Christmas songs. I fucking hate Christmas songs. But you know what? He pulls it off.

Last night I had the opportunity to see Scott Weiland perform a private show in an intimate, 100-person setting with an 8-piece jazz band backing him up. Weiland came out wearing a white tux, his hair-slicked back all Bing Crosby-like, sobriety level dubious at best. The first three songs were all Christmas classics from his new album and he delivered them with startling sincerity and flair, his smooth baritone fitting the part perfectly. Then things got weird: an obscure STP song (“Wonderful” from 2001’s Shangri-La Dee Da) and a cringe-worthy cover of Velvet Revolver’s “Do It For the Kids,” followed by a convincing version of “Vaseline” that brought things back to reality and an impromptu jam to close the set. But you know what? He really seemed most at home, most comfortable, singing those Christmas songs.

Weiland as cheese-ball lounge singer totally makes sense if you think about it, though; over his 20-year career he’s morphed from flannel-wearing grunge dude into Bowie/Priest glam icon into dangerous hard rocker into slick fashionista into… Bing Crosby. He’s like the Elvis of our generation and he’s just entered his own equivalent of Elvis’s fat casino act ’70s phase. Weiland’s a true artist in that he’s always changing, never content to just do the same thing over and over again. I respect that in any artist. Thankfully he’s got the chops to back it up. Weiland as lounge singer with an 8-piece jazz ensemble backing band just worked.

So what the fuck is Corey Taylor’s beef with Weiland all about? Sour grapes over his alleged near-miss with Velvet Revolver, perhaps? Maybe, maybe not. But all this smack talk is coming from a guy whose band rose to fame in large part because they wore scary masks on stage, a gimmick if ever there was one. I enjoy plenty of Slipknot songs, but come on, let’s call a spade a spade… you’re two different versions of the same thing. Relax.


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