Velvet Revolver launched their tour in Nashville on Saturday, but before they hit the road, they gave a sneak peek of their set to some 3,000 fans via a surprise show in Hollywood Wednesday night.
The guerrilla preview of their cross-country road show also helped the band get in tour mode. "This is the way we like to do things," singer Scott Weiland said. "We don't like things to be safe. We like things to be on edge. We like things to be exciting."
Originally, the surprise show was slated to take place on the roof of the Hustler Hollywood store, but the city of West Hollywood denied the permit. Not to be deterred, Velvet Revolver then planned to have the concert a day later in the heart of Hollywood, near the corner of Sunset and Vine.
"It's rock and roll pandemonium," bassist Duff McKagan said. "Usually you know about a month or a week in advance, but this is throw-and-go. We didn't even get to soundcheck."
Weiland said the show they put on Wednesday night is a good idea of what fans can expect on the road — except it'll be longer, of course. Wednesday's seven-song set included tracks from the band's debut album, Contraband, as well as select covers, such as Aerosmith's "No More, No More." That and Cheap Trick's "Surrender" have already been recorded for release as possible B-sides, and on the band's to-do list are the Ramones' "I Wanna Be Sedated" and Queen's "Tie Your Mother Down." Though the songs may change, it's really about the combustible energy they put into them, Weiland said.
"The sum of all our parts, all our life experiences, we bring every one of the elements we have inside of us onto the stage and it explodes out of all our pores," Weiland said. "That's why people come to see us, and why our shows are selling out. I like to say it's the Evel Knievel factor. You've got to figure, the way we've all lived our lives, it's been pretty rough around the edges, so you get five guys who've lived that way, and you really never know what's going to happen. Anything can happen at any time."
That same energy that makes them dangerous onstage, however, doesn't affect how they interact with each other offstage, which is why they're not worried about succumbing to temptations on the road, or letting the close quarters get to them.
"Everyone's really in a great place right now," Weiland said. "There are five large egos in this band, that's kind of an undeniable factor. It's not like we're saints. We do argue. But we do know how to negotiate our way around those arguments. One thing that we have learned is to keep a band together. So going out on the road, when the road can be a tenuous place, and a lot of drama can ensue, and everyone has different ideas of how things should be run, well, we've learned what to do and what not to do. Through all the things we've done wrong in the past, we've learned what to do right."
Velvet Revolver tour dates, according to the band's publicist:
- 10/19 - Tulsa, OK @ Green on the East End
- 10/20 - Oklahoma City, OK @ Zoo Amphitheatre
- 10/23 - Phoenix, AZ @ Phoenix Coliseum
- 10/24 - Dallas, TX @ Smirnoff Center
- 10/25 - McAllen, TX @ Dodge Arena
- 10/28 - San Antonio, TX @ Verizon Wireless
- 10/30 - Houston, TX @ Cynthia Woods Pavilion
- 10/31 - Little Rock, AR @ Alltel Arena
- 11/1 - Austin, TX @ Austin Music Hall
- 11/5 - Birmingham, AL @ Boutwell Municipal Auditorium
- 11/6 - Memphis, TN @ Desoto County Civic Center
- 11/9 - Worcester, MA @ Worcester Centrum
- 11/12 - Manchester, NH @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
- 11/16 - Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Centre
- 11/23 - Detroit, MI @ Emerald Theatre