By Bob Linneman
Festivals are always a mixed bag, you get to see many acts, but the artists have limited time so the sets are usually short. However, the radio people at WMMR in Philadelphia knew exactly what they were doing when they allocated over an hour for the Stone Temple Pilots to perform. This allowed the band to play the hits, and add a few selections from their new self-titled album "Stone Temple Pilots."
As the band casually entered the stage, the crowd roared with excitement. Dean DeLeo hit the G-D-A chords to jump right into “Wicked Garden”, and the crowd went crazy! The stage immediately sprung to life as Robert DeLeo serpentined across the stage playing his bass with full tilt charisma and machismo, almost shoving his bass lines in your face. In the back, surrounded by a drum kit was Eric Kentz, a pure animal, constantly in motion with nothing but hair and blurred sticks. At times I had to question whether he was sitting behind a drum kit or a cage in an attempt to protect the crowd from his sheer ferocity.
Front and center was “the new guy" Jeff Gutt, who owned the show the minute he took the stage; A natural rockstar who showed just enough cockiness without being arrogant. Jeff embraced the crowd, moving across the entire stage, even jumping on the outer bass amps to get closer to the audience.
When a band has a lead singer change, people always get nervous that this could be the end, the sound may change, etc. I can tell you that these "Pilots" have maintained the altitude of musical brilliance that the fans have come to know throughout the years. I've loved and sorrowed over their previous singers and can say that the new line up is not a redo, but a continuation of the STP everyone loves. The Tour continues in the States through September 2018 with some stops in Japan and Canada.
Set list - Wicked Garden, Vasoline, Big Bang Baby, Down, Big Empty, Plush, Meadow (new), Interstate Love Song, Roll Me Under(new), Dead & Bloated, Trippin' on a Hole in a Paper Heart, and Sex Type Thing.