It’s been a busy year for Stone Temple Pilots. First, they fired their enigmatic lead singer Scott Weiland after a roller coaster ride with the band. They then replaced Weiland with Linkin Park front man Chester Bennington in May and released the EP "High Rise" in October with new material and Bennington on vocals. On Wednesday they brought their new lineup (supergroup?) to Pop’s nightclub in Sauget, IL just outside of St. Louis, MO for a performance that was exhilarating.
I admit I was skeptical as to how Bennington could pull off the STP sound considering his range and style are different from Weiland. Sure they have their similarities, but their styles are each their own, and surprisingly, Bennington’s style really fit the group.
From the first chords of “Down” Bennington took control and never looked back. He showed diversity gong form slower songs like “Interstate Love Song” and "Big Empty" and the mid tempo “Vasoline” to going completely crazy on their breakout hit “Sex Type Thing”.
It has been nearly six years since Bennington's other band Linkin Park has played in St. Louis. He said he will have to change that form the crowd response on Wednesday.
Brothers Robert DeLeo on bass and Dean DeLeo on guitar were solid throughout the night, as was drummer Eric Kretz.
They performed two songs from "High Rise" - "Out of Time" and "Black Heart", the latter of which was the strongest and got a great response.
Spacetrain opened with a raw, natural vibe about them. Singer/guitarist Alex Skyles was the most dynamic of the group (which included solid performances from drummer Zach Moiser and bassist Zack Crouch), and the most fun to photograph, kicking though a hot blend of blues, rock, soul, electronic and alt with a jazz/progressive twist to boot. Skyles was thoroughly impressive with his amazing skills on the axe. Bending each note with such heartfelt passion Skyles was totally engrossed in his instrument of choice.
This kid has some serious chops and whoever is along for the ride better hang on, because with some similarities in line with early Hendrix, Vaughn and Johnson (I don’t give those comparisons out lightly) this kid is in line for great things. Sunday, Spacetrain they will be at Pop's battling for a spot at the next Pointfest.
Like An Army, which has morphed from Dr. Zhevegas/King of the Hill/Broken Toyz, etc, debuted as the support act of the night. They actually double booked themselves and rushed off to play another gig, but while they were there they entertained with a solid rock performance.
STP with Chester Bennington Setlist:
2) Big Bang Baby
4) Dead and Bloated
5) Out of Time
7) Silvergun Superman
8) Church on Tuesday
9) Big Empty
10) Black Heart
11) Interstate Love Song
12) Lady Picture Show
13) Pop's Love Suicide
14) Hollywood Bitch
15) Sex Type Thing
16) Sex and Violence
17) Wicked Garden
18) Piece of Pie
19) Trippin' on a Hole in a Paper Heart