Stone Temple Pilots rocked the Palladium in Worcester last Friday (Nov 5.) I know what you’re going to ask: “Is (new singer) Jeff Gutt as good as Scott Weiland? Of course not. Unfair comparison. But if your next question is “So, how were they?” read on.
STP has the songs. Let me say that again: STP has the songs. They delivered a solid 90-minute trip through one of rock’s most familiar rock catalogues.
Let’s face it. Sometimes seeing a band from the 80s or 90s can range from disappointing to traumatic. They look rough, they can’t hit the notes, they play sloppy, and/or they play a bunch of songs you don’t know. This was the exact opposite of that.
It wasn’t quite the the ‘Purple’ tour in Worcester 1994. (I was there and so was Adam 12.) But the 3 original members guitarist Dean DeLeo, bassist Robert DeLeo, and drummer Eric Kretz, along with singer Jeff Gutt (who joined in 2017) were in shape, played tight, and arena-rocked their asses off.
From the opening 1-2 punch of “Wicked Garden” into “Vasoline” through the final encore of “Sex Type Thing,” the band relentlessly blazed through an 18 song set of hits and deep cuts that had the rowdy Palladium crowd singing along and also mixed in two songs from their 2018 album ‘Stone Temple Pilots.’ Gutt provided the snarl, vocal range, and emotion the songs deserved while the band played as strong, cool, and powerful as ever.
A funny moment happened early when Gutt mispronounced “Worcester” as “Worchester.” Bassist Robert DeLeo quickly walked over and whispered in his ear, causing Gutt to say “Hello, Worcester!” Poor Worcester. There should be a database for how many rock stars have botched that one.
When it comes to STP, it’s easy to get caught up in the absence of Scott Weiland. He was an intriguing and charismatic front man who tragically fell to his demons. But those demons and his loss shouldn’t prevent the DeLeo brothers and Kretz from performing the songs they helped write and create. They’re still doing just that at a high level and they deserve to. You can thumb your nose saying it’s not the same without Weiland, or you can just admit that it’s not exactly the same, but it still friggin’ arena-rocks.
Ken West is ROCK 92.9’s Program Director. He claims to have co-invented the phrase “arena-rock.”
Photos of Stone Temple Pilots Worcester Palladium Nov 5, 2021