When Stone Temple Pilots announced in February of this year via a YouTube video that it was going to kick off a 2015 U.S. tour, fans of Stone Temple Pilots could not be happier. After the success of High Rise, the band's most recent EP release in 2013, and the first officially released album with newly added vocalist Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, not much has been heard of from the STP camp since that year's tour and album release other than some 2014 festival performances such as the Louder Than Life Festival, Bayfest, etc. Also announced in this video, was the fact that STP was in the middle of working on their next album set to be released by the end of this year. In a recent interview with WDHA-FM 105.5FM, Eric Kretz (drummer) said, "Chester's really stepping up on this, and we are too. We're four songs in, and then we're gonna go on this run in April and then continue recording as well. So we should have a full length album out by the end of the year." The band has recently updated and used their SoundCloud to share demos with fans.
Stone Temple Pilots kicked off their 2015 U.S. tour on April 8th in Seattle and will continue touring until May. The band brought the tour to the Diamond Ballroom in Oklahoma City, OK on Monday, April 20th as it's 8th stop on the current tour and performed to a large pumped up crowd. The Brooklyn based trio Dreamers are the dedicated opening act for Stone Temple Pilots on this current tour. Doors opened at 7pm at the venue, however fans that purchased VIP meet and greet packages to meet Stone Temple Pilots were allowed early entry. Ticket prices ranged from $29 for General Admission up to $125 for VIP tickets/packages.
Upon walking up to the venue, it was clear that dedicated fans have been long awaiting the return of Stone Temple Pilots back to their city as the lines to enter the venue were wrapped around the building. After entering the venue, fans could be overheard talking about what songs they cannot wait to hear to be performed this evening, and also what Chester will sound like singing them. For those that have not previously seen Stone Temple Pilots with Chester as the new vocalist, this was to be the inaugural performance of that manifestation in their eyes and ears. What some fans of Stone Temple Pilots may or may not realize is that the band toured in 2013 with Chester Bennington on vocals as the band was still finalizing legal matters with respect to it's name and other proprietary concerns with their former vocalist, Scott Weiland. When the band toured in 2013 with Chester Bennington, Stone Temple Pilots had to tour with the moniker, "Stone Temple Pilots with Chester Bennington." However once the legal matters were finally closed, the band dropped the "with Chester Bennington" portion in their title and resumed using their original name while having Chester Bennington as their new vocalist. As conversations grew louder and louder, and the lines to get drinks at the bar started subsiding, the lights went out and Dreamers took to the stage to perform promptly at 8pm. The trio comprised of Nick Wold (rhythm guitar/vocals), Chris Bagamery (drums/backup vocals) and Nelson (bass guitar/backup vocals) performed a 9 song set that included songs like, "Waste My Night," "Smoke It," "Mammals," "No Love," "Keep Control" and "Wolves." Since it was April 20th, a known "holiday" to many for certain reasons, Nick introduced the song"Smoke It" with some brief words about celebrating the holiday. The band introduced themselves to the audience before performing the energetic song, "Keep Control." The band had a consistent energy and kept the audience engaged from the very first beats provided by Chris during the beginning of the first song to the end of the set. If you're a fan of Franz Ferdinand or any similar bands, then you'll thoroughly enjoy the energy and music these gentlemen from Brooklyn bring to the stage. Be sure to check out their songs on iTunes and SoundCloud.
After an incredible set by Dreamers, fans were excited and eager to greet Stone Temple Pilots as they took to the stage to perform an incredibly full set from their extensive catalog with approximately 22 songs overall. Stone Temple Pilots came on at approximately 9:10pm. As Eric Kretz (drums), Robert DeLeo (bass guitar/backup vocals), Dean DeLeo (rhythm guitar) and Chester Bennington (lead vocals) took their appropriate places on stage, they immediately opened up their thorough set for the evening with "Lounge Fly." The band sounded incredible and the sound from the very beginning of the set was perfect inside the Diamond Ballroom from any angle. Before anyone had a chance to make conversation to one another after the first song, the intro to "Vasoline" started with Robert and Dean playing the intro followed by Eric and then of course, Chester on vocals. It should be noted that Chester's vocals matched his high energy and body movements with the music rather well, meaning he utilized the large open area of the stage to maneuver during songs like "Vasoline." Next up was "Wicked Garden" followed by "Sex Type Thing." To much of the audience's surprise, Stone Temple Pilots reached further into it's extensive music catalog over the years and performed rarities that haven't been performed live in a long time such as "Pruno," "Heaven and Hot Rods," "Adhesive" and "Sex & Violence." Chester's vocals were on point as the DeLeo brothers and Eric performed these older songs. The band also performed "Out of Time" from their most recent High Rise EP from 2013, which features Chester's vocals on the recording. Chester's interaction with the very energized audience was genuine throughout the entire evening. At one point he said to the crowd, "none of us up here can remember if we ever played here before, but one things for sure, we'll make it memorable tonight." After performing "SIN," the group exchanged hugs with one another and it's worth mentioning this because of the fact that the musicianship and camaraderie between them was clearly evident the entire evening between all of the band members which ultimately translated to one of the best performances Stone Temple Pilots has ever put on.
Fans in the front row were treated to a very special version of "Plush" when Chester Bennington hopped off the stage and walked up to the front barricade and sang the lyrics to the fans faces as he held their hands, and even signed autographs while singing (click here to watch the video). After approximately performing 20 songs, the band took a short break before their encore which featured "Piece of Pie" and "Dead & Bloated." "I want San Francisco to hear Oklahoma sing this next song, so I better hear everyone," Chester said to the crowd just before performing "Dead & Bloated." The crowd definitely could be heard loudly as Chester, Dean, Robert and Eric finished out the set and evening with the classic song.
The band quickly departed the stage but not without taking a bow and passing out copies of the setlist and guitar picks. Before departing to their next gig, the band members briefly greeted thankful fans that were eagerly waiting outside to see them as they departed for the evening.
Stone Temple Pilots have some shows remaining on this current tour, and it would be in any fan's best interest to catch them while they can, because the band is performing and sounding incredible live with an energy and presence that will match your connection to the songs that mean so much to you.
REVIEW WRITTEN BY: SHABBY HASAN
SEE THE FULL PICTURE GALLERY FROM THE APRIL 20, 2015 SHOW HERE: