Chester Bennington-Fronted Stone Temple Pilots Deliver ‘Wicked’ Show in Boston
The unlikely pairing of Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington stepping in to perform vocal duties for Stone Temple Pilots after Scott Weiland was unceremoniously fired from the lineup was a shocker to the music community, to say the least. Let’s face it: none of us saw that one coming, right?
Having to step in to fill the shoes of a former wildly successful frontman is always a daunting task, but when you already have your own successful name and brand to protect, there is even more on the line. All that aside, Bennington jumped into the project head first with Stone Temple Pilots, breathing new life into the legendary band. Not only did he sign on to tour with the STP but they dug right into the creative process, writing and recording their new EP ‘High Rise’ due out on Oct. 8.
Pulling no punches last night (Sept. 9) at the House of Blues in Boston, Bennington and his STP mates (original members the DeLeo brothers Robert and Dean on bass and guitar and drummer Eric Kretz) hit the stage guns blazing dropping monster hits like ‘Down,’ ‘Big Bang Baby,’ ‘Vasoline,’ and ‘Dead and Bloated’ as the first four songs of the set. With just a few shows into the tour, the visual was a little hard to grasp at first. After getting over the initial shock of seeing the Linkin Park singer surrounded by Stone Temple Pilots, the music quickly took command and it felt like Stone Temple Pilots had successfully pulled off one of the greatest coups in rock to date.
About a third of a way through the set, they introduced one of their new songs, ‘Out of Time,’ from the ‘High Rise’ EP. The crowd didn’t miss a beat, staying engaged and seemingly enjoying the new stuff as much as the old. This has to be a very rewarding for the band who took some big risks along the way, staying true to the spirit of rock.
Bennington toned down his stage presence just a bit to fit more into the laid back groove of Stone Temple Pilots but he still managed to high five everyone in the front row at least twice by mid-set. That kind of positive energy seemed to fuel the show, everyone on staged fully engaged with each other and running like a well-oiled machine, another noted change from past STP shows.
There’s no telling how long Bennington will remain with Stone Temple Pilots with Linkin Park waiting in the wings, so if you are a fan of either artist (Bennington and/or Stone Temple Pilots), this is a show you should check out. The set list was a best-of compilation of everything Stone Temple Pilots have done to date and the songs were played in their purest form from ‘Interstate Love Song’ to ‘Sour Girl’ to ‘Sex Type Thing’ and ‘Wicked Garden.’ It’s clear that Bennington is a student of STP and truly respects the songs to their core, delivering each tune as they were written and not trying too hard to make them his own.
As the estranged parties of STP and Scott Weiland are left duking it out in court over the future of the name and band rights, fans are left to choose sides, but whether you are Team Weiland or Team Stone Temple Pilots both parties have plenty to offer and Stone Temple Pilots may have just upped the ante with Bennington on board. Check out Stone Temple Pilots’ current North American tour dates here.
Photos of Stone Temple Pilots and Chester Bennington in Boston: