Stone Temple Pilots rock Boston with new and old

A review of Stone Temple Pilots, Cage The Elephant at the Bank of America Pavilion on September 1, 2010

, Managing Editor

On the road to support their first album in nine years, Stone Temple Pilots made their way to Boston last Wednesday for a night at the the Bank of America Pavilion. Boasting a mix of new tunes and old favorites, the veteran rockers delivered a crowd pleasing set.

When it came time for Stone Temple Pilots (STP) to take the stage, the nearly-sold out crowd was on its feet in anticipation. That anticipation quickly converted to exhilaration as Scott Weiland (with megaphone in hand) and co. took the stage with an old cut in “Crackerman”. From there, the band delivered a 19-song set that spanned all the band’s albums (except 2001’s Shangri-La Dee Da) over the course of about two hours.

STP has always been one of the best dressed groups in rock, with Weiland especially noted for his fashion sense. For this show he was literally overdressed as he appeared in a sportcoat, scarf, and fedora despite the 90+ degree weather. Though he shed the jacket after the opener, and scarf after new track “Hickory Dichtomy”. Weiland worked up quite the sweat as he slinked around the stage all evening, and would unintentionally add some humor to the show as a sweat and movement-induced rip in his tight pants called for a wardrobe change.

Weiland of course wasn’t the only one heating up, as the whole band provided plenty of inspiration for perspiration, with fans cheering, jumping, and belting out tunes both old and new. STP are on tour in support of their new self-titled album and they balanced the set list perfectly between new tracks, old album cuts, and plenty of fan-favorites. The band’s appreciation for their fans was apparent as Weiland thanked them for their support over the years before ‘Dichtomy’ and followed it with “Still Remains”, a song off their second album, Purple, which they played because “fans demanded it”. Their fans appear to have good taste as the tune turned out to be one of the best performances of the night, capped off with a wah-flavored guitar solo from Dean DeLeo.

Of the new songs performed “Hickory Dichtomy” and new single “Cinnamon” were best received. Weiland’s slight vocal effect and DeLeo’s slide solo on his old, beat-up telecaster were the driving forces of “Hickory Dichtomy” while “Cinnamon” was a bit of a departure from their grungy sound as they found a Foo Fighters-like mix of rock and pop. The band would mix genres constantly throughout the night as they played bluesy, lounge-esque intros to “Big Empty” and “Plush” and a more jazz-inspired lead-in to “Sex Type Thing”. They also improvised a blended jam while Weiland sought new pants, which featured Dean DeLeo strumming out some psych-rock riffs over his brother Robert’s rhythm & blues bass line. When Weiland reappeared it was back to business as they strung together several hits including “Interstate Love Song” and “Down”. The band ended the show with a sing-along of “Trippin’ On A Hole In A Paper Heart”, culminating with the forced message of “I’m not dead and I’m not for sale” as the words scrolled across the screen. However, the message was unnecessary as the performance spoke for itself.

Cage the Elephant opened the show to a surprisingly modest sized crowd and did their best to generate some excitement amongst the early arrivals as frontman Matthew Shultz pronounced “the rumors aren’t true, you are allowed to stand”. Shultz proved to be quite the mad man: once he started moving he never stopped, as if he were out to prove Newton’s Laws of Motion. Still, despite the band’s best efforts to fire up the audience their reputation of “Oh, that band!” preceded them as most folks only recognized and embraced them while they performed radio hits like “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” and “In One Ear”. In the crowd’s defense, much of the group’s material has a more intense vibe than the songs they have on the radio. Though they may not have caught on aurally with some in attendance, they were certainly visually entertaining as Shultz and co. danced, headbanged, and flailed across the whole stage and even in to the crowd on more than one occasion.

Early arrivals were treated to a set from local favorites TAB the Band.

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