It felt a little like 1993 all over again when Stone Temple Pilots took to the stage at London’s Budweiser Gardens on Wednesday night (Nov. 7) with Seether and Default in tow.
Oddly, it was around this time of year 25 years ago when I watched STP tear up the Congress Centre in Ottawa on the band’s Core tour. The audience was blown away when original frontman Scott Weiland started the show with a megaphone bellowing into his mic when he screamed the intro to Dead and Bloated, thereby kicking off a legendary performance.
This time out the band was fronted by a new stocky young rocker who moved and sang with the same fervor as Weiland had back in 1993. Detroit’s Jeff Gutt joined STP earlier this year as the band’s third vocalist and he’s given the band a new lease on life. Both previous singers – Weiland and Chester Bennington – passed away in the last three years, paving the way for Gutt to join the iconic rockers.
Let’s face it, many were there to see if Gutt has what it takes to lead the STP charge with hits like Wicked Garden. Sex Type Thing, Interstate Love Song and Vaseline. And no one left, no one heckled and no one looked unimpressed. Fists were pounding as Gutt and the band (brothers Dean DeLeo, guitar and Robert DeLeo, bass, backing vocals, along with Eric Kretz, drums) plowed through a 14-song set jammed with material from most of the band’s albums.
At times they seemed a little unsure about being on stage performing the older material, but as the show progressed and the audience was clearly enjoying the show, tensions eased and they appeared to have a better time. On a few occasions Gutt was quick to mention how lucky he felt being on stage with his musical heroes, which brought the crowd to bigger cheers.
One of the fascinating things was how well their latest single Meadow fit into the set. It felt vintage (to match, we elected to give the shows photos below a vintage feel). It just felt right. And it also showed that STP is just as relevant in 2018 as it was in 1993.
Co-headers Seether weren’t much for talking. They offered up 11-tracks sampled throughout their career, dating back to the first single Let You Down from 2002 and leading up to their latest album Poison In The Parish.
Using a lot of dark and deep red lights, the band rocked the crap out of London. There was a brilliant energy when the band ran through hits like Broken and Fake It. The new material like Let You Down and Betray and Degrade were lively and vibrant.
The four piece South African band often shared vocal parts and new guitarist Corey Lowery (brother of former guitarist Clint Lowery) felt right at home slamming on his guitar.
Opening the show was Canadian rockers Default, who are in the midst of a reunion that has them on this tour and eventually on their own, supporting an EP of re-recorded tracks from their albums The Fallout and One Thing Remains. Frontman Dallas Smith has recently had a successful solo career as a hit-making country singer – headlining Boots and Hearts earlier this year in front of 40,000 fans, so this brought the country sensation back to his roots.
This show was one of their first since 2010. Their short set was solid and included nothing but hits. The essential Wasting My Time was phenomenal and had the crowd entirely at the whims of Smith.
Budweiser Gardens Nov. 7 Setlists:
Stone Temple Pilots
Big Bang Baby
Interstate Love Song
Dead & Bloated
Roll Me Under
Sex Type Thing
Piece of Pie
Trippin’ on a Hole in a Paper Heart
Let You Down
Words as Weapons
Nobody Praying for Me
Rise Above This
Betray and Degrade
Sick & Tired
It Only Hurts
Count On Me
Wasting My Time