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Stone Temple Pilots rock out to an intimate crowd at Upper Darby's Tower Theatre

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After my seventh go-round seeing Stone Temple Pilots, I came to the Stone Temple Pilots rock out to an intimate crowd at Upper Darby's Tower Theatre. Photo: Tedd Allen conclusion that no matter what size venue the band plays, they come out guns blazing. And almost 20 years after their debut album, they still deliver stellar performances often imitated, but never duplicated.

This was further exemplified Thursday night, when STP played to an intimate Tower Theatre crowd in Upper Darby, PA.  At this stage in their career, the band’s discography is so diverse that they can really play what they want when they want.

Despite usually playing to larger crowds, STP has performed in similar venues such as the Troc in 1992, and the TLA in late 2008.

Opening the setlist with “Crackerman”  from 1992’s Core, Scott Weiland brought out his trademark megaphone and STP was off and running. “Wicked Garden” (another track from Core) followed, along with “Vasoline” from 1994’s Purple.  

Although deeps tracks such as “Heaven and Hot Rods,” “Still Remains,” and “Silvergun Superman” as well as newer songs “Between the Lines” and “Hickory Dichotomy” went over nicely, the energy of “Big Empty” as well as rockers “Dead and Bloated” and set closer “Trippin’ On a Hole In A Paper Heart” was undeniable.

Brothers Rob and Dean DeLeo along with drummer Eric Kretz have experienced the ups and downs of Weiland’s personal issues, which eventually led to the band’s seperation for several years.

However (as I’ve mentioned before), unlike certain talented bands (who will remain nameless) who never put their egos aside to do what they do best, what makes STP unique is that all four (including Weiland) realize at the end of the day that the band is bigger than any of them, and they all rise above their issues. Not every fan shares my opinion on this, and although some have been on the bad end of a Stone Temple Pilots show, I’m a perfect 7 for 7 over the span of 18 years.

 

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Having seen them at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts (rememeber that place?), the Spectrum, Borgata, as well as outdoor festivals, the band was just as tight at the Tower. The show marked a reunion of sorts for the DeLeo brothers (they are originally from Newark, New Jersey), who acknowledged several local friends who were in attendance.

The fact that you could find fans ranging from 18 to 50 at the show furthermore proves that STP has effectively bridged a generation gap. With the exception of Led Zeppelin, It would be hard pressed to find another relevant rock band in the last 40 years that has successfully mixed hard rock with pop and acoustic ballads the way STP does (Oddly enough, the band’s cover of “Dancin’ Days” was also a concert highlight).

Stone Temple Pilots might not be cranking out hits with regularity like they were during the 1990’s. But when you have their catalog, it really doesn’t matter.

After all, they can play anywhere.

Setlist

Crackerman

Wicked Garden

Vasoline

Heaven and Hot Rods

Between the Lines

Hickory Dichotomy

Still Remains

Big Empty

Dancin' Days

Silvergun Superman

Plush

Interstate Love Song

Huckleberry Crumble

Down

Sex Type Thing

Encore:

Dead and Bloated

Trippin' On a Hole in a Paper Heart

 

Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com

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Special thanks to Jordan Frazes at Atlantic Records, Dina Baruck at STP management, and Rachel Spivak at Live Nation.

Also thanks to Tedd Allen for his generous photos and four-leaf clover donation.