September 27,2019( Sterling Hgts,Michigan)-As most bands enter their forth decade of existence, time and travel begins to take its toll on the body and zeal to perform. The Stone Temple Pilots must have found some magical elixir early on because they never seem to slow down and continue to bring it loud and hard, night after night. With that in mind, It was no surprise that the Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre at Freedom Hill was filled to near- capacity Friday with fans on hand to experience the co-headlining tour featuring Rival Sons and the iconic Stone Temple Pilots.
After a burner of a performance by the Rival Sons, it was soon STP’s turn to match the energy and intensity that their co-headliner brought to the stage. When the lights dimmed, lead singer and Michigan native Jeff Gutt announced to the crowd,” It’s good to be home,” then it was go time. The band launched into an opening salvo of “Down” off the fifth album No4 followed by “Wicked Garden” and the grunge classic, “Vasoline.”
Original band members Dean DeLeo (Guitar), Robert DeLeo (Bass) and Eric Kretz (Drums) continue to sound strong while delivering the sound to such classics as “Big Bang Baby,” “Glide” and “Interstate Love Song.” One of STP’s most successful songs to date, “Plush” was unequivocally the highlight of tonights performance. Starting quietly with DeLeo’s guitar and Gutts’ resonating vocals, the song quickly became the cell-phone and sing-a-long moment of the night, gentling building to a crescendo before ripping into the signature chord progression. If this sequence of classic STP hits didn’t have you out of your seat and jammin’, simply put, you shouldn’t have been here tonight.
The night would not be complete without the scintillating “Sex Type Thing” and “Piece of Pie,” both from the groundbreaking Core album. Traditional STP show closers, it was the perfect one-two knockout punch to put the finishing touches on a top-flight show experience from start to finish
If you are one of those purists who think a band will never sound good again once a founding member leaves, I challenge you to listen to Jeff Gutts’ vocals and then observe his overall stage presence. Granted, when he became the front man for STP, there were challenges but the guy has paid his dues and belongs. His vocal delivery, stage mannerisms and overall demeanor have evolved and in reality, if you didn’t know any better, you would swear he has been around all 30 years. If you doubt what I am telling you, go see a Stone Temple Pilots show and then try to tell me I’m wrong, I seriously doubt you will be able to.
This is one hell of a live show and you’ll be remiss if you don’t go. Go on and buy a ticket and live in the moment, close your eyes and you’ll swear its the 90’s all over again…..only better this time around!