NEWARK, NJ—The NJ PAC Center has a stylish, attention-to-detail slant to its architectural design, somehow balancing elements of spacious with elegant intimacy. Therefore, it was a suiting place for Stone Temple Pilots, a band famous for their Led Zeppelin ornate based foundation accentuated with a banging exhilaration that swiftly grabs you and pulls you in. And although there was also a newish band playing that night called The Soundtrack Of Our Lives, legions would argue that that title is more befitting for Stone Temple Pilots. Who hasn’t broken up over “Interstate Love Song,” felt totally desperation when hearing “Big Empty” or get the nerve to flirt with a stranger while “Wicked Garden” is spun in a bar?
Singer Scott Weiland has a voice which does for the ears what a kaleidoscope does for the eyes. Perfectly complimenting him is Dean DeLeo, born in Newark, who makes slaying that six-string dragon look as natural as breathing. Though it’s the taut rhythm section of bassist Robert DeLeo and drummer Erik Kretz, that makes STP rock stars. Put simply: They make it look easy. Scott is still as agile as ever as he romances his signature megaphone while slithering like a serpent. His sincere execution of lyrics like, “Too much tripping and my soul’s worn thin” and “If you should die before me, ask if you could bring a friend” is painfully beautiful.
From the fantastic light stage show to the string of number one hits like “Big Empty,” “Slivergun Superman” and 2010’s “Between The Lines” to their breakout ‘90s classic “Sex Type Thing,” snippet of Zep’s “Dazed And Confused” to their encore of “Dead And Bloated” and “Tripping On A Hole In A Paperheart,” these four gentleman earned every moment of their gracious, collective bow to an audience who couldn’t have asked for more.
The members with their various incarnations in super groups like Dean and Robert’s Army Of Anyone, and Scott with Velvet Revolver have endless possibilities, but clearly and undeniably within the framework of STP, they have found the formula for alchemy.