#BGReviewer: Stone Temple Pilots & Seether
It was cold November evening outside the confines of the RBC Theatre at Budweiser Gardens on Wednesday night, but inside, the temperature was elevated due to the performances of Default and co-headliners Seether and Stone Temple Pilots.
Kicking off the night with a short-but-energetic performance, the recently-reunited Default dug into their catalogue of alternative hits. Fronted by Dallas Smith, who prior to the resurrection of the band carved himself a successful country music career, the band rode his excellent vocals through performances of their smash-hit ‘Wasting My Time’, as well as ‘Deny’ and ‘Count On Me’.
When Seether hit the stage, accompanied at first by LED screens adorned with flames, the temperature hit another level. From the opening chords of ‘Gasoline’ right through until their hit ‘Country Song’ mid-set, Seether showed why they are a multi-platinum selling band with the infectious vocal lines of lead singer Shaun Morgan leading the way. It should be noted that hard-hitting drummer John Humphrey left a positive impression on this reviewer, as well! Seether is one of those bands that has a surprising number of recognizable songs – ones that you might not pick out before the show, but once they play them live, you react by saying, “Oh yeah! This song rocks!” That was the entirety of the second-half of their set, which included a hauntingly-bare rendition of the song ‘Broken’, which was originally released as a duet with Evanescence front-woman Amy Lee. The uplifting ‘Rise Above This’ was followed by three powerhouse final songs, including their smash hit ‘Remedy’.
By the time Stone Temple Pilots made their appearance, the crowd was eager to catch a glimpse of new frontman Jeff Gutt. From the unmistakable opening chords of ‘Wicked Garden’, Gutt quickly showed that he has both the vocal prowess and stage presence needed to guide STP into the future. What essentially followed for the next hour and change was a veritable greatest hits from STP’s vast catalogue. ‘Vaseline’, ‘Crackerman’, ‘Big Empty’ (complete with an extended slide guitar intro showing off the fluid skills of STP guitarist Dean DeLeo), and especially energetic performances of their newest singles ‘Meadow’ and ‘Roll Me Under’. I will resist the urge to compare Gutt to former frontman Scott Weiland (RIP), but if STP set out to find somebody who can do STP’s extensive catalogue justice, then they have found their man. A definite highlight was a mid-set, stripped down performance of STP’s massive hit ‘Plush’, which included plenty of crowd participation, and again showcased Gutt’s incredibly-true vocal take on the iconic song. Before the end of the night, the crowd was treated to an encore that included rarely-performed song ‘Piece of Pie’, before finishing with my personal favourite, ‘Trippin’ on a Hole in a Paper Heart’.
By the time STP left the stage, concluding a hard-hitting night of alternative rock, the RBC Theatre at Budweiser Gardens needed to let in some of that cooler outside air to help get the temperature under control inside, as all three bands were truly on fire!
Photos by Bill Woodcock