Stone Temple Pilots “Glide” in high energy show at the Rapids Theater


Thomas Tedesco, Music Writer

Legendary rock band, Stone Temple Pilots, made their return to the Rapids Theater in Niagara Falls, NY on Wednesday night. While they had previously played at the Town Ballroom in Buffalo last May, this is the first time the band has played in Niagara Falls in eight years and four days. Since that performance on September 7, 2011, the biggest and most noticeable difference is singer Jeff Gutt filling the shoes of the late Scott Weiland who died of a drug overdose in 2015, after leaving the band a few years before. 

The night started promptly at 8:00 PM with the opening band, Camp Howard. The quartet hailing from Virginia provided adequate youthful energy to warm up the audience. In their thirty-minute set, they breezed through their songs that were reminiscent of the alternative rock stylings of Radiohead and utilized vocal harmony techniques. The strangest aspect of their performance was when three of the band members interchanged each other’s instruments from song to song. Other than these changes, it was overall difficult to stylistically differentiate one song from the next.

Just before 9:00 PM, the long-anticipated moment arrived when Stone Temple Pilots hit the stage. They opened their high energy, seventy-five-minute set with the lead-off track from their fourth album, “Down.” Throughout the setlist (which can be seen below), STP performed mostly their classic hits and fan favorites from the Scott Weiland era, including “Interstate Love Song,” “Wicked Garden,” and “Plush.” In addition, they performed the radio hits “Meadow” and “Roll Me Under” from their latest self-titled album released last May which included the new singer, Jeff Gutt. 

Guitarist Dean DeLeo stated that while they were looking for a new singer, they wanted someone who could not only do justice to their catalog but also propel them forward. Jeff Gutt did just that as he excelled vocally with both the band’s old and new material alike. He made sure to interact with the crowd by going off the stage and getting up close and personal right in front of the audience. The rest of Stone Temple Pilots put their all into a highly energetic set and thoroughly seemed to enjoy performing for the ecstatic audience. 

Before introducing a deeper cut, “Glide,” bassist Robert DeLeo told the audience, “It’s great to be here at the show with you all, thank you for coming out tonight. We don’t play it [the song] much, but we sure do enjoy it.”

The audience’s reaction and vibe were just as important, with chants of the group’s abbreviation, “STP” ringing in between songs throughout the show. The energy of the band and the audience fed off each other directly to create a great atmosphere in the room. The “STP” chants rang all the way through the show, to the closer, “Tripin’ On a Hole in a Paper Heart,” and to the encore of “Piece of Pie” and “Sex Type Thing.” As the band took their final bows, the crowd was loudly cheering and relishing in the great performance STP had put on. The band’s return to Niagara Falls and Western New York can be seen as a triumphant one.