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April 27, 2011

Stone Temple Pilots and Scott Weiland kick-off summer concert season at Pier Six Pavilion

202124_10150176343863442_47360668441_6688577_5522965_o.jpgStone Temple Pilots performed Tuesday night at Pier Six Pavilion. Frequent Midnight Sun contributor Jeremy Trucker reviews the show, which officially kicked off the regional summer concert season. An earlier version of this review is here.

One of the biggest draws for concert-goers at a Stone Temple Pilots show is seeing in what type of condition front-man Scott Weiland in in when he takes the stage.

From the start of STP's set opener “Crackerman,” it was clear Weiland was ready to play to the crowd of nearly 3,000 who came to see the grunge holdouts open the concert season at Pier Six Pavilion.

The band's 90-minute, 17-song set covered all of the bases, including five songs from their 1992 debut album, "Core." Despite a few longer-than-necessary song breaks, the band, led by Weiland's charisma and trademark deep vocals as well as the Deleo brothers' guitar work, had the crowd at its feet for the duration of the evening.

The hit-laden show was heavy on the band's early catalog, with only a couple of songs from their eponymous 2010 post-reunion album.

The band seemed game to play the classics, and the foursome appeared in unison following a two-song encore to thank the chanting crowd of supporters, most of whom were there to relive their 90s-era youth.

If Tuesday night's set is any indication, a healthy Stone Temple Pilots have the chops and the fan base to play the amphitheater circuit for years to come, with or without new material.

Pier Six's promoters seem to expand the calendar of shows on the waterfront each season, and opening 2011 with a Tuesday night show in April was surely a calculated risk. As luck would have it, the evening was clear and warm, surely bringing a significant number of walk-up sales to the venue.

Of course, booking a band that has been playing much larger venues since their 2008 reunion helps as well. The relative intimacy of Pier Six brought the band and audience closer together. And though the acoustics are not top-notch, the Deleo brothers' extended power chords coupled with Weiland's elongated-vowels (“Caaaaan youuuuuu seeeeee”) help distinguish the songs through a muddled mix.

The show got underway around 9:15 p.m., with a fit and trim-looking Weiland leading the group with their classic lineup intact. Wearing all black with a maroon scarf and sporting his signature sunglasses and megaphone, Weiland swayed and occasionally pirouetted his way through most of the show. If he was in any way road-weary, he wasn't showing it on this evening.

In fact, the entire band, now all well into their 40s, were fit and locked in. My guess is the only stimulant on the tour bus is Vitaminwater.

Following the third song of the evening, “Vaseline,” STP played four songs that constitute the weakest part of their current show, including the single from their latest album, “Between the Lines” (It's about cocaine! Get it?!) and a few lesser-known tracks. The port-a-potty lines swelled during this stretch.

Fans were back to the sing-along by the time the band pulled out “Big Empty,” a huge hit from 1994's "The Crow" soundtrack. Monster hits “Plush,” “Interstate Love Song,” and a megaphone-assisted “Dead and Bloated” were also crowd favorites.

Bands strongly identified with a particular era have a built-in audience if they are willing to play to their fans' radio-driven interests. Summer stage mainstays like Chicago, Journey, and Earth, Wind & Fire make brisk business touring the country each summer by giving their fans the hits that remind them of yesteryear. The last 90s band I saw at Pier Six, Counting Crows, seemed unwilling to go that route.

Adam Duritz flat out refuses to play “Mr. Jones,” his biggest hit and the reason he can sleep past noon everyday for the rest of his life.

STP, always a band criticized for commercializing the “alternative” sound, are one of the few 90s bands with the goods and the apparent willingness to deliver their standards to the people. If they can stay healthy and satisfied to put their payday singles upfront with only a few unidentifiable deep cuts or new songs to slow down the proceedings, they will have a happy audience of late Gen Xers and early Gen Yers ready to plunk down $75 and their blankets each time they come around.

Set highlights, in order:
“Wicked Garden”
“Vaseline” “Between The Lines” (first single off their latest)
“Big Empty
“Dancing Days” (Led Zeppelin cover)
“Interstate Love Song”
Encore, “Dead and Bloated"
“Trippin' on a Hole in a Paper Heart”

Jay Trucker is a frequent contributor to Midnight Sun. He teaches at the Community College of Baltimore County in Dundalk and blogs occasionally at He last reviewed Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj's show at 1st Mariner Arena. Erik Maza edited this post.

Photo: Stone Temple Pilots performing Tuesday (Pier Six Facebook)

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Posted by Erik Maza at 2:52 PM | | Comments (9)
Categories: Concert reviews


I'm begging you, Baltimore Sun editors, please get a nightlife reporter who actually goes and seeks out nightlife.

STP - Guest Review
Rush - Guest Review
Elton John - Guest Review
Lil Wayne - Guest Review
The Pogues - Guest Review
Laryn Hill - Guest Review
Usher - Guest Review

In fact, the only shows you reviewed were Lady Gaga and Charlie Sheen....both in DC. Which leads me to believe that you don't actually live in Baltimore. You post a lot about the DC scene. You posted as many times about the incident at DC9 as you did about the incident at Bourbon Street. You talk a lot about shows coming to DC.

It's not a big deal but I just think that it would be nice to see a review of a show in Baltimore by the Baltimore Nightlife Reporter.

Leaving a comment on a blog is a great way to reach the people you want to reach.

I've never seen a guest post on Rye Rye -- a Baltimore native -- there goes your theory...

@Eutaw: I typically review major headliners, like Sheen, Carrie Underwood, Vampire Weekend, Virgin Mobile FreeFest or Lady Gaga. The rest of the time Im reporting/previewing many of these other local shows for Live; Elton John, Lil Wayne, The Pogues, Wye Oak, Usher, among them. More often, Im doing that while reporting stories for other parts of the paper - breaking news, or, say covering part of the the Schaefer motorcade, or writing centerpieces for Sunday's paper, like the profile of the Comedy Factory, or for the Sun magazine, like the Celebration profile. I also have to keep the blog going on a daily basis, which is why I often ask writers I like to contribute reviews.
I hear your concern, but I am not Michael Keaton in "Multiplicity." Of course, if you read the paper, you'll see a bar review in Live every Friday. Ill be at the Transmodern Festival this weekend and at Sweetlife Sunday night. Feel free to come up to me and say hi. Ill have my long-form birth certificate readily available and Im more than willing to answer questions when Im not taking notes or interviewing someone. Again, thanks for reading.

FYI - Adam Duritz always plays Mr Jones.

Not at Pier Six he didn't. and when he does, he likes to play a mangled version like this:

And another thing Maza, why aren't you writing more about my band, June Star? You should certainly be spending all of your time and resources recording our rise and plateauing in 1999 as the band that most of Baltimore doesn't pay attention to. I seriously question your journalistic integrity based on my subjective perch. Oh and by the way, we never play "Mr. Jones" at any of our shows. Take that sunshine state.

Don't you think Weiland's vocals were, to put it politely, a bit off? Sure his energy was great and everything, but he did not sound like I was expecting him to..

so WHAT precise 17 Songs did they play ?
you did NOT give the entire setlist ?
Interstate , etc. ?
Opening Band ?

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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