Sep 13, 2019

STP / Rival Sons - Mecu Pavilion

Category: Live Reviews




Baltimore, Maryland

Mecu Pavilion

RIVAL SONS Set List:  Back In The Woods, Sugar On The Bone, Open My Eyes, Look Away, Pressure and Time, Too Bad, End of Forever, Electric Man, Where I’ve Been, Shooting Stars, Do Your Worst

STONE TEMPLE PILOTS Set List: Silvergun Superman, Wicked Garden, Vasoline, Crackerman, Meatplow, Big Bang Baby, Glide, Big Empty, Plush, Meadow, Interstate Love Song, Roll Me Under, Dead and Bloated, Trippin’ On A Hole in a Paper Heart, ENCORE:  Piece of Pie, Sex Type Thing

 Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown opened this show and their set was a fresh take on old school 70’s styled riff rock.  The crowd was still arriving as the band performed; tragically a large portion of the crowd did not arrive in time to see their set.

 When Rival Sons lead singer Jay Buchanan sang 

“My Love is Stronger Than Yours, My Love Is Stronger Than Your Hate Will Ever Be” 

from the song “Shooting Stars” he explained to the crowd how he thinks, deals with, and copes with the world around him.  Jay is a strong personality, his presence is one part Jim Morrison, 2 parts Ian Astbury, and the band members who perform in Rival Sons are an awesome rock n roll spectacle to witness.

 Rival Sons are reminiscent of The Black Crowes with their bluesy swagger, jammy riffs, and from the heart approach.  Jay took the stage wearing a large goth styled hat and his low cut shirt displayed his chest tattoos and random necklaces.  Black Bell Bottom pants added to Jay’s overall 70’s vibe while lead guitarist Scott Holiday looked modern day hipster with his pointy mustache and short cropped hair.

 Scott’s guitar playing is unique, flavorful, and a distinct part of Rival Son’s sound.  Scott changed guitars quite often and with each guitar change came an overall style/vibe change; this band goes from ballad to balls out rocker effortlessly!

 The Rhythm section was tight and drummer Mike Miley is hidden in the back yet an essential part of the bands sound because his timing is the glue that holds this band together.  Touring keyboardist Todd Ogren looks like an Amish refuge with his long beard and farmer styled hat.

 Rival Sons brought their own crowd, their own vibe, and their own energy to the stage which the crowd devoured.  “Too Bad” was one of the standout songs in their set and the closer “Do Your Worst” brought the house down.  When Rival Sons set ended a small portion of the crowd left.  Interesting sidenote for this show, the weather was perfect, there was a mild breeze, and for a September evening you could not ask better night.

 Stone Temple Pilots last performed at Mecu Pavilion when it was formerly known as Pier Six on April 26, 2011.  A lot has changed in the STP universe over the last 8 years; 2 of their singers have died and in 2017 the band named Jeff Gutt as their latest singer.

 Gutt is an interesting mix of new and old; he performs the Weiland era hits with control, passion, and presence while also paying homage to what Weiland did.  With the new(er) song “Meadow” Gutt shines on as the bands latest member and paves his way onward by delivering his own flavor to the bands brand.

 The crowd was hungry for STP’s grunge flavored rock and Dean, Robert, Eric, and Jeff delivered the goods!

 Performing a 16 song set which featured the hits as well as a few deep cuts, STP proved that they are still vital in 2019 and the current line up was clearly appreciative to be onstage.

 Gutt performed in the crowd at one point and ran through the entire pavilion interacting with fans while Eric and the DeLeo brothers rocked onstage.

 Dean’s riffs are classy, harsh, and elegant while Eric’s impeccable timing holds every song tightly together.  Robert’s bass lines gel STP together and his playing is instantly recognizable.

 “Plush” sounded amazing and the crowd sang every word as the band performed under the stars in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.  

“Big Empty” started with a slow slide guitar jam which featured Robert & Dean jamming.  The song sounded excellent and Dean tossed out several guitar slides  while performing it.  "Big Empty" has been a staple to every STP performance since it's release.  The song first appeared as the lead single on "The Crow" soundtrack and was also included on STP's second release "Purple" in 1994.   

 The Encore was interesting because “Piece of Pie” is a song STP has not  actively performed prior to Gutt joining and “Sex Type Thing” has been performed early in their set for many years.  “Trippin’…..” has been the usual show closer for many years.  The version of "Sex Type Thing" which closed this show was less "Heavy" and slightly "Vibier" and that's what Gutt brings to STP compared to how Weiland used to perform that song.

 One major difference between Weiland’s performance and Gutt’s is the lack of the megaphone.  Gutt stated in early interviews that he had no intention of using the megaphone onstage in order to keep his own identity and not steal from Weiland.

 The show was over just before 11 PM and the crowd cleared out rather fast.  This concert was for the true lover(s) of live rock n roll; clean vocals, loud guitars, and monster hooks made this show a true rock n roll experience!

Author: Bob Suehs