Friday, April 17, 2015

Stone Temple Pilots, Denver, Colorado, 15 April 2015

 That’s right. Stone Temple Pilots!

Taxes safely filed, I headed to Denver with friends to see grunge gods the Stone Temple Pilots play at the Fillmore. I hadn't visited that venerable old auditorium for decades, and not much had changed. It still smelled slightly of stale cigarettes and booze ground into old carpeting, there's still only one official men’s bathroom (the other is tucked behind a bar and almost backstage) but all my love for the place came flooding back as I grooved with my friends to Vasoline.

Attending a concert at the Fillmore, a small venue on Colfax with mostly standing room, is like attending a house party at a venerable but slightly down in the heels mansion that has a huge ballroom with chandeliers and an old-fashioned high school-looking stage at one end.

The crowd was cool, and the music excellent. The band was in good humor and bantered with us all evening. A great feature of the Fillmore is that the band is just so close to you anywhere you happen to be standing, and you can literally walk up and put your hand on the stage.

I figured the crowd would consist of old fogies like me in tattered original concert t-shirts, but it was mostly younger people who could not have been adults when Grunge burst into our lives and brought us Alice in Chains, Nirvana, Pearl Jam and my favorites, Stone Temple Pilots. I shouldn’t have been surprised. Although my son informed me before I left for the concert that grunge was now considered classic rock, he also expressed how jealous he was that I had a ticket to the show.

For those not up to speed on such things, frontman Scott Weiland has been out of the Stone Temple Pilots since 2013, reportedly due to his drug use and inability to hit all the notes, and Chester Bennington of Linkin Park has stepped in. I was skeptical, but I can report after seeing them live that the energetic Bennington is a great fit. His voice doesn't have the bassiness of Weiland's but he owned the stage, and he brings an STP vibe to the band and it all just fits together.

You can judge for yourself from the YouTube clip I found of the concert I was at. You can't see Chester because he dove down into the crowd and sang from there.

Have a great weekend!

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