Being a New York City guy, and a big kid at heart, I have always loved Coney Island. I never really equated it with shows, even with the concerts coming to the nearby baseball field and the new Ford Amphitheater on the Coney Island Boardwalk, right on the legendary beach. Since Coney is basically the end of NYC, I made the long trek out there with some friends for food and adult beverages first. After heading over to the venue, the big brick façade of the front-facing the beach doesn’t really give away the big open-air/tent vibes of the venue, with the ocean breeze and waves in the distance. As I found my seat, Ty Bryant and the Shakedown were winding down their set. Always a rocking fun time with him. The sound was noticeably great, with tremendous acoustics and a clear mix emanating from the speakers
I have seen Rival Sons a few years prior, but now they have blown up huge. They legit had a big part of the crowd there just to see them. Just a few years ago, they were opening the final tour for Black Sabbath. They have come along way to be co-headlining with a legend status band like STP, and they lived up to every level of that hype, with a really strong show. I was seated next to an industry pal and he legit couldn’t believe a) how big they were and b) that they were so good. The crowd was on their feet and dancing the entire time and the band was fierce, especially singer Jay Buchanon and guitarist Scott Holiday. Something tells me they are only going to get bigger from here.
You could feel the excitement in the crowd like a spark before Stone Temple Pilots took the stage. The fans were pumped. I asked a few people sitting around me and they had either never seen the band before, or it was so long ago, they weren’t sure what to expect. Having seen the band twice in the last few years, I gushed about Jeff and the new album to a skeptical few others, but by the end of the show, they were sold. The band immediately came out in the darkness, and opened with the very heavy ‘Down’. Such a great opener for a show. The band sounded excellent, especially Jeff. He really fits in perfectly with STP. The band then went right into hits like ‘Wicked Garden’, ‘Vasoline’, and deep cut ‘Crackerman’! Three fast, uptempo jams after the groovy opener.
STP has the same yeoman dynamic they always have had. Rob, Dean, and Eric are all gifted, hardworking rockstars, but without the rockstar tudes for the most part. Just great songs, a great light show and little else, to convey the message of the music. Beautiful. The band blended in more recent songs like ‘Pruno’, ‘Glide’, and ‘Meadow’. They sound like tracks that could have come at any time in their career.
I won’t even front, the highlight of the show for me was the middle section of back to back songs ‘Big Empty’ and ‘Plush’. For two mega radio “hits”, these songs have a lot of personal meaning for me, especially ‘Big Empty’ from The Crow soundtrack, which turned 25 this year, as did Purple. The performances were powerful and perfect.
Playing a few more hits and deep cut surprises along the way including debut album opener ‘Dead and Bloated’, and ‘Piece of Pie’. By the time the last notes of ‘Sex Type Thing’ rang out, my voice was shot and I had tears of joy in my eyes. Go out and keep repping STP, they deserve all the props and respect for what they a putting down on stage night after night.
WRODS BY KEITH CHACHKES
PHOTOS BY JULIA SARIY