STONE TEMPLE PILOTS SHAKE FANS TO THE CORE IN ATLANTIC CITY

Words & Photos by Diane DiMemmo

November 8. 2021

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There were probably hundreds of concerts taking place in New Jersey on Saturday, November 6th, but if you weren’t at Hard Rock’s Sound Waves in Atlantic City … then you absolutely missed the best one. The Stone Temple Pilots pounded the stage there that evening with an intensity, passion, and exceptional musicianship that far exceeded any live music event I’ve attended in a very long time.


Happy to be back in their home state, brothers Robert and Dean DeLeo welcomed each other home and told the “Jersey Strong” crowd just how special it felt to be there. Dean (lead guitar) and Robert (bass, backing vocals) formed the hard/classic/grunge rock band in 1989 along with front man Scott Weiland and drummer Eric Kretz. The current lineup now features vocal dynamo, Jeff Gutt, who gave a very respectful nod to Weiland when he told the younger fans to make sure they ask their parents about the legend.


The shoulder-to-shoulder fanbase that night did consist of every age group, but they all had one thing in common … a dedication to, and love for this multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning, Billboard-topping band that literally rocked us to our CORE with hits like “Wicked Garden,” “Vasoline,” “Meatplow,” “Sex Type Thing,” “Dead & Bloated,” and many more. The 18-song setlist (see below) was a powerhouse arrangement that kept the crowd singing, pumping their fists, and having the time of their lives all night long.


Back to the musicianship. Every listing of the “top rock guitar legends” should categorically include Dean DeLeo. Words alone cannot do his playing justice. That lead guitar sang all night long with jaw-dropping, powerful solos; many of which I honestly didn’t want to end. I would definitely dig a show with Dean just playing lick after lick. It’s very evident that his distinctive, progressive style has served to inspire thousands of talented guitarists across the world. Dean’s art form is a model of excellence for musicians to aspire to.

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The "wow factor” didn’t stop there. Robert and Eric were locked in and tight driving every song with exact precision, technicality, and soul. Is it possible after all these years that they sound even better now? The answer would have to be a resounding “YES!” And the artistic musical vignettes between songs by Robert, Dean and Eric were mesmerizing and hinted that the band is not done with the creativity and innovation of their sound for future music.

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Am I done with the admiration? Not just yet. Singer Jeff Gutt, who has only been with the band since 2017, is the consummate entertainer and 100% the front man of the Stone Temple Pilots. One can say he was born to be in this role. He sings every song as if he loves it … with veracity, care and passion. But that’s not all. His vocals are right up there with the best in the business and there shouldn’t be any doubt why the band chose him to carry on the trailblazing sound that is STP.


As we all exited the arena that evening, fan after fan could be heard saying things like “Best show I ever saw,” “I could’ve listened for hours,” and “I will definitely be seeing STP again!” I said it before; and I’ll say it again. If you weren’t at Sound Waves listening to the Stone Temple Pilots pump out their legendary tunes last Saturday … well … you missed one hell of a performance.


Just a few shows remain on STP’s 2021 Fall tour so follow the guys on social media to hear future show announcements! And make sure to download their recent 41-song remaster of Tiny Music … Songs From The Vatican Gift Shop [Deluxe Edition] as well as their stellar 2020 album Perdida.

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SETLIST

Wicked Garden / Vasoline / Big Bang Baby / Silvergun Superman / Meadow / Meatplow / Lounge Fly / Still Remains / Plush / Interstate Love Song / Down / Crackerman / Roll Me Under / Dead & Bloated / Trippin' on a Hole in a Paper Heart

ENCORE

Piece of Pie / Sex Type Thing

TYLER BRYANT & THE SHAKEDOWN

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I spoke with many “rail riders” before the music began that Saturday evening, and there were several who specifically came to the show because Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown were opening. A few others said they didn’t know who TBSD was. But the same thing happens after every show these guys play. The faces in the audience show looks of awe and amazement at what they just heard.


Devoted fan Linda Stamper said, “I absolutely love this band. I've been following them for years. They always give it their all and the interaction with the fans always leaves you wanting more. I will go see them every chance I get and ride the rail every time!! I even got a drumstick after Caleb's solo!!”


Another listener who was unfamiliar with TBSD said to me after their set, “You were right! That was incredible! TBSD just killed it and I'm now a huge fan!”

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The Nashville rockers have been turning heads to every stage they play and for good reason. Talent and virtuosity oozes from each member: Tyler Bryant (lead guitar & vocals), Graham Whitford (rhythm guitar), Ryan Fitzgerald (bass), and Caleb Crosby (drums). Their tunes are an intoxicating blend of classic/soulful/hard rock and rhythm & blues, with a hint of grunge thrown in.


But what makes the TBSD sound so potent is the spirit, emotion and exuberance with which each band member plays. Their instruments seem to be extensions of themselves, and you feel a deep, emotional connection to their musical expression and lyrics. Tyler’s vocals are soulful and pure, giving the band a unique Nashville “flavor” that elevates the group to another level.

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Do whatever you can to see Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown and check out their brand new single and video for “Born Rockin’.” If that single as well as the tune “Shackles” (of which we were lucky enough to hear that night) are any indication of how good their upcoming album Rust & Roll will be, then TBSD should prepare for takeoff!

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Diane DiMemmo is an avid concert fanatic and former musician who snuck cameras into venues for years before entering the pit as a professional photographer. After her first visit to Asbury Park, she immediately fell in love with its music community and recognized the need for a Jersey Shore publication to highlight the accomplishments of local and national musicians through photos and press. Asbury Park Vibes has been her labor of love ever since, along with her Golden Retriever – Cooper – who you’ll often see walking Diane through the streets of Asbury.

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