BY HEATHER HACKNEY
The night was not one of usual Bethel style, where people were flooding the lot hours before the show.
Surprisingly enough, though this show was one I was looking forward to, it didn’t really deliver in the usual ways a Bethel show does. In addition, attendance for this show lacked so heavily, that all the lawn seats were upgraded to inside pavilion seating. Approximately 4,000 of the 18,000 available capacity was used for this show. Was it a middle of the week thing? Or has STP lost their touch?
Opening was The Crash Kings whose unique style of band arrangement had the audience taken aback by the lack of guitarists on stage. Previously touring with Chris Cornell and Jet, this band’s three members, brothers Mike (keyboard) & Tony Beliveau (bass) and Tim Roslak (drums), took what is normal alternative rock and, in a way, reinvented the guitar’s sound. The guitar parts were replacing with multiple keyboards and synthesizers complete with whammy bars for that cryin’/wailn’ sound.
Despite their creativeness, there wasn’t too much interest flooding the seats for this band. Seemed like a shame, but perhaps once they have a few more years under their belts, it will get better.
The real anticipation came as STP pulled the diva card and postponed coming on stage for over an hour. The crowd was chanting, people were dancing in the aisles to the piped in house music all the while waiting for the band to take the stage. Once they decided to grace the fine people of Bethel with their presence, it was quite evident they had taken part in some back stage partying, as lead singer Scott Weiland seemed to stumble over some of the lyrics of ‘Vasoline’.
It was a slow opening for them as the audience waited through some mumbled lyrics and otherwise off the beaten path songs. The true rocking was delivered when the crowd heard the first riff of ‘Plush’ followed immediately by ‘Interstate Love Song,’ both of which STP delivered flawlessly and with fantastic energy.
Frankly a shame it didn’t do better for ticket sales, as if you got over the initial speed bumps, it was a very enjoyable show. Stay Tuned…