Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale and STP frontman Scott Weiland
Review of STP and Bush at KROQ-ATHON in Syracuse, New York from Saturday.
Credit: Mark Bialczak of Syracuse.com
Stone Temple Pilots and Bush ripped out big-time sets to prove quite convincingly that bands that started their arc of rock in the 1990s can quite nicely put the big ribbon on a daylong fest aimed toward the next generation.
Certainly, some of the raucous crowd of 20,000 or so Saturday night at the state fairgrounds infield outside of Syracuse had departed K-Rockathon 16 by the time Scott Weiland and Stone Temple Pilots took the main stage for the headlining set. In fact, you could see a march of the teens and twentysomethings drifting away from the side-by-side stages after California band Hollywood Undead fulfilled their rock-sprinkled-with-hip-hop wishes in the ninth of the 13 sets.
But mostly the diehard fans hundreds deep and wide in front of the stages crowd-surfed, pumped their fists and figuratively throbbed with energy for Bush and Stone Temple Pilots – and Dropkick Murphys and then Seether on the second stage, too.
Front men Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots and Gavin Rossdale of Bush gave them plenty to be enthusiastic about.
Weiland, notorious for a spate of unsober onstage behavior in the first half of STP’s career, won fans over with a performance solid in artistic merit; his voice sounded clearer singing than it did in his several between-song talks. Weiland proved athletic, too, hopping from platform to platform on the stage and climbing a third of the way up the light stanchions at the flank.
Band mates Dean and Robert Deleo on guitar and bass, and Eric Kretz on drums added to the fire as STP delivered songs from the 90s that still matter, and cool songs from last year’s self-titled album, too.
A very cool screen of lights behind the stage added to the passionate atmosphere for “Vasoline,” “Heaven and Hotrods” and “Plush.”
Dean Deleo’s slide guitar intensity helped lift ballad “Big Empty” to great heights. Weiland’s southern twist rode “Interstate Love Song” to great places.
When Weiland talked to the crowd, he told them that crowd surfing was OK, but grabbing women who were riding the crowd was not cool.
For the encore, Weiland invited a fan onstage to sing the first verse of “Dead and Bloated.” The guy named Tim did a fine job, earning praise as the best fan singer so far this tour. Then STP closed with a racing “Trippin’ on a Hole in a Paper Heart.”
Rossdale and his mates in Bush started their set with a glorious nod to the 90s.
“Breath in, breath out,” Rossdale sang, and the crowd quickly got carried away by “Machinehead.”
Rossdale looked sweaty in his black jacket, but quicky shed down to a white T-shirt, better to jump into the front of the crowd. Beefy security guards watched the Bush front man like a hawk, but fans seemed content to dance next to him instead of trying to get too grabby.
Back together since last year, drummer Robin Goodridge, guitarist Chris Traynor and new bassist Corey Britz sprinkled in work from the album “The Sea of Memories,” which is scheduled for release Sept. 13. Single “The Sound of Winter” is hot.
“We appreciate you not going out to get a beer,” Rossdale told the crowd when talking about the new album.
Nah. They were there to hear the new with the old, including “Everything Zen” and “Glycerine.”