When Hurricane Sandy ripped through New Jersey last fall and decimated the shore, Sayreville was one of the hardest hit communities. Among the homes that were destroyed in Sayreville, the popular central New Jersey concert venue Starland Ballroom was also severely damaged by relentless flooding. The entire venue needed to be renovated and remained closed with little notice of when it would return. Then recently, a slew of shows were scheduled with the announcement of the reopening of Starland. This was a welcome return for rock fans in the area as it comes right on the heels of the closing of another iconic New Jersey music venue, Maxwell’s, in Hoboken.
Popular acts like Taking Back Sunday, Cake, Three Days Grace, Tegan and Sara, AFI, Bullet For My Valentine, Streetlight Manifesto, Lamb of God, and Puddle of Mudd are all on the calendar for the venue starting in early September and running all the way through the end of the year. Then, a bigger and even more surprising announcement followed; the grand reopening of the venue would be a show on September 6 by the Stone Temple Pilots with Chester Bennington, best known as the lead singer of Linkin Park.
Recently, after Stone Temple Pilots and their volatile lead singer, Scott Weiland messily parted ways yet again, the remaining members of the band, guitarist Dean DeLeo, bassist Robert DeLeo, and drummer Eric Kretz got together with Bennington on some off time from his full time band to write and record a new song. The new formation of the band got along so well that they surprised fans at Los Angeles radio station KROQ’s annual “Weenie Roast” concert with a live set. Soon after the band announced additional dates as their feud with Weiland turned into a war of words and legal actions from both sides. The band claims Weiland sabotaged a previously planned tour by pre-empting it with a solo tour performing their “Core” and “Purple” albums, while Weiland claimed the band could not continue using Stone Temple Pilots name without him.
In any case, it seems the band is now taking on with another famous frontman in a situation that is eerily similar to Weiland’s when he formed Velvet Revolver with former members of Guns N’ Roses, Slash, Duff McKagan, and Matt Sorum following the initial breakup of STP. The main difference here is that Bennington is still very much active with his full time band, Linkin Park, which by all accounts seems to remain his priority. However, it will be interesting to see what kind of show the band puts on when it’s run of tour dates begin on September 4. Thus far, the band has only played several short festival sets no longer than 8 songs, so it is not known if the band plans to work in any of Bennington’s Linkin Park material similar to Velvet Revolver working Stone Temple Pilots and Guns N’ Roses songs into their live sets when they toured.
In addition to the single “Out of Time,” Stone Temple Pilots will also be releasing an EP with additional new songs this fall that will probably see their debuts on tour. Another popular 90’s rock group, Filter, will open the show at Starland. Coincidently, Filter’s lead singer Richard Patrick was the lead singer of Robert and Dean DeLeo’s band Army of Anyone, that initially formed after the band’s first disbandment with Weiland in 2002.
There’s no telling if Weiland will ever be back with the group, but it seems for the time being they’re rejuvenated and open for business this fall much like Starland Ballroom. Fans of both Stone Temple Pilots and Linkin Park will undoubtedly clamor to make it to this unique and possibly one-off tour of the latest rock super group that has historic potential. Tickets for this show and the band’s other tour dates are available on their website. A full list of dates at the reopened Starland Ballroom can also be found on their site.