Who would ever have thought Stone Temple Pilots would top off 16 drug- and drama-addled years by hitting the road for a reunion tour? Then again, rehab's expensive, and with at least three albums' worth of solid music (out of five), the band can make a killing with 65 greatest-hits appearances across this continent. I saw STP back in the Core days as well as after the release of Purple in 1994 (go seniors!) Scott Weiland's voice was a youthful knockout back then, and the "big rock show" energy was transcendent for stoners, grunge fans, and people who listened to the radio. But after so long, can STP — the band adored by gossip headline writers and loathed, at least in the beginning, by critics — really dust off and kick out those aging jams like "Big Empty," "Sex Type Thing," "Interstate Love Song," "Plush" or, God forbid, "Big Bang Baby"? Apparently it can. Sort of. Recent show reviews (professional and audience-produced) from Salt Lake City to Cleveland use terms like "triumphant," "spellbinding" and "solid," while the New Jersey show (or, more specifically, Weiland) got a "bedraggled and bushed" from The New York Times several weeks ago. STP is supposedly headed to the studio in November — seems it got that album-then-tour plan backward — so, perhaps, recording will be a reward if Weiland successfully struts and vamps all the way through August's Bumbershoot. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club opens.
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