Stone Temple Pilots and Rival Sons made a stop at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and wowed the audience inside The Joint in Las Vegas, with fans lining up early to get a spot up front near the stage. As I entered the venue there was a distinct buzz in the air about RIVAL SONS, who were about to take to the stage. This was the band's first co-headlining tour, and will run through the fall with Stone Temple Pilots.
Rival Sons are a hard rock/blues band from Long Beach, that is made up of Jay Buchanan on lead vocals, Scott Holiday on guitar, Mike Miley on drums, Dave Beste on bass and touring member Todd Ogren on keyboards. The band are currently out in support of their sixth and most recent album, Feral Roots, which was released on January 25th of this year. As the lights went out, you could hear the sound of a faint heartbeat, and across the back of the stage a dim outline of the skeletal remains of a dog appeared with a red beating heart inside of it, that gave way to a well lit backdrop of the same dog lying in a grassy field with plants and trees and birds. There was a thunderous blast from Michael Miley's drums and the wailing sound of Jay Buchanan’s voice, and Rival Sons began their set to the roar of the crowd. They included eight songs off the new album, taking most of the thirteen song set, and kicked off their show with “Back In the Woods" and "Pressure and Time”. It is easy to see the the roots of this band in Led Zeppelin & Bad Company, the band's sound is pure 70’s bluesy rock. In the middle of their set they slowed things down, as Buchanan spoke to the crowd and explained that he grew up in the mountains surrounded by trees, as the band launched into the haunting title track off their new album “Feral Roots”. Another song that really showcased Buchanan's vocal prowess was “Where I’ve Been” and showed his ability to control the range and emotion of his voice. The band closed out their set with the hand clapping “Keep On Swinging”, and a tough act to follow for the next headliner, Stone Temple Pilots.
RIVAL SONS SETLIST, LAS VEGAS
Back in the Woods
End of Forever
Pressure and Time
Where I've Been
Open My Eyes
Face of Light
Do Your Worst
Keep On Swinging
The legendary Stone Temple Pilots have been through more tragedy than most bands will ever encounter in their career and still survive. This band has been fortunate to have had two of the great singers in rock n roll as members of their band - Scott Weiland and Chester Bennington. Now that spot is taken by Jeff Grunt, who has not only taken over the vocal duties, but has made his mark, letting fans know that STP is here to stay and still going strong. Dean DeLeo is one of the most underrated guitarists out there, a virtuoso, while Robert DeLeo and Eric Kretz kept perfect pace in the rhythm section as STP kicked off the show with “Silverspun Superman" and "Wicked Garden”. Grunt wore a round hat and dark sunglasses as he shimmed and moved around the stage, eerily reminiscent of watching Weiland back in the day, but in all fairness to Grunt brings his own style to the band and seems to be giving the fans exactly what they want, a heartfelt tribute to Weiland, which as a huge fan of STP, I totally appreciated.
The band kept things rolling with the in-your-face song “Crackerman” that had the crowd singing and dancing, and the pace of the show intensified. STP included a few couple songs off their lost recent 2018 self titled release, and more classic hits with “Interstate Love Song”, “Dead & Bloated" and "Trippin on a Hole in a Paper Heart”. After a brief exit, the band returned and surprised everyone by announcing that Johnny Depp would be joining the band for an encore, and as Depp strapped on a guitar, STP launched into “Down”. The excitement level went off the charts in the Joint, as Depp and Robert Delano faced off on stage, and the band firing on all cylinders for the final song “Sex Type Thing”. What a way to close out an amazing night! Two amazing bands, with old school classics from STP and the new classic stylings from Rival Sons. Definitely a night to remember in Las Vegas.
STP SETLIST LAS VEGAS
Big Bang Baby
Interstate Love Song
Roll Me Under
Dead & Bloated
Trippin' on a Hole in a Paper Heart
Down (with Johnny Depp)
Sex Type Thing (with Johnny Depp)
Rival Sons Photos from Harold Mountain / JustAFanPhotos
Stone Temple Pilots Photos from Harold Mountain / JustAFanPhotos