Stone Temple Pilots and Chester Bennington had the honor to work together for two years, a dream for him as he had idolized the band. His place as lead vocalist followed the final end of an era for Pilots with former frontman Scott Weiland, reviving the respect for the legends after years of struggle within the original four-piece. Chester provided Stone Temple Pilots nearly four complete tours and an EP titled High Rise before he had to regrettably part ways to focus on his family and Linkin Park, announced in November.
Last night in Palos Verdes, California, however, Chester joined Stone Temple Pilots one last time for the first annual From Classic To Rock charity show.
The one-off performance was not only their first together since their last tour in September- mentioned by Robert DeLeo onstage- but it was also the first time Stone Temple Pilots performed since the passing of Scott Weiland this last December. A reunion, a tribute and a benefit show all in one night.
The evening started with volunteers and VIP checked in, first to view the merchandise available. They had t-shirts for sale along with reusable bottles; they were black and silver, the show’s logo printed on it. Each bottle was autographed by the performers. Beyond merchandise on the side lot, Meet & Greets were held. Once they ended, all were welcome to the appetizers and a relaxed time with Chester and Stone Temple Pilots having small talk.
Doors to the intimate theater were opened, only enough space to side-step to your seat between the stage and front row. To get a proper photo of the room and stage, we had to back up into the farthest corner.
First to perform was Stan Sharp on the cello, the first part of the show consisting of classical pieces performed additionally by Yutong on the violin. Beautiful collaborations were performed with the ‘modern rock elements’ with the strings, Marten Andersson on the bass and Monte Pittman on the guitar.
We were then honored by a performance by Gary Wright, most famous for his incredible songs “Dream Weaver” and “Love Is Alive.” Despite his age, Wright still owns the stage and keytar, absolutely enjoying his time on stage. He was joined for bass and drums by Robert DeLeo and Eric Kretz from Stone Temple Pilots, Dean DeLeo later joining in on the great set.
After an intermission thanking artists, event producers and supporters, the curtain finally rose on Stone Temple Pilots. The energy was not like that on their tour the past two years he fronted the vocals, but those forty minutes were performed flawlessly with the same chemistry on stage together you can’t resist. Sadly, “Pruno” was not performed to our dismay with our LPLive friends, but they played all our other favorites like “Wicked Garden,” “Crackerman,” and “Sex Type Thing,” his vocals on “Plush” to swoon for as the DeLeo brothers and Kretz played each note to perfection.
The show ended with an all-star jam band led by Chas Wes, also an honor to see perform, the show finishing with a fun feel as the audience mostly of older age than us in our twenties letting loose and standing up from the seats to dance along.
The after party was immediately after the show, held in a pavilion across the street. All were greeted by a red carpet with a backdrop for the event, an elegant lobby beyond the glass doors turning into a large room perfect for parties. Chester and Robert DeLeo were relaxing with guests, greeting all and taking pictures. Well into the party, a loud, sloppy, hilariously odd auction was started with Chester aside from the silent auction in an adjoined room; first items he bid out were about twenty drumheads with the STP logo sticker and their signatures, each a flat $100 to whomever got one. Afterwards he stood by his words on stage and took a shoe off to hold up, asking the crowd to chose the starting bid.
It went from $25.00 to a massive $750.00- the second shoe for the other foot thrown in for free, he sold us, laughing at his cleverness.
A bass signed by Stone Temple Pilots was bid for over $3,000.00, another guitar signed by the entirety of From Classic To Rock artists bid at $2,100.00. Barefoot, Chester ended the auction, coming back down to mingle with guests some more. At the very end, he happily walked back out those glass doors to the chilly air outside, bare feet against the soft red carpet as he waited for his car.
We wish Stone Temple Pilots the best as they choose the next lead vocalist for their precious work. May the next frontman treat them as well as Chester has. An immense thank you for the incredible show and night.