4/28/15 – House of Blues

Supporting an iconic 90s alt-rock band is no small task, but it was the one given to Dreamers last Tuesday night at the House of Blues. The trio was amped to take it on.

Dreamers entered the stage confidently, eager to share their music with the large crowd. Their excitement was justified as they sound better live than they do on their recordings. “Wolves” was the standout improvement. On the recorded track, lead vocalist Nick Wold sounds bored as he sings, “You got me brainwashed / You got me so lost / You got me fucked up.” But on stage, Wold packed a massive punch with his vocals, emphasizing his words to let his audience know he meant what he was saying. He made us believe he really felt brainwashed, so lost, and fucked up.

The band kept up their energy through tracks like the catchy “No Love” and the 2000s alt-rock reminiscent “Waste My Night.” Their guitars blared along with their percussion lines, proving that their small group was more than capable of producing a big sound. The guys were clearly giving it their all, which made it sad that most of the audience wasn’t enthused with their performance. A few bobbed their heads in a “hey, these guys are pretty good” fashion. But as it happens with many supporting acts, most audience members just stood in place waiting for them to finish. There is hope for Dreamers, though. They’re set to release an album, This Album Does Not Exist, later this year. This should give them the opportunity to show more listeners what they can do and thus gain a supportive fan base.

Soon after the band finished their set, the Stone Temple Pilots crashed their way onto the stage. If Dreamers had been loud, STP went far beyond full volume. The entire House of Blues vibrated as the guys hammered away at their instruments in true headbanging rock ‘n’ roll fashion.

While the sheer loudness made the set a full-body experience, it presented a problem in that it made everything sound the same. All the songs were played at decent quality, yet they blended into one another like one very long song. The amplified instrumentation often drowned out frontman Chester Bennington’s vocals. But luckily for the band, the fans didn’t seem to notice (or if they did, they didn’t care); they all appeared enthralled with their hands in the air, singing every verse.

STP spent ample time interacting with their crowd. Bassist Robert DeLeo and guitarist Dean DeLeo hammed it up, often standing as close to the edge of the stage as possible to flaunt their instruments. Eric Kretz was no less of a show off, tossing his long streaked hair as he hammered away on the drums.

There was no question, though, that Bennington (yep, the same singer from Linkin Park) was the star. His stage presence was as electric as his neon pink hair. He never stood still, never skipped an opportunity to insert the word “fuck” into a sentence, and never missed a note. This guy, when you could actually hear him, could really sing. His voice sounded younger and decidedly less gravelly than former frontman Scott Weiland’s, but he held up quite well belting out STP classics like “Vasoline,” “Interstate Love Song,” and “Creep.” He stayed true to his own tone but added a raspy growl when needed, especially on the chorus of “Plush.” And it worked; the audience fawned over him, congregating as near to him as possible when he came to their section of the stage.

While STP has been in a bit of upheaval the past two years after dismissing Weiland, the band hasn’t lost their ability to perform. They’ve been around for a while and with this show, proved they’re going to stick around. STP still has the fans, the energy, and the talent to maintain their bonafide rocker status.

Beyond Full Volume: Dreamers & Stone Temple Pilots
Pros
  • Wold’s improvement over his recording.
  • Bennington’s persona. And hair.
Cons
  • Dead crowd for Dreamers.
  • The vocals were great—when you could hear them.
8So Much Sound

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