In 94 degree heat, on Wednesday August 8th, fans poured into the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in east Tampa, Fl . Storm clouds were threatening in the distance and being 30 miles inland from the cool breezes of the famous white sugar sand beaches of Florida’s west coast, the air was heavy and still. This wasn’t an evening for flip flops and parasols, this night was about hard core, alternative rock and the squeamish need not attend. The amphitheater has a capacity of 20,000 seats, and many were unfilled. The possibility of thunderstorms may have been what kept some fans away. I couldn’t imagine anyone missing this stop of the Revolution 3 Tour within 40 miles with this line up. If this tour comes to town, it is a must see.
The Revolution 3 Tour is a “Tri-headlining” tour which means the headlining acts revolve nightly between Bush, Stone Temple Pilots, and The Cult. This six-week, 19 date tour started July 18th in Nashville and concludes in Phoenix, Arizona in September. I was thrilled to see these three bands on the same stage in one night, a very entertaining 1990’s all star lineup. Opening for the three headlining acts was “The Dirty Hooks” a new and up and coming trio out of Las Vegas with lots of potential. They were entertaining, but tonight they were out matched in my opinion.
Stone Temple Pilots was the first of the three alternative rock titans to hit the stage. The elephant in the room was can this band continue with the sound that all their fans adored and expect from them? Scott Weiland, the flamboyant lead singer was fired from the band in February of 2013 and later died from a drug overdose in 2015. In 2013 Chester Bennington, from Linkin Park replaced Weiland. But, Bennington returned to Linkin Park in 2015. In 2017 Bennington was found dead in his home.
The remaining members of Stone Temple Pilots refused to fold and started to look for a replacement for their previous mega stars on the microphone. The band launched an online campaign which brought over 15,000 auditions. Filling the shoes of the previous two vocalists would not be an easy task. After the auditions and coming up empty, an acquaintance suggested Jeff Gutt. They brought in Gutt and had him sing five songs with varying vocal ranges. They found their voice.
Gutt was a two year contestant and runner up on The X Factor USA 2013. In 2014 Gutt was named “the most influential X Factor USA contestant of all time” by FoxWeekly. Having seen Scott Weiland perform on three occasions, I could have been the biggest skeptic, and I am sure I wasn’t alone. The myth was destroyed as STP started their set with “Wicked Garden” off the 1992 album “Core”. I literally thought I was seeing things as Gutt stood just a few feet from me at center stage. He was Scott Weiland reincarnated. Maybe not with as much attitude and flamboyance, but his vocals and mannerisms were identical. My questions were immediately answered, Stone Temple Pilots are just fine.
Jeff Gutt – Lead Vocals, Dean DeLeo – Guitar, Robert DeLeo – Bass/Backing Vocals, Eric Kretz – Drums
5. Big Empty
10. Dead & Bloated
12. Sex Type Thing
The Cult was formed in 1983 and came up in the glitter glam era of heavy metal. The band has had numerous lineups over the years joining founding members lead guitar Billy Duffy and singer Ian Astbury. The Cult has always been a hard driving rock-n-roll band behind Astbury’s driving vocals and Duffy’s guitar. They opened with “Wild Flower” off their 1987 release “Electric”. The Cult has released 10 albums with their latest “Hidden City” being released in 2016. It was clear to me after the opening of the first two bands that they were competing. Who could start their set fastest out of the gate by playing their heaviest song from their catalog. Yes, the old Cult that I remember.
Ian Astbury – Lead Vocals, Billy Duffy – Lead Guitar, Damon Fox – Keyboards/Vocals, Grant Fitzpatrick – Bass/Vocals, John Tempesta – Drums.
1. Wild Flower
4. The Witch
9. The Phoenix
10. Fire Woman
Bush was headlining this evening and took the stage in a light rain around 10pm. Not to be out done by those before them, they exploded on stage with “Machine Head”, from their 1994 debut album “Sixteen Stone” and blew the rain awayand the audience away. Bush was the most commercially successful band of the 1990’s selling over 20 million records worldwide. Since their brief hiatus between 2002 and 2010, the band has recorded three albums. The latest was in 2017 “Black and White Rainbows”. From the energy on stage and crowd response, this band isn’t going anywhere. They are here to stay.
Gavin Rossdale – Lead Vocals/Rhythm Guitar, Chris Traynor – Lead Guitar, Corey Britz – Bass, and Robin Goodridge – Drums
2. This Is War
The Dirty Hooks was voted “Best Local Album 2012” in Las Vegas , Nevada for their debut full length album “Electric Grit”. Since 2012, they have been busy opening for The Killers, Joan Jett, Soul Asylum, and Angels and Airwaves. They didn’t appear to be in awe of the bands that followed them as they fit right in to the evenings lineup with some hard rocking themselves.
Bobby McCall – Lead Singer/Guitar, Anthony Ratto – Guitar/Keyboards, and Jenine Cali – Drums/Vocals.
1. Cicada Tree
4. No Good