Stone Temple Pilots at the 2021 Arts Beats and Eats Festival in Royal Oak, MI

Stone Temple Pilots roll into the 2021 Arts Beats and Eats Festival of Royal Oak, Michigan to spread some hometown love to these music-loving locals.

Royal Oak’s Arts Beats and Eats Festival has brought in the big guns for this year’s musical extravaganza. You might say, the biggest guns Royal Oak has ever hosted on their main stage… Stone Temple Pilots. STP’s core founding members, the brothers Deleo: Dean Deleo on guitar, and Robert Deleo on bass, along with original drummer Eric Kretz, are now joined by their third singer and frontman in the band’s evolution… fellow Michigander, Jeff Gutt. Their presence here has brought in thousands of additional attendees to this event. Hardcore STP fans have traveled from across the state, as well as car-pooling from Indiana and Ohio to catch this special, one-of-kind, close-up, and intimate performance before the band leaves for a rigorous tour with Bush on September 30th. Also in attendance are those that have come to show support for Jeff Gutt and his rise to fame through years in the Detroit music scene. It has been seven years since the 2014 Arts Beats and Eats Festival, and a young Jeff Gutt performed on a much smaller stage, to a handful of fans. Fast forward to 2021… bigger stage… bigger crowds… bigger shoes… and then this happened:
10:00 pm and the massive main stage of the festival comes to life, with Jeff taking center stage stepping from the shadows of stage right, and brothers Deleo moving to position. Gutt, wearing a smoking jacket, a bold blue hair-do, and a pair of Seattle grade spectacles, greets the festival fans with hands of gratitude held high, and the crowd reciprocates with an anticipatory roar of delight. Jeff calmly takes a drag from a cigarette, grabs his mic stand, and extends it lengthwise, scanning the crowd with alpha-male confidence as brothers Deleo and skins man Kretz launch the first notes of “Wicked Garden.”
A night of mega-awesome musical memories is underway and STP does not disappoint! They relentlessly hammer the crowd with hit after hit, covering their extensive musical history, including some new material from their latest album Perdida. “Vasoline” is up next and “Big Bang Baby” gets our festival-goers jumping, bumping, and dancing to the tune’s intoxicating rhythm. “Silvergun Superman” is followed with the new track “Meadow,” and received well by this energized crowd. The tune comes to a close, and Jeff shouts out, “These are my people… I’m from f**king here!” A massive roar from the crowd supports Gutt’s statement, and the band responds with the dark and edgy tune “Sin.” “Still Remains” is followed with an impromptu and extended intro to “Big Empty,” with brothers Deleo taking center stage and trading notes. Guitarist Dean Deleo throws one of his guitar slides into the audience, and the band continues to rip through a monster setlist.
Gutt takes to the mic and says, “Sing along with this next song… you might know it…” The first electrical notes of “Plush” pierce the tympanic membranes of all those within two city blocks, and one of the show’s biggest moments happens as the band nails down a goose-bumping version of this song, spot on to the studio version released years back. The crowd begins to sing with Gutt, word-for-word in a mass Karaoke of excited festival-goers. The sassy slide intro of “Interstate Love Song” rolls over the crowd next and Jeff points at locals near to the main stage. The band keeps the energies high with “Down,” “Crackerman,” “Roll Me Under” and a smoking version of “Dead & Bloated.”  The band brings the night to a close on a storytelling favorite “Trippin’ On a Hole in a Paper Heart.” Orrrr did they… 
Stone Temple Pilots oblige with a two-song encore starting with “Piece of Pie.” Brothers Deleo and triad Kretz are as tight as ever, note after note, beat after beat… they nail every track to the floor, just as they originally sounded. Gutt’s vocals are up to task, delivering each track to fans the way they should be performed. The energy here is high, the band reciprocates with the last smash hit of the night “Sex Type Thing.”
The lights drop and our last note fades, closing what’s left of the main stage of the 2021 Arts Beats and Eats Festival. The crowd is exhausted, but spirits are high. Stone Temple Pilots has made this Friday night the biggest in the festival’s history.
Stone Temple Pilots comes as a recommended concert experience for even the purest of STP fans. You will sing along with Jeff and crew while hit after hit tickles your eardrums. Be sure to catch them in person as they begin a six-week tour with Bush, starting September 30th. Also, be sure to check out the band’s latest studio release Perdida. “Perdida,” meaning “loss” in Spanish is an acoustic album full of deep and meaningful tracks that can best be described as moving. Don’t delay… get your STP today.
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About Jay Dunbar 54 Articles
Jay Dunbar is a professional photographer that enjoys wearing a multitude of hats. He is active in the commercial and stock photography arenas and currently owns and operates a Detroit based investigations firm and photography agency. Despite his many endeavors, Jay can frequently be found in attendance at your favorite concert venues, capturing breathtaking images of live performances of many genres of music. A skilled author and photographer, he could be described as a " Serial Music Journalist." Carrying the photo bug for nearly thirty years, Jay enjoys all styles of photography, testing new gear, and helping aspiring photographers, artists and models to develop their skills and learn their craft.