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Retooled STP Returns To Paramount 

The Stone Temple Pilots return to The Paramount on Sept. 10 with new frontman, Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, on lead vocals.

The audience at the upcoming Stone Temple Pilots show at The Paramount in Huntington will be among the first to see how the new marriage between two of the biggest bands of the 1990s is working out.

The Paramount is the fifth stop on a 15-city tour by Stone Temple Pilots with Chester Bennington set to coincide with the release of its five-song EP, “High Rise.”

Over 20-plus years since they made it to the big-time in the early 1990s, Stone Temple Pilots has performed before hundreds of thousands – perhaps millions – of fans. From the early days performing in bars in the San Diego area, the venues they played increased as their fan base grew. As one of the biggest bands of the ’90s, STP was making headlines and selling out stadiums and playing festivals internationally.

Stone Temple Pilots – a reverse acronym made up by founding band members to match the well-branded automotive additive, STP – is making headlines these days for the lawsuits flying over its firing of lead singer and founding band member Scott Wieland. The band said Wieland, whose struggles with alcohol and drug abuse are well documented, was unreliable and could no longer perform the material. In May of this year, Stone Temple Pilots announced that Chester Bennington, lead singer for Chicago-based Linkin Park, would be taking over lead vocals.

Bennington, who remains with Linkin Park, is doing double duty jumping between studio work with his regular band and rehearsals with his new one. A seasoned pro, he’s taking it in stride, according to STP drummer Eric Kretz, who spoke with Long Islander News late last week.

“Chester’s schedule with Linkin Park is pretty heavy. There’d be days when he’d go from working with Linkin Park and straight to us,” Kretz said. “He never complained, just got right to work. Even though both bands are pretty different, he just slipped right into it.”

Fans at The Paramount shouldn’t expect Bennington to deliver “a cover” of Wieland’s vocals. “Chester’s vocals fit right in. He’s been a fan of STP for so long he knows the material. But being such a pro, he’s able to put his own spin on things.”

Bennington made his debut with the band in grassroots fashion with an unannounced appearance at a K-Rock concert in Chicago in May. Kretz liked the fact that they just got up and played. There were no interviews, press pieces or radio plugs.

“Instead of hyping it up, it was just a surprise,” he said. “The audience loved it.” As the lawsuits between STP and Wieland continue, Stone Temple Pilots with Chester Bennington preleased “Out of Time” from its new EP due out Oct. 5, and was set to launch the concert tour Sept. 4.

The Paramount show is Sept. 10, with the platinum-selling industrial rock band Filter opening the show. Kretz is excited to be returning to The Paramount, where Billy Joel and daughter Alexa were in the audience for a sold-out show last August.

“It’s a great venue, way up there,” said Kretz, adding that The Paramount’s was a sophisticated audience. “It’s one thing to have a crowd that screams loud, but when you have musicians in the crowd, they pick up on things, little nuances, and they appreciate it.”

Tickets to the Sept. 10 concert with Filter are on sale now. Go to paramountny.com.

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