Amidst the woodlands, cow pastures and corn fields in the middle of Pennsylvania, 33,000 hicks, metropolitanites and just about everyone in between gathered for what proved to be the musical event of the summer.
The Rolling Rock Town Fair 2.0, sponsored by Rolling Rock Beer, brought Stone Temple Pilots, Live, Deftones, Incubus, Staind, Tantric, Oleander, Clyde, a beer garden and a host of side-show freaks to Westmoreland Fairgrounds for a muggy day of pure rock.
Kicking off the latter half of the day, Staind provided the appropriate introduction for the larger-name stars, performing their older releases mixed in with tracks from their new album. While guitarist Mike Mushok, unable to stand still, could not contain his excitement for his presence in Pennsylvania, lead singer Aaron Lewis took a calmer approach to the show, even sitting down for an acoustic set, which included their smash hit “It”s Been a While.”
Of course, the mellow attitude could not be expected to last on such a hot day. As soon as Incubus took the stage, teenage girls began swooning at lead singer Brandon Boyd”s good looks and their male counterparts began the mudslinging, which became a constant activity throughout the rest of the day.
Continuing the intensity, the Deftones took stage, playing most of the songs off of their newer album White Pony and promoting Hanes briefs as Chino Moreno”s pants remained in a falling-off state, after being pulled off by the crowd for the duration of their performance.
The surprise act was Live, who had seemed to pull an Axel Rose-esque disappearing act since the mid-90s. Now back with full force, Live played most of their older hits, but included some rocking new songs from their upcoming album.
The final and perhaps most anticipated act was the Stone Temple Pilots, who outperformed all expectations of a headlining band. Opening with the guitar crunching “Dumb Love” off their new album Shangri-La-Dee-Da, Scott Weiland and company presented themselves in true rock-star format, with Weiland in some sort of Judas-Priest-Highway-Patrol-officer-gone-porno costume.
Rocking their hour-and-a-half timeslot, the band even included an acoustic performance, which brought the four up to the front of the stage to perform “Creep” and “Sour Girl.”
One of their best shows to date, and a promise of what is to come this fall, STP couldn”t leave the stage without their final bid to rock a strip show from Weiland, who discarded his pants for the choice American flag. The makeshift skirt lasted only moments until bassist Dean Letto assisted Weiland”s disrobing, running off with the stars and stripes, leaving the singer only the privacy and protection of his hands.