Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Headliners Helping to Rebuild the Music Scene at the Shore

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Headliners Helping to Rebuild the Music Scene at the Shore

Article excerpt

As a Southern California resident, Stone Temple Pilots bassist Robert DeLeo is used to living with the threat of earthquakes, wildfires and other natural disasters.

But DeLeo, who grew up in Point Pleasant, never thought he would have to worry that his friends and family back home might face nature's wrath on a massive scale -- until Superstorm Sandy laid waste to the Jersey Shore last October.

"It was very frustrating being on the West Coast and seeing a newscast from my hometown and the camera panning onto one of my best friend's houses and seeing the deck blown off," DeLeo said by phone during a recent visit to his hometown. "This is my first time back. It's pretty devastating."

On Friday, Stone Temple Pilots will help return some normalcy to the New Jersey music scene when they headline the grand reopening of the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville.

"It's quite an honor," DeLeo said of welcoming back the popular venue. The Starland Ballroom plays host to national and local acts spanning musical genres from heavy metal and punk to country and hip- hop.

While the building remained structurally intact, Sandy's floodwaters reached a height of 6 feet inside the club, destroying electrical equipment and the club's sound system and tossing full, 1,000-pound beer coolers around the bar like ping-pong balls.

"The water impacted everything," said Colin Conway, general manager of the Starland Ballroom and a vice president with AEG Live, the entertainment conglomerate that owns Starland. "The scope of damage was so extensive that it required the place to be ripped down to the studs."

Completely rebuilt

The interior of the club has been completely rebuilt, and while it will resemble the pre-Sandy Starland, Conway said there are subtle changes that will enhance the concert experience for fans and bands alike.

"We further improved the sightlines, we improved the overall flow of the room, we upgraded the dressing rooms and the production values," Conway said. …

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