Back when Creed announced they were reuniting and touring, I got pretty excited . . . and immediately bought tickets to the concert here. But, both the babemate and I were . . . cautious. After all, Scott Stapp is a well known f*ck up. Would he keep it together enough to make it through a tour? At least to Milwaukee?
Happily, and thankfully, he has and did. Creed played to a "light" crowd at the Bradley Center last night. But, by their performance you'd think they were playing to a packed stadium.
Hoobastank, some LA band, opened. Not too familiar, but Hoobastank hoobastunk. Opening in front of die hard fans of Creed can't be easy. But doing a heavy metal version of Ghostbusters to get the crowd revved up is nothing short of LAME. Their 40 minutes took forever to end.
Creed opened with Bullets. Awesome choice. Immediately one could see a huge difference, aside from crowd size, between the old and new Creed. One, gone were Scott's locks. His head closely shaved. He looked good. Fit. Trim. Happy. Confident. He tore loose with that voice of his . . . he sounded great.
The other change was the addition of a light show. During the open, a row of flames danced behind and above the performers, and in front of a huge screen playing back various images. There were the requisite screen on both sides of the stage and a new and bigger light show. It all played well with the music.
There was also an additional member on rhythm guitar and backing vocals. Not sure who he is. One review I read mentioned that he was never mentioned . . . just there. I'm pretty sure he was introduced, but at the time he was playing some introduction that had the crowd screaming so I couldn't make it out. Whatever. What was nice is that he provided background for Tremonti to play a solo every once in a while. James Hatfield has nothing on Mark Tremonti. In fact, few guitarists have anything on him. Verrrrrrry under rated. It was great to hear him shred every now and then. The other thing, let's call him, Member 5, did was provide harmonizing vocals. They sounded great.
Then there's Scott Stapp. The voice. The quintessential front man. He tends to play to the back row of a venue, but that's him. Theatrical. As I mentioned, he looked great. Wore a button up fitted black shirt with dark jeans. Nothing about his demeanor seemed "rock star". In fact, he was very humble. There was no trite and typical rock speak such as "are you feeling good tonight? Who wants to rock? Are ya having a good time?" He repeatedly thanked the crowd and gave a special nod to Milwaukee as it was the first place Creed played many years ago. The crowd, while small, ate it up and answered back. Very loudly.
He did lose his voice toward the end. Not to where he couldn't sing, but he was beginning to sound strained. He couldn't hit some of the few high notes there are in Creed music. Eh. We all have our nights. It didn't take away from an otherwise incredible show. One look at the tour schedule, and one watch of how much he puts in to every performance, and it's no wonder.
I'm not sure if this marks a new beginning for Creed or if Scott Stapp is truly serious about turning his life around. Whatever the case, they put on a great show. I'm happy I, along with my babemate, saw it.