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Creed makes believers of fans at Coliseum

Published on 04-14-2000
Published at New Haven Register

Hard rock act Creed, playing Wednesday night at the New Haven Coliseum, delivered an emotionally charged show that touched the fans in a way that most of todayís rock shows fail to do.

Creed is not a band to simply take the stage and perform songs from an album; the band members conveyed emotion. With his soulful voice and passionate lyrics, singer Scott Stapp made the crowd feel exactly what he was feeling at the time the band wrote the song. By the look on the faces of many in the audience, one could see that they were identifying directly with Stapp as if he was an old friend.

In a set that flowed perfectly together like the acts of a Shakespeare play, Creed, touring in support of its latest album, "Human Clay," was able to charge up the crowd into a frenzy and them bring them back down to a state that brought a tear to the eyes of some (literally; a girl sitting next to me was tearing up during "Arms Wide Open").

The bandís stage was quite theatrical: exotic lighting tricks and an ever-changing backdrop added just the right atmosphere to each songs. Well-timed pyrotechnics were positioned at just the right points, which gave the crowd some eye candy ó as if the ladies needed any more.

Creed hit the stage at 9:25 p.m., kicking off with "Ode," from its 1997 release, "My Own Prison." The crowd was presented with a band that has more musical merit than most on alternative and rock radio today.

The band performed flawlessly, hitting every mark dead-on. While Stapp moved as if he were Jim Morrison, guitarist Mark Tremonti was laying down the signature licks that create Creedís signature sound.

Drummer Scott Phillips and bassist Brian Marshall pounded out the rhythms that made the floor shake.

Creedís set included such old favorites as "Torn" and the crowd favorite "My Own Prison" as well as the latest single, "Arms Wide Open," which Stapp dedicated to his 17-month-old child.

And Stapp has a story behind each song. Just before performing "Beautiful," he told the audience that band never performed it before this tour because Stapp didnít know how he would react to singing it live. The meaning behind the song is so deep to him, it was implied that if he sang it on a past tour, he might get over emotional.

The bandís melodic ballads, such as "Faceless Man," were positioned perfectly throughout the set and worked to make the heavy songs, such as "Are You Ready?" sound even heavier.

Creed closed its set with "Whatís This Life For" before coming back for an encore of "One" and the show-stopping "Higher," a song where friends in the crowd put their arms around each other and swayed back and forth as if it were Billy Joel on stage singing "Piano Man."

Performing in the opening slots were UPO and Sevendust. UPO failed to do its job of warming up the crowd with its unoriginal hooks and falsetto moans. Sevendust, however, took control and satisfied the crowd.

Upon exiting the show, groups of friends could be seen smiling and embracing each other. What they had just experienced in a rock show is not something that happens too often. It was a show that made people feel.

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