Creed - The Wiltern - 5/15/12
It's hard to believe that in 2012 Creed can still draw a big audience. Nearly a decade after the band's apex, they're still playing mid-sized theatres, bewildering critics who continuously underestimate the public's need for butt rock.
As one of the most famous bands that people love to hate, the post-grunge outfit blazed a trail for mediocre rock bands to succeed, ultimately killing off the genre formerly known as alternative rock. We all know the story by now: The Florida outfit's preachy lyrics and power ballads made them not heavy enough to be considered metal, while they meanwhile weren't beloved by hipsters either, making them outcasts of sorts.
Regardless of what the haters think - and there are still plenty of them - the band drew a respectable number of people to the Wiltern last night. On a tour billed as "2 Nights Live" -- in some cities, the band plays My Own Prison in its entirety and and Human Clay the second -- the Scott Stapp fronted group can still slog through songs like it's 2001.
Their workmanlike show, along with elaborate stage setup that featured a lot of strobe lights, pleased their fans and that's what seems to drive them, more so than winning over critics. Stapp still sounds like a third-rate Eddie Vedder and the band's songs have aged poorly; even if you sell 40 million albums worldwide, history can still be unkind to a band's legacy.
Creed and their fans are easy targets to make fun of, just ask Dave Grohl. But surprisingly, the band has managed to survive -- albeit with an extended hiatus -- after a show at Chicago's Allstate Arena in 2002 when the singer was too drunk to perform and became subjects of a class action lawsuit by enraged fans.
A decade after that incident, they've learned to appreciate their fans who have stuck around. While Stapp is still a bit annoying with the religious overtones on-stage -- like when he gets on his knees looks to heavens for support -- his still get psyched for songs like "Higher," "With Arms Wide Open" and "My Sacrifice."
At least they give a shit to put in an honest 90-minute performance of crowd-pleasing songs, which is more than you can say about a lot of other bands at this stage of their careers.
Random Notebook Dump: I saw a dude being escorted out for smoking a joint, at a Creed show. I've now seen it all.
Set list below.
Are You Ready?
With Arms Wide Open
Wash Away Those Years
Inside Us All
My Own Prison
One Last Breath
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