Search Google for “worst band in the world” and you’ll get Creed. Seriously. Not a good thing for a band starting a tour after several years apart. Assuming the band cares — they might not — they should figure out how to fix this. For one thing, it’s not true. Based on their show Tuesday night at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, they’re not even in the top 100, let alone numero uno.
Actually they were a surprise, caring less about proving themselves and more about finding their groove. The band fell into a consistent pocket, though not every time, but moving most of the songs with patience and feeling. Singer Scott Stapp stayed way out in front, forcing the energy high above the band. The contrast was good, but he could have sat back with them a little.
The show moved meticulously, starting at 9 p.m. on the dot. The set was mostly the same as the previous shows on the tour and band members staying on script. That said, they were strong, the songs were solid, and the volume was reasonable (probably too soft for their crowd).
Read Gazette music writer Brian McElhiney’s preview story for this concert here.
They opened with “Ode,” and then shot into “Bullets” with their full wall of volume and force. Stapp, with his cropped hair, is a physically contorted singer, somewhat painful to watch, though I’m sure many find his strained face and body graceful.
“My Own Prison” was awesome, Brian Marshall laying down very cool, melodic bass lines. Most of the songs required a thrumming bottom end, but Marshall snuck in some tasteful riffs amidst the metal mayhem.
Beyond Stapp’s theatrics, there was very little showboating. Same from the audience, particularly in the pavilion, where they stood the whole show. There was no movement, like dancing, just standing, even the group pressed up against the stage barely moved.
Go figure. At least they made a lot of noise.
Pyrotechnics played a role through the night, fire shooting up, sparkles shooting down. During “What If,” billows of smoke shot up from the ground. It’s a show stopper for their audience, but what if they relied solely on the music? They should know they can. (Maybe Google haunts them after all?)
They introduced “Overcome” from the forthcoming album “Full Circle.” It had quite a poppish chorus.
I kept hearing Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” underneath, but that’s probably not fair. See how it feels when it’s released.
It would have been nice to see drummer Scott Phillips stretch out a little and show us his stuff. But we got to watch him slam down the beats all night, the bulldog of the band. Mark Tremonti led the band with his guitar work and set the tone for each song: distorting for grunge, fattening the chords for metal, etc. He played a few bars of written leads, but it would have been nice for him to showboat his chops just a little more. I know, you can’t have it both ways.
Other highlights included “Say I,” “Never Die,” “Unforgiven,” and of course, “Arms Wide Open.” “Higher” might have been the show’s climax.
While the tempos and beats are deadly similar, the songs didn’t run into each other. More open and laid back — more mature — the band showed a different kind of power.
They no longer came to celebrate themselves, instead, they came to play the music.
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Categories: Entertainment, Life and Arts