Examiner.com Concert Review!
Whether it was marketing genius or simple nostalgia, Creed are going back to their roots and performing their two most popular releases in smaller venues. The result was a remarkable success for the first shows in Chicago (or at least for the Human Clay performance reviewed here). They performed Human Clay in the order of the album, opening the show with "Are You Ready." Vocalist Scott Stapp's voice was in peak shape from the the start. He displayed strong projection with absolute clarity and handled the song's delicate lyrics as well as the original recording.
Mark Tremonti's opening chords to "What If" solidfied the entire venue's expectations, leaving no doubt that Creed have returned to full strength. Brian Marshall's heavy bass licks filled in alongside Scott Phillips relentless pounding. Enter Stapp with the first verse, "I can't find the rhyme in all my reason," and their first hit of the night had commenced. The crowd would only get louder as the evening progressed.
Stapp spoke infrequently during the show. He asked, "How you doing Chicago? How many of you were here last night?" referencing their performance of My Own Prison with a show of about half the venue pumping their fists. It was a special night for the die-hards, signifying the first time the band had ever performed "Inside Us All," the final track on Human Clay, at a live show. Stapp mentioned that a phone call from his sister was the inspiration for "Wash Away All Those Years."
They also performed a handful of tracks outside of Human Clay. This included their first hits "Torn," "My Own Prison" and "One" from My Own Prison; and "Bullets," "One Last Breath" and "My Sacrifice" from Weathered.
It was fitting that the band returned to open this tour in Chicago. Stapp had spiraled out of control during 2002 and finally succumbed to his dependencies, resulting in a number of questionable performances. One of the most notable was a Chicago show that signaled the low point for Creed and subsequent class action law suit from the fans. Before their last song of the night, "My Sacrifice," Stapp paused and said, "Thank you! We've done a lot of shows together here Chicago, many years. We think our relationship is making a comeback, man."
Stapp may have also been referencing a returning comaderie within the band. Tremonti frequently joined his vocalist at center stage, leaning into Stapp during solos. During "My Sacrifice" Stapp approached Tremonti and placed his arm around his shoulder during the song. He turned to Mark during the second verse, "We've seen our share of ups and downs / oh how quickly life can turn around / in an instant. It feels so good to reunite / within yourself and within your mind / let's find peace there." A perfect closing for a perfect night.