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Concert Reviews:
Scott Stapp gives Creed fans a fix at SoundBoard show

of the Oakland Press

Posted: Saturday, April 9, 2011

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DETROIT -- Creed's shows over the years have been the province of volume, pyrotechnics and the quartet's own version of post-Led Zeppelin hammer of the gods. So there were likely some who came to frontman Scott Stapp's solo show Friday night (April 8) at the Motor City Casino's SoundBoard were skeptical about whether he could do justice to the material in an acoustic setting.

Consider them converts now.

And, in fact, Stapp's 14-song, 80-minute show might even have won over the non-Creed fan, stripping the music of its perfunctory bombast and revealing a melodicism and solid song structure that's often masked by the noise. That was illuminating if nothing else, giving fans a fresh spin on very familiar material (35 million albums sold worldwide, after all) and others a different kind of portal into the band.

It wasn't all Creed material, mind you. Flanked by two acoustic guitarists and a drummer, Stapp also offered up three songs from his 2005 solo album "The Great Divide" as well as "Crazy in Love," a song he wrote for his wife, Jaclyn -- who was at Friday's show -- and will presumably be on his upcoming second solo set "Somewhere in the Middle of Lust and Love."

But it was Creed the crowd came to hear and what they got in abundance, staring with "Are You Ready?" and continuing with greatest hits such as "My Own Prison," "With Arms Wide Open," "One," "Higher" and "My Sacrifice." Fitting the stripped-down occasion, Stapp definitely handled the microphone, too, carefully blending his deep, carrying tenor into the acoustic mix and never overpowering the instruments.

And Stapp, who attended the Detroit Tigers' opening day game in the afternoon, gave props to the Motor City for its early support of Creed, and he included a nod to homeboy Alice Cooper and his recent induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with a version of "I'm Eighteen," which Creed covered for the soundtrack to the 1998 film "The Faculty." If the show was lacking anything it was the kind of "Storyteller" insights that usually populate acoustic shows; Stapp kept his few comments brief and to the point, though there was definitely room for more exposition.

Nevertheless, with Creed on hiatus at the moment, Stapp certainly made sure fans got their fix on Friday.

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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