Saturday Night: Creed At The Woodlands
Photos by Jim Bricker
Creed Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion September 3, 2010
For more fiery images from the show, see our slideshow here.
Imagine God is a million eggs, trying to fit inside the tiny little basket that is His consumers' wallet. These eggs never change, never ripen (do eggs ripen?), never move, never dance. The owner of these eggs, meanwhile, has no more room in his/her basket; and things are getting boring and redundantly white.
So the owner decides hey, wouldn't it be fun to crack these bitches open to see what comes out? Maybe it'll be fun, but for sure it'll be food. Crack, crack, crack - out slimes a smelly yellow ooze party of disgust; and now the eggs can't even be repackaged and sold again, because they're old and no longer have a shell.
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God has been exposed, and His consumer is left with what? Creed - you're a yoke. Because how do you sell black and white to a Technicolor (Blu-ray)nbow? Morality just doesn't answer texts quickly enough. We now have options that leave no room for belief; we're all too busy with our heads down.
As if smacked straight in the face by a flying sack of cock-rocks, Aftermath stumbled into a suburban net jam-packed with hundreds of frat dudes Saturday, only to find a massive audience of the curiously confused. Like, "Aren't we supposed to be feeling something? Eh. Wanna get a taco?"
Back in the late '90s, when Creed was at their most popular, apathy wasn't really a thing yet. Consumers didn't understand that the appearance of not caring about anything was what made you awesome. Believing was cool; but those days are dot dot dot. The fetishization of aloofness permeates the souls of today's youth - ain't no more room at the inn.
Creed didn't seem to understand that Saturday night, though, as lead singer Scott Stapp belted (dude can really, really scream) his way through what we assume was a thorough examination of his band's catalog. It's sometimes hard to tell the time period that certain Creed songs come from, if for no other reason that they all sound exactly the same.
It's retread rock masked as spirituality, and it appeared the entirety of the audience started to understand that by the fourth or fifth song, going through the rock-and-roll motions head-bang cliché after tongue-out cliché. This wasn't a rock concert; it was whitewashed robotics.
When bands become famous on the back of a gimmick, things don't tend to work out on reunion tours, particularly when that gimmick assumes that the band stay true to the gimmick's dictates. But it was clear Saturday that Stapp wants to be a rock star, not a preacher - though he did preach, albeit flimsily, throughout the show - and wear the rock-star costume (tight and black, accentuated pecs).
And making the "Grrrr... I'm angry because I'm misunderstood" face at the height of any song's chorus while sweat drips onto the microphone, then appearing humble to you, the paying audience - because we would never be here if not for you. Stapp knows what he's doing: He's perfected the manipulation of religion into dollars, and now he wants more.
And to his credit, he's getting more. And we really have no idea how he's doing it.
The only thing Aftermath can think is that reunion tours are about the only thing Creed has left in their bag of tricks. Stapp and company keep breaking up and getting back together, fooling their audience into believing that they might get something new the next time around. But by the look and sound of the set list, Saturday night could just as easily have been 2001.
Opening with "Bullets" and some high-school prom-ish smoke pillars, Creed didn't take their time tick-tocking their way through 16 or so songs, throwing in the new ("Suddenly") with the old ("My Own Prison") along with the requisite ("Torn" and "What's This Life For") and the ironic (pyro-techniques, but isn't fire for Satanists?).
What the crowd really seemed to be waiting for, though, were the songs "With Arms Wide Open," "My Sacrifice" and "Higher" - Creed's answer to the question, "Do you think God likes to rock... no, I mean really rock?" Let's do this. Close your eyes, raise your opened arms and aim them at Heaven; point your finger at God, and make sure He knows He's the man. We're at a Creed show, sucka.
Think about this: There was more than one person who woke up Saturday morning thinking to themselves, "I cannot wait to see Creed tonight." People.
Personal Bias: Zero to none. Well, maybe a little.
The Crowd: White, dressed nice, looked to be really kind... and way drunk.
Overheard in the Crowd: "Wanna do some blow before it starts?" Swear to God, we heard this. We have witnesses. Seriously.
Random Notebook Dump: Wonder if we should mention the whole "We're no longer a Christian band. We're just Creed" thing. But can a once-Christian band still sing Christian songs and not call themselves a Christian band? Think about it. There's crosses everywhere.
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