- The Washington Times - Monday, February 11, 2002

Creed's show at the MCI Center Friday night lasted almost four hours, but it was well worth weathering.
Opening acts Virgos and Tantric performed with enthusiasm and drive during their sets of about 30 minutes each, but the audience clearly was ready for Creed by the time 9 p.m. arrived.
Lead singer Scott Stapp, guitarist and bassist Mark Tremonti and drummer Scott Phillips entered with sparks and explosions literally. Flames shot upward from burners onstage as the band played its opening number, "Bullets," from its third album, "Weathered" (No. 2 on the Billboard 200). Sparks exploded throughout the song, and fans could feel the heat of the fire from their seats.
As the second number, "Freedom Fighter," began, curtains revealed tall Greek-style pillars at the back of the stage; the spaces in between would be used as a video screen.
With "My Own Prison," the title track of Creed's first album, Mr. Stapp thanked the fans for their faithfulness to the band. "When this song came out, the cover of Rolling Stone said rock 'n' roll was dead, but I guess you guys proved them wrong," he said.
One of the most compelling moments of the evening came during "Who's Got My Back?" During the chorus of the song, Mr. Stapp cried out with his hands on his head: "So what is the truth now?" One could tell that those words were not just lyrics, but the longing of his soul to find an answer. After the tune "One Last Breath," which says, "Sad eyes follow me, but I still believe there's something left for me," Creed did "Weathered."
Mr. Stapp said the song took on new meaning after September 11. It describes someone who is "rusted and weathered, barely holding together covered with skin that peels, and it just won't heal."
"We all feel this way sometimes," Mr. Stapp said, "but we're always strong enough to get through, and I believe that."
The crowd came together during "One" as Mr. Stapp said, "We had pride of the country we live in, and we're proud to be Americans. That's a good feeling. The only way to live this life is to unite as one. This is the best country in the world. Trust me. I've been everywhere."
After leaving the stage and returning after several minutes of applause, Creed continued with "Don't Stop Dancing," "Lullaby," "Higher" and "My Sacrifice." More explosions and flames ensued, and one wonders how the drummer managed not to get singed.
Mr. Stapp, who sang with incredible passion throughout the concert, screamed out: "Do you believe it?" during "Higher," which says: "Can you take me higher to the place where blind men see? Can you take me higher to the place with golden streets?"
Creed wrapped up the concert by throwing guitar picks and drum sticks into the crowd.
Creed's musicianship is of the highest quality. Further, it is rare to find a band brave enough to ask the tougher questions of life without giving its audience a pat answer.


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