Creed: Live DVD review

Creed were one of those bands – you either thought they were great, bought all their albums and sang along awfully with Scott Stapp’s instantly memorable voice, or you thought they were formulaic, late 90s junk and had no redeeming features.

Although I used to be a fan as a kid, I moved on to heavier (better?) things as I grew up and wasn’t bothered much by news of them splitting up. Or, indeed, reuniting 7 years later. So it was a pleasant surprise to watch them live on their new DVD and see they’re more-or-less on top form. It’s imaginatively titled Live and is out just in time for Christmas. What a coincidence.

First things first – Scott Stapp’s voice is not what it used to be. It hurts to write this because he could hit some fantastic highs, but they’re just not there anymore. It’s the backing vocals that provide those and they’re sorely missed if you’ve been a fan of Creed’s previous work. In fact, the whole occasion of the DVD, shot in front of 18,000 fans and with a record 239 HD cameras, seems to get to Stapp at first; concert opener Bullets sounds terrible.

Creed LIVE cover artwork

Creed DVD Artwork

Fortunately, that only turns out to be a small blip. The performance of the band as a whole is nothing short of excellent after that initial hiccough. The set list consists mostly of songs from the Human Clay and Weathered era, which was their best work by far, and songs like Say I, Torn and My Own Prison are highlights of the 17-song show. Stapp is obviously delighted to be back in Creed after all his recent personal troubles, and gives his all to the performance. In fact, it’s a bit scary to see him sweat so much – I hope to god he takes a shower before meeting anyone backstage. The rest of the band are much more static, particularly bassist Scott Phillips whose idea of stage presence seems to be leaning forward and back in the same few square inches of space. There’s not faulting the quality of anyone’s playing though.

The sound is excellent throughout, aided no doubt by the fact that Creed now have a second guitarist who joins them on tour to beef up the sound. Eric Freedman is more than just capable at the job, and his backing vocals actually make the band’s live performance stronger.

If you’re a fan you’ll also love the extras, which include the video of latest single Overcome, photos from the tour, and a very interesting backstage documentary. It’s quite fun to meet the crew and see how the DVD was put together. There’s also going to be a special edition in 2010 which will have extras like a film on the history of Creed, the concert on CD and a few others. There’ll also be the big-freeze effect (think bullet-time in The Matrix) which looks pretty cool. Hardcore fans might be better off waiting for this release.

If you are, or have ever been a fan of Creed, you’ll enjoy watching this DVD. It’s great to see the old classics being played live again by the original line up. Sure, they’re not quite as spectacular as they used to be back in the day, but they still pack quite a punch. The question is, Are You Ready?

Creed “Live” is available on DVD now from the DC3 Music Group

     

About Abhijeet Ahluwalia

Abhijeet Ahluwalia – I’m a freelance journalist who goes back and forth between London and Bombay. A huge metalhead, but I have an eclectic taste, from reggae to punk. Oh, and Manchester United are the greatest team in the world. Follow me on Twitter or drop me a line via Email.

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