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Concert review: Creed cranks out hits for Utah crowd

Published: Saturday, Oct. 3 2009 12:00 a.m. MDT

Lead singer Aaron Lewis performs with Staind at the E Center in West Valley Friday.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

CREED, STAIND and LIKE A STORM, E Center, Oct. 2

WEST VALLEY CITY — Creed had to up the ante Friday night. The reunited rockers had the audacious chore of following up a musically dynamic set by Staind.

The pyros, videos and strobes helped a bit, but that didn't hide the fact that when Creed lead singer Scott Stapp sings in his lower register, he sounds like a bleating sheep.

Still, the band — Stapp, guitarist Mark Tremonti, drummer Scott Phillips and bassist Brian Marshall — gave the fans a show full of over-the-top dramatics and energy.

An older, wiser Stapp, sporting a buzz cut, made the best of the ego ramp that extended from the stage into the front rows of the E Center audience, which, by the way, was far from sold out.

The band opened the show with a lot of flash during "Bullets" and pleased its adoring fans with "My Own Prison," "Say I," "1,000 Faces" and "What If."

The mix was a little bottom heavy, and seemed to zero in on Marshall and Phillips' low-end thunder.

Tremonti, joined by an additional guitarist, freed himself up for some fan-awing leads.

Stapp seemed full of confidence as he connected with the audience on other songs such as "Unforgiven," "Are You Ready" and "Arms Wide Open."

However, the energetic set paled in comparison to Staind's darker offering.

Lead singer Aaron Lewis, wearing a Hatebreed T-shirt, was all attitude as he walked on stage and looked at the audience with his staged disdain.

The band — guitarist Mike Mushok, bassist Johnny April and drummer Jon Wysocki — exploded into the hard-core-influence "Spleen," taking the fans of the band's more pop songs by surprise.

In fact, Staind's set started hard and ended raw with "Mudshovel."

In between those blaring guitar tunes, the band played "So Far Away," "For You" and "Fade" within the schizophrenic set.

Lewis took to the ego ramp and gave an acoustic solo performance of "Outside."

The fans ate it up and even sang the last chorus refrain by themselves, which caused Lewis to actually smile.

More crowd favorites came in the arrangements of "All I Want" and "It's Been Awhile."

Opening the whole evening was New Zealand rockers Like a Storm. The quartet was more style than substance.

The short set list attempted to highlight the band's harmonic rock, but fell a bit short, thanks to the second song of the evening, which was a cover of Alice in Chains' "Man in the Box."

Back in 2004, Creed officially broke up and even a year ago a reunion didn't seem possible. However, today the reunion is cranking out the tunes and the fans are loving the show.

e-mail: scott@desnews.com

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