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On my journeys in the Rock n World, in search of the right groove, the new buzz and the next great thing to bring to all of you I have uncovered a multitude of bands who’s dark and ominous music and lyrics were a channel to aid the listener in purging demons, rage at injustices and lash back at anger and pain. But I wouldn’t be able to claim my title as a certified rock doctor if I left your musical souls naked and bleeding without bringing you the salve to sooth you.  I’m not talking about a dab of goop that sits on your head and annoys you, I’m talking about a sound, a feeling that energizes you and makes you want to take up your battles anew.  I’m talking about the crushing, inspiring, uplifting sounds of CREED!

Perhaps you’ve heard of these guys?  Oh yeah, they have been in the news lately with the recent departure of original bassist Brian Marshall, and there was the much publicized exchange of words between frontman Scott Stapp and Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit where Stapp challenged Durst to a boxing match on pay-per-view for charity.  I for one, am sorry that didn’t happen, because I was ready to do a full on festival at my house with big screen TVs, kegs and rented tables and chairs to watch that.  As fun as that all sounds, here’s what the headlines don’t say:  Creed Rocks.  End of Story. 

But that’s not the end of my story!  Here’s the deal.  In the old days, people thought they had to listen to the Carpenters to make them feel good.  The music was slow and soft and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz  . . . oh, excuse me, I must have dozed off. . .  Creed came on the scene in 1997 with their debut CD "My Own Prison" and proved that aggressive, adrenaline pumping, tuned down and cranked up music could make you feel GOOD ba-bee, yeah!  If you don’t get what I mean, or you are currently inhabiting a space under a rock, take this test 

(WARNING: You may want to try this alone at first): 

1.  Buy the "My Own Prison" CD, or, if you have to, borrow it from someone.
2.  Think about anything or anyone that pisses you off.
3.  Insert CD into player, tune to "Ode," push PLAY.
4.  Have your air guitar at the ready.  During opening riffs of the song, assume the stance.  Look from side to side as if you are Doc Holiday, arriving at the OK Corrall.
5.  As guitarist Mark Tremonti winds into his methodical  succession of riffage, begin head banging phase.  This works best if you have a little hair to fling around, as it adds to effect and totally works you into the rock star part.
6.  If you are able, sing along with Scott Stapp’s haunting baritone voice and create your own expressive hand gestures until you are totally involved and at one with the moment.
7.  End the song with a deep, cleansing breath and return to stance in step 4.
8.  Now, what were you pissed off at again?
9.  May want to buy "Human Clay" now too . . .

This may seem a bit extreme, but I think you get my point.  "My Own Prison" is now multi-platinum (over 7 million albums) and Creed was the first band in history to have four #1 rock radio singles from a debut album.  Creed’s sophomore release, "Human Clay" shows no signs of letting up on this trend and is well on its way to multi-platinum status as well.  And with this appealing formula of hard rock riffage and dynamic vocals, it still comes as a bit of a suprise to the band.  "With ‘My Own Prison’ I knew we had the talent to get a record deal and I knew we had songs good enough to get played on the radio, but I never had any expectation of reaching this many people," says Creed’s frontman, Scott Stapp. 

In order to Cinch their foothold in the hard rock genre and solidify their pedigree as rock stars, one has only to see a live performance.  It is there that you see that the CDs are no fluke and all the action comes to life because it is not a product of studio wizardry.  With a big show and a big sound Creed take the stage with fire (literally) and spend the evening taking you through a range of emotions.  Stapp is a lithe jungle cat, stalking the runway style stage as he savagely demands "What If?" to those who would judge people unfairly.  At once he turns on his heel and challenges "Are You Ready?" to an audience that is rapt with the soaring instrumentation and powerful cadence.  Other songs from the "Human Clayalbum explore fears of growing up and letting go ("Never Die"), conscience ("Faceless Man") and betrayal  ("Beautiful").  The set concludes with the soaring vocals and majestic wall of riffs that surround the hit single "Higher," which seemed to have a euphoric effect on the sold out crowd of concert goers.  In fact, it was just what the (rock) doctor ordered.  And what does the band think of the effect it has on their fans?  "We were out on tour for a long time, and wherever we went, there were people telling me how much certain songs meant to them and how they felt so close to them," says Stapp.  "That means more to me than any other kind of attention.  Its important to feel as if you’re doing something worthwhile, and in this band, I feel like I am."


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