If this week is like last week, there may be a lot of rock fans in the Midwest losing faith in Creed.
In an interesting lesson in band-fan relationships, the Florida band is weathering some unkind words from fans unhappy with the group's road performance. That's strange considering that the group built its career in the early days through relentless road trips and fan word-of-mouth.
The road has been bumpy for Creed lately, though. In 2002, the band canceled 20 dates, citing injuries suffered by lead singer Scott Stapp in an April car accident. Then, in October, when Stapp complained of throat ailments, the band had to shuffle around the scheduled makeup dates as well. Some shows, like the Los Angeles stop, were moved repeatedly.
Injury and illness, of course, can be forgiven, but the fans in Chicago at the Dec. 29 performance were downright angry when they caught Stapp on a different kind of bad night. According to many accounts, the singer appeared disorientated, forgot lyrics, spent part of the show prone on the stage and left mid-performance for an extended period.
The Chicago affair has inspired a tide of online complaints, refund demands and rumors, and the band's manager, Jeff Hanson, answered with an odd e-mail letter to fans. He apologized to those who felt the show wasn't up to Creed standards and said that Stapp was doing well and resting at home in Orlando. Then Hanson invoked a mitigating factor that might be called the Guns N' Roses attitude: "For now, we hope that you can take some solace in the fact that you definitely experienced the most unique of all Creed shows and may have become part of the unusual world of rock 'n' roll history!"
Some fans who paid $50 a ticket said they would have liked a refund even better. "What a lame excuse," one Illinois fan wrote in a posting, "for an even lamer concert."
-- Geoff Boucher