Saturday, April 1, 2000
Concert reviews: Lightfoot, Creed play before sellout crowds
BY DAVID YONKE
BLADE POP MUSIC WRITER
(taken from www.toledoblade.com)
Two sold-out concerts in downtown Toledo last night were only a mile away in distance, but worlds apart in style and sound. And both folk singer Gordon Lightfoot and hard-rock band Creed delivered exactly what their fans came to hear.
In the first of his two sets at the stately Valentine Theatre, veteran singer-songwriter Lightfoot performed 16 of his story songs, spinning yarns about love, relationships, hopes, dreams, and history.
The 62-year-old Canadian artist kept his show simple, just his guitar, his distinctive nasal baritone, three backup musicians, and a treasure trove of songs, some of which have become ingrained in our collective consciousness.
On the sad story of the Great Lakes tragedy, "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald," Lightfoot started softly by strumming his 12-string guitar, and, as the drama built, so did the band's deft accompaniment.
Lightfoot's love songs were eloquent and pure, capturing elusive feelings with stunning power and clarity on such ballads as the sweetly flowing "If You Could Read My Mind," and the delicate "Beautiful."
He introduced several songs as "toe-tappers," and although they had steady rhythms, the overall level and intensity remained mellow. It was only on the one-song encore, the blues-rocker "Blackberry Wine," that Lightfoot and company created a modicum of energy.
It was a mellow show filled with melodic, lyrical gems.
At the Toledo Sports Arena, on the other hand, Creed and opening act Sevendust provided enough wattage to cause a nuclear meltdown. (Three Doors Down, the first opening act, conflicted with the Lightfoot concert.)
Few hard rock bands can match Creed for passion, depth, and control, as the group cranked up its hefty, guitar-powered sound to earthshaking levels without drowning out lead singer Scott Stapp's husky, emotion-filled vocals.
The Florida quartet, with Mark Tremonti on guitar, Scott Phillips on drums, and Brian Marshall on bass, blasted through 15 songs that mixed metallic rock guitars and poetic lyrics that explored deep philosophical and spiritual issues.
Stapp, with shoulder-length hair, black leather pants, and long-sleeved black shirt, looked and acted like a cross between U2's Bono and the Doors' Jim Morrison. He writes virtually all of Creed's songs and in concert moved in rhythm with every word and every crunching guitar chord.
The band, which has sold 7 million copies combined of its first two albums, opened with "Ode," literally an explosive number as a wall of flames shot up from behind the drums followed by a few pyrotechnic blasts.
Stapp leaned back, bending his knees, shaking his head, singing with fury as Tremonti provided pulverizing, Metallica-like bursts of guitar chords.
Before playing "My Own Prison," Creed's first hit, Stapp said he remembered performing in Toledo for 200 people and was grateful they showed up. In contrast, about 7,500 fans jammed into the stifling hot, smoke-filled, beer-soaked Sports Arena last night and sang along on virtually every tune.
Highlights included the soaring power ballads "What If" and "Illusion," and the encore anthemic closer, "Higher."