During a hellacious downpour at last year’s Welcome To Rockville we had our first chat with the founders of then up-and-coming rock band Red Sun Rising. Since that stormy afternoon, their career has been skyrocketing with back-to-back number 1 singles. We caught up with the band again this year at Rockville to see how things have changed.
It’s always cool catching a local musician playing an intimate show in a cozy venue; sharing stories about the songs he sings and mixing with the crowd. It’s even nicer when it’s free, and priceless when the singer is an engaging superstar storyteller like Scott Stapp of Creed. Last night at The Velvet Lounge at The Hard Rock Hotel a small group of fans were treated to a special evening with the reformed rock legend playing to a small appreciative crowd.
Stapp was joined on stage by Brent Look on guitar. Look was introduced as the drum teacher for Stapp’s son Jagger and a cool guy to jam with. It set the stage for the laid back atmosphere. The duo seemed to be having a great time and enjoyed playing with each other in the kicked back Velvet Lounge acoustic setting. The sixty-minute set featured some of Creed’s most enduring hits, a few solo Stapp selections and a couple of deeper cuts.
In the past, Stapp was often viewed as a bit of a pompous, self-centered ass, but throughout this show you’d never get that opinion. He was just your local rocker chilling and chatting with some close friends. He was humble and appreciative throughout and sounded great as he offered all of the songs with a new twist.
He’s centered on his family and his faith, and throughout the show was connecting with folks close to him. I’m fairly certain that his wife was keenly watching from the V.I.P. area, which just added to the comfortable feel of the set. But the relaxed atmosphere did nothing to slow down Stapp’s passionate performance. He was quickly bathed in sweat as he poured himself into the songs. His voice sounded pristine and was powerful throughout the show.
The Creed front man was not at all over-bearing with his strong faith, yet he introduced “Higher” as a song about heaven; and before playing “Arms Wide Open” mentioned being inspired by Cristo Redentor, the huge Jesus status overlooking Rio de Janeiro. Over his career, he’s become quite the philanthropist and on this night focused raising money for Hard Rock’s Imagine There’s No Hunger foundation.
I enjoyed hearing “Justify” and “Weathered,” the latter one where he playfully admitted to forgetting a few words in the second verse. There were also a few nice sing-along moments that left Stapp appreciative, including a dramatic version of “My Sacrifice” and the fantastic finale “One Last Breath,” where he closed with “That was beautiful my friends.”
Stapp is currently touring in support of his new memoir, Sinner’s Creed. I have not read the book yet, but Stapp has had an interesting life with numerous peaks and valleys, and word on the street is that it is deeply reflective. Visit his website to grab a copy
Are You Ready
Arms Wide Open
One Last Breath