Creed reduced to a phoned-in sideshow: Alter Bridge is the band that matters now
So you thought that just because Creed lead singer Scott Stapp appears to have his head screwed back on straight and Creed toured and recorded together in 2009-2010, that the rest of his band was simply going to sacrifice their six-plus-year side project, Alter Bridge?
Not a chance.
When guitarist Mark Tremonti, bassist Brian Marshall and drummer Scott Phillips collectively said, "enough is enough" to Stapp's righteous-by-day/self-righteous-on-stage/party-like-Rick-James-at-night act and dissolved the multi-million dollar band Creed in 2004 they thought it was forever. Bands that score two No. 1 albums, sell over 35 million albums worldwide and pocket millions of dollars don't usually divorce with plans to remarry again in the future.
Leaving that much potential scratch on the table requires a lot of acrimony.
When the voice-less instrumentalists in Creed effectively fired Stapp to form Alter Bridge and start fresh with lead singer Myles Kennedy, they all thought "this was going to be the one." This was going to be the band that was both famous AND functional.
Three albums later, Alter Bridge definitely has the functional part down. The fame has been a little slow in coming, but that's because Alter Bridge is a layered brand of guitar rock that falls somewhere between classic heavy metal and alternative metal. Their songs haven't always worked as tidy little three minute sing-alongs on the FM dial. Alter Bridge is more like a more-accessible version of Metallica or Pantera: A band potential fans fall in love with after they see the power live.
It's taken a few years, but the touring is paying off. First single, "Isolation," from the group's most recent album, AB III, went to No. 2 on Billboard's Hot Mainstream Rock chart. That's the group's highest peak since its debut single. The difference is, back then they were still coasting on post-Creed curiosity. This new high was reached all on their own.
I think Alter Bridge's renaissance is still coming and you don't want to miss it when it does. Catching them Saturday at Warehouse Live wouldn't be a bad start.
Because, when I listen to Tremonti, Marshall and Phillips shredding it behind Kennedy in Alter Bridge in comparison to that reunion Creed album, Full Circle, that they phoned in with Stapp in 2009 ... it's very clear to me which band they all now consider the priority (Alter Bridge) and which band is the side project (sorry, hopeful Creed fanatics).
Alter Bridge, 7 p.m. Saturday atWarehouse Live