"Why on earth would you want a ticket to see the guy from Creed?" Gavin Cleaver asked me, after I asked if there were still tickets available for the Scott Stapp show at House of Blues. As it turns out, he wouldn't be the last one to ask that question. Even my plus one only agreed to come because she thought Scott Stapp was a comedian. I wasn't sure why everyone was hating on Scott Stapp so much. Dude's hair is amazing. And he makes all kinds of one-syllable words into two-syllable words.
We arrived at House of Blues a little after 7:30 p.m. for the 8 p.m. show. The nice lady at the box office informed us that Mr. Stapp wouldn't be taking the stage until about 10 p.m. Which was perfect, because that gave me just enough time to count all the Creed shirts in the audience (3). Leather hats were also in attendance, in abundance. And I'm pretty sure Affliction sponsored this event, based on the insanely high number and startling variety of tattoos-printed-on-my-shirt shirts and tattoos-printed-on-my-jeans jeans. All the white people you've never met were gathered here. There are a few hundred of them. Some of them have their children with them. All of them have Bud Light tall boys and clothes and haircuts purchased in 1997. Specific high-five to the guy in the Q102 shirt.
In this downtime, I also found the one hipster unicorn who was accidentally at this concert because he also thought Scott Stapp was a comedian. This was the first time I had ever seen just one hipster in the wild. You know he's lost, because they're pack animals. He was trapped in the middle of the crowd near tears during AudioMouth's set. (The second opening band for Scott Stapp. They're from San Antonio. One person clapped about that. Five people yelled, "SCOTT STAPP!" instead.)
When the curtain revealed The Scott Stapp, much woo-ing and clapping ensued. Not crazed woo-ing, like at a Lady Gaga concert-- this was Disney cheering. Slightly parental woo-ing. The "yeah!"-ing was all rated PG. Because this, my friends, is the sound of C-Rock fans about to let loose.
Here are the rules of Scott Stapp, as I learned them that night:
1) Put styling gel in your hair, but only until the bottom of your ears. After that, let it fro.
2) Everyone on stage besides Scott Stapp must wear a hat to hide their hair. Only The Flowing Locks of Stapp shall be seen.
3) If you like something, give it the Nodding Duck Face of Approval.
4) If there is a stool, sit on it and yell things repeatedly from it. (Optional modification: If there is a stool and you don't feel like sitting on it, put one foot on the stool and lean forward and yell. This doubles as a hamstring stretch and that's good for you.)
5) It's "oh-pawn." Not "open." It's "buh-laaaand man." Not "blind man."
6) If there are moms, point at them and smile. Then, nod. Possible Duck Face of Approval Nod, if applicable.
He opened with a few songs from his solo album. Many fans knew the lyrics. This visibly surprised and pleased Mr. Stapp. My favorite new lyrics are ranked from Best to Other Best:
Best: "I am number one. Not number two."
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Other Best: "You can't stop me nerrrw."
He performed these new songs a little nervously. And then, it happened: Scott Stapp said fuck it. (Not literally, of course. Jesus is watching.) He was ready to do what we all came here to see. "Let's take it back to 1997." Yes, Scott Stapp. Let's do exactly that. Shits were lost. Crazy screaming ensued. He played "My Own Priso-uh-uhn."
Pastors threw low power fists in front of their own faces and scream-sang "Ahcreated, ahcreated! Ahcreated my own prison!" Conservative panties were immediately thrown. He played "Ahbove all the uh-therrs, we'll fuh-ly!" He played "Herld me nerw. I'm six feet from the edge and I'm thinkann." Many adult men at this sausage festival smile-sang. Even Stapp was smiling now, microphone pointed at the crowd. Because 1997 feels fucking great.
When I left, Scott Stapp's nips were visibly hard. As were all the nips in the crowd. Never change, Scott Stapp. Never change.