Scott Stapp live in Orlando, Florida 2019

When you hear the name Scott Stapp you immediately think of the voice of Creed and all of their platinum hit songs of the early 2000’s. After the break-up of Creed, Stapp faced some public battles with addiction issues, and an egotistical reputation. In the time since then, he has gotten his life back in order and recently released his latest solo album “The Space Between the Shadow”. Of course, with a new album means a tour, and with his latest tour he is bringing along Messer and Sunflower Dead.
Scott Stapp Orlando, FL, 2019 poster
First up to take the stage at the Hard Rock Live was California’s Sunflower Dead. This hard rocking band has been building steam with three albums that have been successively better than the previous release. Having toured with bands like Hellyeah, In This Moment, and Korn they have definitely learned from their tour mates. Having decided to ditch the makeup and theatrics that used to be one of their trademarks and concentrate on just the music proved to be a wise move as their latest release “C O M A” is a strong effort. Lead singer Michael Del Pizzo has a strong stage presence and commands your attention. While guitarist Jaboo shreds his Jackson flying V with the best of them. The real surprise of the set was when Del Pizzo broke out the accordion. Yes, an accordion at a hard rock, but these guys know what they’re doing and make it seem like it really belongs at a concert.
Next up was Messer. A relatively new band based out of Dallas TX, they have been getting noticed on the strength of their self-titled album. Playing a set comprised of completely of songs from their sole album, they delivered a rock solid performance. Lead singer Dereak Messer has the part of a frontman down pat and delivers his vocals with passion. Drummer Kenn Youngar is a show unto himself. With his hair flying and his animated actions he made a great set even better.
Finally, it was Scott Stapp’s time to shine. When he hit the stage, you could feel the excitement that he exuded. Make no mistake, the stage is where he belongs, and he knows it. Kicking off his set he performed “World I Used to Know” Off of his latest album “The Space Between the Shadow”. For sure time hasn’t done a thing to his voice, as he sounded brilliant. He quickly followed it up with “Slow Suicide” from his 2013 solo album “Proof of Life”. After this he finally delves into his Creed catalog and rips into a killer version of “My Own Prison”. What a strong start to the show. One thing can be said about his songs selection so far is that it’s introspective and well chosen. Playing songs from each point in his career instead of relying on anyone album. In his Creed years he had top notch guitarist Mark Tremonti by his side. With his new band his latest guitarist Yannis Papadopoulos is a revelation. When you have a singer as Scott, he needs musicians that are every bit as strong, and Yannis is a beast for sure. Of course, the rest of the band is top notch as well. Throughout the show Scott and Yannis would share the top riser in the center of the stage and you had no choice to watch as their performance commanded every ounce of your attention.
The rest of his set featured quite a few songs from his latest album such as “Purpose for Pain”, “Face of the Sun”, “Survivor” and “Red Clouds”. But it’s his performances of Creed’s biggest hits that drew huge reactions from the crowd. Playing “Arms Wide Open”, “Higher”, “One Last Breath” and “My Sacrifice” he had the audience in the palm of his hand. Everyone was loving every note of the show. It’s during moments like these that he’s recaptured his days of selling out arenas with his golden voice and earnest performances yet found a way to translate it all into the intimacy of a smaller venue.
All three bands came tonight to deliver a great night of music on this last night of this leg of the tour and deliver they did. If anyone was thinking that this tour was about redemption, Scott Stapp has already done that being sober for five years. Now it’s all about reclaiming his spot as a great singer and performer, and with the show he delivered he is well on his way to achieving just that.