Did You Know Creed Once Played A Show So Awful Their Fans Sued Them?

A gig in Chicago went so badly that the audience hit them with a $2,000,000 class action lawsuit.

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2. Creed played a show at the Allstate Arena in Chicago in 2003 that would go down in history as a concert so dreadful that audience members sued them.

3. But before we get to the details of that fateful night, let’s go back a year or so into Creed’s career for some context.

4. Creed released the album “Human Clay” in 1999, and it went on to sell 11.5 million copies in the U.S. and 20 million worldwide.

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5. This was the record that gave the world the song “Arms Wide Open.”

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6. Their next album, “Weathered,” came out in 2001. It didn’t do as well as “Human Clay,” but it still sold 6 million copies in the U.S.

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7. Creed hit hard times in 2002, and lead singer Scott Stapp was in bad shape.

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8. In July of 2002, Stapp was arrested in Florida and charged with reckless driving after he ran his SUV off the road.

9. According to Stapp’s 2012 autobiography, “Sinner’s Creed,” by the spring of 2003, he was drinking every day.

10. Which brings us back to their Chicago performance in December 2003.

11. According to the lawsuit, Stapp was so intoxicated that he rolled around the stage, couldn’t sing any of the lyrics, and at one point passed out mid-performance.

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12. Here’s a “Daily Show” clip from 2002 covering the lawsuit.

13. Stapp recounts the concert in his autobiography, claiming that the widely publicized lawsuit was actually untrue.

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Photo originally taken on Dec. 4, 2002

14. Plaintiffs Philip Berenz and Chad Costino alleged that Creed owed refunds to the 15,000 members of the audience, totalling $2 million in damages.

15. Regardless of the specific show details, the band did acknowledge it was a terrible concert and sent this email to their fans afterwards:


Dear Creed Fan,

The band has heard that you were unhappy with the quality of the recent Creed show in Chicago. We apologize if you don’t feel that the show was up to the very high standards set by our previous shows in Chicago. We also understand and appreciate the fact that there has been much concern about Scott’s health and we want to assure everyone that he is doing very well and is taking a much needed break at home in Orlando after a very long and rigorous touring year.

The band has plans to start writing materials for their next record later this year and plan to return to Chicago next year to play a show that will hopefully be better than any of the numerous shows we’ve played there.

For now, we hope that you can take some solace in the fact that you definitely experienced the most unique of all Creed shows and may become part of the unusual world of rock and roll history! Again, we apologize if you didn’t enjoy the show but remember, “It’s only rock and roll but we like it!”

Have a great year!

16. Ultimately the court threw out the lawsuit, but Creed’s reputation and career never really recovered. The band officially broke up in 2004.

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Here’s Stapp with Mark McGrath and The Black Eyed Peas in 2004.

17. So yes, Creed did in fact perform a show so bad that an entire audience sued them.

18. Strangely, this hasn’t happened to any other bands…

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