Concertgoers sue Creed over performance. Chicago fans allege that he was too wasted to sing at the December show and demand refunds

By Gary Susman
Updated April 23, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

Creed’s Dec. 29 Chicago-area concert was so subpar that even the band felt compelled to apologize later in a statement. But the band’s mea culpa wasn’t good enough for four fans, who are suing the band for a refund, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. They’re arguing that the band and its management knew that frontman Scott Stapp was too ”intoxicated and/or medicated” to perform but took the stage anyway rather than cancel the show and refund an arena’s-worth of tickets. If the judge approves the plaintiff’s petition to make their complaint into a class-action suit on behalf of the entire audience, it could cost the band $2 million.

The four plaintiffs, who filed suit Monday in Cook County Circuit Court, say that Stapp was so out of it at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont ”that he was unable to sing the lyrics of a single Creed song. Stapp left the stage on several occasions during songs for long periods of time, rolled around on the floor of the stage in apparent pain or distress, and appeared to pass out on stage during the performance.” Despite Creed’s reputation as abstemious Christians and Stapp’s past anti-drug comments, ”Stapp’s drug and/or alcohol dependency or condition was well known to the other two members of the Creed band [Mark Tremonti and Scott Phillips]… and was well known to [management company] JHMP,” the complaint said.

Creed apologized for the Rosemont show in January in a statement, reading, ”We apologize if you don’t feel that the show was up to the very high standards set by our previous shows in Chicago. … There has been much concern about Scott’s health, and we want to assure everyone that he is doing very well.” Creed didn’t offer any refunds, however. The four fans each want damages of $56.75, the cost of a ticket, plus parking expenses.