As I said recently, the 90s alternative bands seem to be coming back around. A few months ago, I saw Better Than Ezra, last week was Bush, and now this most recent weekend was Collective Soul. No opening band, no encore…no more voice? Let’s discuss.
Did I see Collective Soul back in their prime? No, I did not. So, I have nothing to compare them to today except their albums. As I was getting ready for the show, I started skimming through their greatest hits and realized they’re a pretty decent band with a lot of good songs. Some songs I didn’t even realize were them. I was pretty excited for the show. I had 3 pairs of tickets that were spread out across the theater so I grabbed the ones that weren’t the closest, but the ones closest to the center of the theater with my buddy Del.
I couldn’t tell you what song they opened with – something new maybe? But the next song was Heavy which is a good tune. I have to say that their soundman was pretty awesome depending on what you’re looking for. If you like things loud, distorted, and bass way too high, then this wasn’t your show. The sound was clear and crisp. Very clean. The band was tight and they’re a talented group of guys. But the singer? I just don’t know. Ed Roland is the front man and he did not sound good to me. By the 2nd or 3rd song my buddy Del turned to me and said, “I’m disappointed. I hate his voice.” While from the section to my left, my friend Frank texted me and said “They kind of suck.” Things didn’t get better vocally.
What I will say though, is that this band has a following. Most people seemed really into it, so I can’t deny the crowd like it. I did notice people filtering out and not coming back throughout the night (including Frank later on) but their base stayed. The band also seemed to be having a ton of fun. Lots of bantering with the crowd and each other, telling stories, messing around with other songs like AC/DC’s Thunderstruck, Sweet Child O’ Mine, and a couple others. They would not indulge us on Free Bird however.
The best part of the show was asking if there was anyone in the audience who can play guitar. Some people pointed to a dude in the front and the singer acknowledged, “we’ve tried this in the past and the dude sucked. Can you actually play?” The guy said so they brought him up. From what I could tell, it was a 12-string acoustic they handed him, and George as we learned, could played. He played rock star all throughout December (Spit Me Out). He ran back and forth on the stage, played every chord he was expected to play, and ended by high fiving all the band members. And as Roland stated, “George is getting laid tonight!!” I wonder if he did. LOL!
Back to the performance, Roland’s voice is gone. He seems like he struggles to hit the notes and tone and has settled more into his nasal cavity instead of his diaphragm.Frank left early because he “couldn’t listen to them anymore.” If I had to describe the sound, I would say he sounds like a way wussier version of Neil Young who’s trying to front a 90s alternative band. Imagine a weak version of the voice who sings “Old man, look at my life, I’m a lot like you were” singing 90s alternative music. Interesting experiment, but it doesn’t work. Sorry to the fans, but I wouldn’t see them again. The next 90s band on my agenda is Third Eye Blind…but I have a few other shows beforehand.
Some of the songs they played were:
- Right As Rain
- Precious Declaration
- Feeling Better Now
- Not the Same – new song
- The World I Know
- December (Spit Me Out)
- The One I Love (REM Cover)
- Where the River Runs
- Run (Extended Intro)
Cool Robert! Nice th