Collective Soul has been a staple in my music rotation for years. During the 90s their self titled CD was deemed the ultimate mix to listen to while cleaning the apartment. After their 2001 Greatest Hits release, Seven Year Itch, though I stopped paying attention. It wasn’t that I fell out of love for their music but the relationship was more “out of sight, out of mind”.
I wasn’t buying many CDs, Napster and downloading whatever tunes I could get my hands on had me falling down the black hole of awful music. This was before legit digital downloads, iTunes and streaming services were available. The thought of only music in a non-digital platform may blow some of your minds today.
Prior to last Thursday I had no idea the album or the tour were taking place but something told me I should open the City Paper weekly email. “WIN TICKETS TO SEE COLLECTIVE SOUL IN PITTSBURGH!”. Sure, why not. Later that afternoon I received the email saying I won the tickets so date night was now set – Sunday night at 8pm.
Before kids this would have been a no-brainer. After kids my thoughts are “How will we find a sitter on a Sunday night?”, “What is the parking situation like?”, “What time do I have to be up for work in the morning?” and the most important part “Who won’t be tethered to their phone all night?”. You’d be surprised how often that last one is the deal breaker.
Since it was short notice we flew solo on this trip and had a great time reliving our college days. King Washington is new to me so every song was a treat. I liked their stage presence and most of the songs but I enjoyed their sound more once I got home and checked out their music online. Now I’m kicking myself for passing up a chance to chat after the show.
Collective Soul exceeded expectations (geez that sounds like I’m doing an HR performance review) and kept the crowd going for close to 2 hours. Lead singer Ed Roland is one helluva entertainer and painted the stage like an artist. The show reminds you of going to see your buddy’s band and feels like he’s playing just for you. They played the classic singalongs and mixed in the new release which had me in a mad rush to download when I got home. Joining Ed from the original line up were his brother Dean and bassist with mad skills Will Turpin. Rounding out the band is drummer Johnny Rabb who had me mesmerized and lead guitarist Jesse Triplett who could freaking THRASH! Not kidding. Every song was like a contest between Johnny and Jesse to see who could outshine the other. They both turned it up to 11.
The night ended with an extended version of Run which made the experience come full circle. I stood there looking at these guys not much older than me (well, except for Ed) and realized that we all grew up but not old. I now understand and appreciate what my brother feels when he goes to see bands from his younger days. We have shorter hair and even a few grey ones, but music is still bringing us together and for 2 hours everything in the world was good.