Collective Soul was my High School. Their breakthrough album, “Hints Allegations and things left unsaid,” was a staple in every DJ’s arsenal at every dance during the 90’s. They were supposed to be a one-hit-wonder, according to every jock on radio at the time, and Ed Roland made no bones about that on stage tonight at the San Diego County Fair. To be fair, though, there wasn’t even supposed to be a band after the demo was cut…but Ed and crew tightened the reigns and rode their fame through many more commercially successful albums.
The ‘band that wasn’t supposed to be’ has been delighting fans throughout the world for nearly 25 years and is taking the Heineken Grandstand Stage at the San Diego County Fair tonight. Their first song tonight is the lead track off their second album, simply titled “Collective Soul.” “Simple” started without the band onstage…then they all marched on, one at a time, to excited fans all around. These boys came to play, getting right into it and then flowing right into hit after hit without even stopping to say “Hi.” Honestly, I didn’t mind…I was there for the music anyway.
Ed breaks out the 12-string acoustic for one of my favorites, “Shine,” the song that really started it all. This track is what got them noticed, from being played at a local college radio station before spreading like wildfire across the country to turning a “demo” record into a double-platinum album almost overnight, their first album was incredible. After the electrics kicked in, he was jumping all over the stage. After the song was over, Ed Roland gave a warm welcome to his Mom and Aunt who flew all the way out from Georgia to be with him in beautiful Sunny Southern California!
The sun was setting and the familiar songs gave way to a new tune by the band. “Right as Rain” has been performed at a handful of shows and will be on their new album coming out. The song incorporated the 12-string Ed played earlier and had a different feel, but still good! It definitely felt more classic rock style, showing the true bluesy origins of rock in the new track. I have to admit that over the years Collective Soul went from being the first CD I grabbed to that band I look at the radio and remark, “Oh Yeah…I remember them,” so I couldn’t resist the lure of reliving my childhood; however, after seeing them LIVE I was instead rejuvenated as a fan! These guys know how to put on a show…and they should, they’ve been touring and playing for nearly 25 years. I can’t wait to hear the new album guys! Mixing up the decades of their rock for the rest of their show, they threw in an obscure but definitely a fan favorite song from Queen…”Tie Your Mother Down.” It makes you wonder if that song was part of the show or added because of the visit from mom.