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Collective Soul
Marquee Theatre, Tempe, Arizona
June 1, 2005
Live Review by Zane Ewton

This night’s show is billed as a celebration of 100 years of Las Vegas, a chance to have the glimmer of Vegas in your own town. The tour, sponsored by the Vegas chamber of commerce, Camel cigarettes and some smelly wine, brings to you Collective Soul with Silvertide. 

This proposed idea of Vegas in your town includes a few neon signs, Elvis strolling through the crowd and a quick showgirl routine. Thankfully the cheese factor is kept to a minimum and Silvertide provides a quick pounding set of songs that Buckcherry recorded five years ago. Silvertide is pretty much a fun, mindless band perfect for the Vegas décor and easy to swallow for the “Over 21” but mostly over 31 crowd.

The ugly wedding chapel sign and flagrant ads for Camel quickly fade away as Collective Soul take the stage to the thump of the Who’s “Join Together”. Wasting no time the band plunged into “Counting the Days” but suffered from sound problems that left Ed Roland’s vocals unrecognizable. Those same sound problems gave “Where the River Flows” a menacing edge that was wholly satisfying regardless of missing vocals.

By the third song any sound bugs had been worked out and the band lined up hits and new songs then knocked them down to the glee of a faithful audience. Collective Soul is in the enviable position of being able to pull out any track from their six albums and have it be an instantly recognizable and memorable song. Even a cover of the Who’s “Squeeze Box” was greeted with the enthusiasm of meeting an old friend.

The energy remained high through “Heavy” and “Precious Declaration’ with a slight breather for the tense “December”. The band focused heavily on the new album, Youth, and on 1999’s Dosage, pulling out a few other gems along the way. “Perfect to stay”, “Needs”, “Run” and “Under Heaven’s Skies” cooled the frenetic pace but remained engaging. Bassist Will Turpin’s lead-in to “Gel” provided the loudest ovation of the night, breaking into a screaming “Feels Like (Feels Alright)” and “Why Pt.2”. 

The dramatic “The World I Know” flowed into the crushing finale of “Shine”. New guitar player, Joel Kosche flailed away through solos and riffs giving the music an immediate quality not found on the records. The studio perfectionism and finely crafted pop/rock records that Collective Soul deal in gives way to a looser, harder-edged live sound. When not faced with equipment problems, the band sounds outstanding live, the music is fresh and rejuvenated. It will leave you begging for a push towards a rawer, live sounding record. 

On this night the band could do no wrong, the rhythm was tight (despite a back-up drummer filling in for an ailing Shane Evans), the guitars were in full force (many songs including the three guitars of Kosche and the Roland brothers interweaving) and the mood was celebratory. Not just for the milestone of 100 years of Las Vegas, but for the excitement of a rock and roll show by a band excited to be playing rock and roll. 
 
 


More

Listen to samples and Purchase Collective Soul CDs online

Visit the official site for Collective Soul

Dont miss Eric' review of the new unplugged CD "From The Ground Up"

And don't forget Zane's review of the last studio album "Youth"

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