Chris van Staalduinen

June 22, 2015

Collective Soul business as usual at the Hard Rock show

Collective Soul Hard Rock concert review
written by Chris van Staalduinen

Collective Soul, a band from my past gave me an early Father’s Day present with an energetic, sold out show at the Hard Rock Casino in Coquitlam. I’m sure it’s not without its stress, but the life of a rock star must be treating Ed Roland pretty damn well. He’s eight years older than me, but looks ten younger and can move with any of the young lead singers out there today. He still looks like a rock star, but with a refreshing humility that comes through every time he speaks. It’s that energy, Southern charm and clear passion for music that shows through and keeps the die hard fans coming to their shows.

There were fans of all ages at the show and everyone enjoyed themselves thoroughly, including the band members. They genuinely seemed to be having a good time and often seemed impressed at the fans’ knowledge of their catalogue. That was something the band did very well – crowd interaction. They played to the crowd, mixed old classics with lesser known material and even threw in some unreleased songs. It all worked. The energy level never went down and the crowd was involved for the whole night, singing along loudly to a solid 50% of the set, often unaccompanied at Ed’s behest.

Ed is clearly the heart and soul of the collective, as Dean, Will, Jesse and Johnny just go about their business. It must be said, however, that business is good. The band is tight, whether playing “Shine” or “December” for the umpteenth time or a new song played for only the ninth. Collective Soul does just what I expect from a five-piece – bass and drums driving hard, both guitars cranking the same power chords where needed, but playing complimentary parts at other times to give a deeper, more layered sound.

Basically, the show rocked – from Ed’s high energy, to the set list, to the musicianship and clear togetherness of the bandmates. This is not the Georgia quintet’s first rodeo, they are comfortable doing what they do and we are comfortable watching and listening. They played two songs from their upcoming album and if those two songs are indicative of the rest, it’ll be worth a listen and a purchase when it hits in October or November.

I promise that the only complaint anyone at the show had was the lack of an encore, but this seemed to be a predetermined thing, possibly venue driven. Most of the fans stayed around and called for it for a few minutes, long past when it was apparent that they wouldn’t be returning. Knowing ahead of time that they wouldn’t be returning, the boys played out to an extended, crowd sing-along of “Run” and it was a good way to go out, short of an encore.

I would definitely go see them again and you should, too when they come back through town to tour for their upcoming album. I’ll be a year older and so will the band, but Ed will probably look another five years younger and act it, too. If you want to go see special effects and lasers, find another band. If you want to see straight ahead, Southern guitar rock with a lead singer, young beyond his years, go see Collective Soul.

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written by Chris van Staalduinen



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