It’s a shame I didn’t go to this show last summer, as the running theme was “90’s Nostalgia Fest” and this would have fit in very well. Congregating at the New Hampshire coastline were a fair number of folk clamoring to see Collective Soul perform the 1999 album Dosage as well as play some “songs that you’ve heard played before” as Ed Roland put it when he introduced the band — which was strange. With no opening act, the lights dimmed after 8 pm when the band strode out and Roland explained the idea of the evening. Then he told us to grab a cocktail as they would be back in a few minutes to play. Rather than fight the crowd, we stayed together for the next five minutes, the lights went out and the band emerged for the second time.
In anticipation for the show I picked up a copy of Dosage and the existing greatest hits record for cheap at a local record store. This was a good idea and I should have listened to the album a little more, instead of the few tracks that I knew, so I would have been better prepared. Despite the fact that there wasn’t an opening band, while the group soldiered through their album and since I lacked knowledge in most of the songs, I could have been watching a band I never heard of chewing up 45 minutes before the headliner hit the stage. The album ended, which prompted the band to wave and bow, then exit the stage again.
We had time to hear four Foo Fighters songs on the PA system before the band emerged for the third time and began to play more crowd favorites. Roland explained the band was from Georgia and his father was a preacher; this was apparent as he led the faithful through solid showings of “The World I Know”, “Gel”, “Precious Declarations” and “Forgiveness”. During the song “Hollywood”, written while they toured with Metallica, the band took some time to pay tribute to a band they admired. For about 10 minutes they jammed on a few Cars tunes and threw in a drum solo. This was cool, but it seemed to change the energy a bit and slow things down. They did recover a little for a few more songs and then waved to the crowd while walking off stage.
A few minutes later they emerged for the fourth time, crazy Avid Reader, and did a quick encore turning “Shine” into an epic jam. This time they gathered to the center, took a collective bow and left for real with the lights coming on. It was an interesting night, and now I’ve seen three shows where bands play a whole album then some hits. This is an interesting concept . . . and I might try to stay away from these kinds of gigs. The crowd was very tame since my next show will be the polar opposite. Check the set.
(See Collective Soul on July 3rd in Chester, PA, July 5th in Nashville, July 7th in Atlanta.)