I didn’t take long to establish that Collective Soul still really rocks, and still carries a great following. The crowd packed in with assorted vintage to recent CS T-shirts, and basically stood and sang along start to finish. They’re celebrating their 25th Anniversary with their Now’s The Time tour promoting their new upcoming album Blood.

Founding frontman Ed Roland jumped between guitar and piano, commanding the entire stage like it was day one. On the closing song Run, Ed continued playing a 12-string (that miraculously stayed in tune throughout) while the rest of the band walked to center stage with him while singing the song along with the crowd. One by one they walked off the stage, while he continued to play the end of the song offstage with the audience supplying the vocals. My favorite drummer Johnny Rabb and bassist Will Turpin held down the rhythm section while lead guitarist Jesse Triplett and guitarist Dean Roland were right on the money.

The group ran through the hits including Shine, Gel, December, The World I Know, Precious Declaration, and Heavy. Also included were cuts off the new album, Now’s The Time, Over Me, Right As Rain, and Observation Of Thoughts.

Gin Blossoms have established their own sound which successfully blends various styles. In listening to them, at some points they remind you of various acts including Chris Isaac and Blue October. They played their hits including Follow You Down, Hey Jealousy, Found Out About You, Till I Hear It From You. Later lead singer Robin Wilson joined CS onstage for a rendition of R.E.M.’s The One I Love.

Some nostalgia and a lot of fun. Extremely worth going to see when they come around your neck of the woods!

By R.M. Engelman