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Collective Soul Live At Philadelphia’s TLA

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

Philadelphia, PA — Collective Soul brought their tour to the Theater Of The Living Arts (TLA) in Center City Philly. For those who have not been, South Street is a world unto its own. Make sure you visit in this lifetime and if you can see a concert it’s an extra bonus.

There are not that many bands that I want to see, yet have not seen. Collective Soul was one of those bands. I am not sure why it never worked out. After I fell in love with “Shine”, they were a band I longed to see on stage. Then, the years past, and I figured it was too late. Even if they came around, they would probably be past their prime?

As destiny would have it, I saw they were playing at a local venue. The beauty of it was they were playing at a small theater. Maybe their decline in popularity would work to my benefit? Wait! Not so fast. I refresh the webpage on my web browser, and it says the show is sold out. What? So, I call the box office. Yes. They tell me the show is sold out. Dag-nab-it! I can not accept this situation and drive down to see with my own two eyes. Indeed, it is sold out. There are a couple guys from 93.3 WMMR there doing a promo. Why not ask them if they can get me a ticket? No dice. How about a scalper? No tickets to be found. While I am standing by the line to get in, a fellow comes over and asks if it is the line for Collective Soul. After verifying that it was, I ask if he might have an extra ticket. YeeHa! He does… but, at what price? Ahhhh… he tells me a reasonable price. He had been stuck with an extra ticket by a friend who backed out. Perfect!

I explained that I was a writer and had wanted to review the show. He was an avid fan and told me how good of a show they put on. I explained how sometimes I interview bands, sometimes I review bands, and sometimes I do not write anything. He said, “because there is nothing to write.” Exactly. Nevertheless, he peeked my interest in how the show would rate. The adrenaline was pumped, now. First, I thought I was going home in disappointment. Next, I was thrilled at getting a pass through the door. Plus, I met a father and son that were just as excited to see the show.

It was with much pleasure that the “warm-up” band turned me on with an instant music fix. Black Stone Cherry rocked the house. Black Stone Cherry rocked my world. (See the
Black Stone Cherry Review and Photo Gallery)

Luckily, the next band, Safety Suit, was not that hot. If they were, I do not know how Collective Soul could have followed them.

When Collective Soul took the stage, the crowd was primed and pumped. It seemed fitting that they started off with “Welcome All Again”. They played a couple more new songs in the middle of the set. Before “You”, Ed Roland related that it was the first song they ever wrote as a band. There was quite a bit of interaction and audience participation throughout the show. Introducing “Gel”, Ed shared that he and his brother/guitarist Dean were the sons of a preacher. “Gel” is about what they grew up with on Sunday mornings:

Color me any color.
Speak to me in tongues and share.
Tell me how you’d love to hate me.
Tell me how you’d love to care.
Well I just want to shake us up.

Let’s mingle
And make it well.
Come together now.
Yeah let’s gel.

All in all, the lights, the sound, the audience, the songs and the band added up to a spectacular performance. On the way out the door, the fellow who had sold me the ticket caught up to me and said, “Write something good.” I replied, “Oh, yeah. I will.” For this was one show worth writing about. Make sure they are not always one of those bands you wished you had seen!

THE BAND
Ed Roland – vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards
Dean Roland – rhythm guitar, vocals
Will Turpin – bass guitar, vocals
Joel Kosche – lead guitar
Cheney Brannon – drums, percussion

THE SETLIST
Welcome All Again
Heavy
Listen
Tremble
Why Part 2
Needs
Dig
You
December
Shine
Hollywood
World I Know
Anymore Friends
Gel
Better Now

ENCORE
Staring Down
River Flows
Run


Collective Soul Concert Photo Gallery