June 26, 2004 - The Big Easy - Spokane, WA
|review by Erin Graham|
|"So...you remembered that one?" Ed Rollins, lead singer of Collective Soul, questioned innocently but with a sly smile after rocking through a heavy, fast version of the group's 1995 hit "December."
The 1.5-hour set was full of such recollections as the group progressed through their five-album catalog, heavy on the hits (Gel, World I know, Run) and paying homage to their roots (Goodnight, Good Guy, Love Lifted Me).
After a three-year hiatus from the road, the band was eager to remind fans of their post-grunge era prowess as well as to prove that they were still worth a listen. Both tasks were accomplished with room to spare. After rocketing through hit after hit and earning an incredibly enthusiastic and supportive audience reaction, Ed asked the audience for their patience as they tried out a few new tracks from their forthcoming disc. The new cuts held up and blended seamlessly with long-time fan favorites.
Rollins himself remains a sight to behold, full of trademark unconventional dance moves and striking the occasional rock star pose with his shoulder-length locks flailing. (Those preferring stoicism will ultimately forgive Rollins--his phenomenal live vocals and stage presence back up the antics).
The band was in fine form as well; hard-hitting drums, searing solos and a steady bass line provided a strong and competent backdrop for Roland's vocals.
Concluding assessment: The old guard remain committed and the new recruits were converted. With or without radio support, Collective Soul has the legs to last.