Collective Soul At House Of Blues

  • Collective Soul's Joel Kosche and Ed Roland
    Photo: The Recording Academy

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By Crystal Larsen
West Hollywood, Calif.

In January 1999 Georgia-bred rockers Collective Soul released their fourth studio album, Dosage. Spending 35 weeks on the Billboard 200, the platinum album peaked at No. 21 on the strength of the Billboard Hot 100 hits "Heavy" and "Run." Thirteen years later fans are being treated to a special dose of Collective Soul as they've taken Dosage on tour, performing the album in its entirety (with the exception of "Dandy Life" but also including the bonus track "She Said"). For their only Los Angeles stop, Collective Soul, who are members of The Recording Academy Atlanta Chapter, performed to a packed crowd on June 12 at the House of Blues in West Hollywood, Calif. — and it was heavy.

The band — brothers Ed Roland (vocals/guitar) and Dean Roland (guitar/keys/vocals), Joel Kosche (lead guitar), Will Turpin (bass/vocals), and touring drummer Johnny Rabb — kicked off the performance of Dosage — an album that Ed Roland says helped develop the distinct Collective Soul sound — with "Tremble For My Beloved." Right away I knew I would struggle the entire evening as I attempted to simultaneously take in Kosche's guitar work, which can only be described as watching a fine artist create his greatest work live, and Roland's contagiously energetic microphone waltz. But it was a pleasant struggle.

Every song equally showcased how the musical brilliance of each member collides to create something that fits together so perfectly. On their second song, "Heavy," Kosche's opening riff (and electrifying solo) paired with Roland's spot-on vocals and Turpin and Dean Roland's steady rhythm kicked the show up to a level that I usually experience near a performer's encore. But this energy and momentum lasted until the very last member exited the stage nearly two hours later. 

The band treated each song as if it was the greatest they've ever written and, in my opinion, every song on that album is great, from "Needs" and "Run," the latter of which defined my freshman year of high school, to the beautiful closer, "Crown." Following "Crown," the band extended a huge thank you to one of the most energized L.A. crowds I have seen in quite some time and left the stage, only to return a few minutes later for more hits and more energy.

Roland opted to lose his eye glasses for this portion of the show, proving his microphone waltz was about to reach a new kinetic level. Collective Soul appropriately kicked off with the driving "Welcome All Again." Also on the list was "Hollywood," a song Ed Roland and Kosche wrote about some of their favorite bands, including the Cars and fellow Georgia natives R.E.M., and "Why Pt. 2," a heavy rock tune from 2000's Blender.

Before he began the first song of the evening's encore, Roland told a story of how he taught Kosche to play guitar before the latter officially joined the band in 2001. He told Kosche that if he learned how to play these four chords he "might be a rock star." And with that Kosche led the band into the '90s gem, "December." The evening, of course, wasn't complete without a closing performance of the band's biggest hit to date and the lead track from their 1994 debut album, Hints Allegations And Things Left Unsaid, "Shine."

While I think I'm already due for a refill of Collective Soul, this dose should at least tide me over until December.

 Set List
"Tremble For My Beloved"
"Heavy"
"No More No Less"
"Needs"
"Slow"
"Run"
"Generate"
"She Said"
"Compliment"
"Not The One"
"Crown"
"Welcome All Again"
"Better Now"
"Forgiveness"
"Gel"
"Hollywood"
"Why Pt. 2"
"Precious Declaration"
"The World I Know"
"December"
"Shine"

To catch Collective Soul in a city near you, click here for tour dates.

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