October 22, 2015 Collective Soul Shine At The Paramount Huntington, NY 10-15-15
Georgia’s own Collective Soul have been one of the darlings of Alternative Rock radio for over two decades now. In fact, the somewhat underestimated and under-appreciated band has compiled more chart-topping hit singles than many would dream of. Attaining multi-platinum success with their 1993 debut, Hints Allegations and Things Left Unsaid, they rode through the ’90s with three more albums achieving similar feats through 99’s Dosage. Impressively, they did not slow down once the new millennium hit, and Collective Soul reinvented their lineup several times, coming out on top with great records like 2004’s Youth and 2007’s Afterwords to name a few.
Now, after their longest gap between studio records; six years to be exact, Collective Soul returned on October 2nd with their ninth overall album, See What You Start by Continuing. To celebrate the anticipated new release, the band took to the road on September 29th for a tour that will take them through the end of November with stops coast to coast across the USA. Excited to show off their new material, they made a much welcomed visit to New York on Thursday, October 15th, when they visited The Paramount in the village of Huntington on Long Island. Last visiting the beautiful venue back on May 26, 2012, on the 2012 Dosage Tour, this time around they would return to perhaps an even bigger crowd and even more buzz surrounding as local Rock station 94.3 FM The Shark was on hand hosting live on the air before the show from The Paramount’s brand new radio studio adjacent to the theater.
In direct support of Collective Soul for the entire run of shows this Fall, first to the stage, was Southern California’s King Washington. A young band, King Washington is made up of Tyson Kelly (vocals/guitar), George Krikes (vocals/guitar), and Billy Lee (vocals/bass). Come together in the late 2000s, the band independently released two studio records, 2012’s The Gears and 2013’s The Overload. Combining styles that is one part Alternative Rock, one part Classic Rock, and one part Folk Rock, King Washington is more than just another Rock band trying to break on the more of the same modern scene.
Ecstatic to be opening for Collective Soul, the band came out joyous and energized as they delighted the audience with original tunes. Performing with confidence, they rocked out engaging tunes like “Bawl & Change,” “Animal,” and “Ol’ Highway.” Possessing the songwriting chops of storytelling lyricists like Grammy nominated Tonic vocalist Emerson Hart, King Washington were exceptionally impressive to the audience on hand. So much so, that while unknown to many, no one moved from their spots on the floor, listening attentive through the full set that also included songs like “Anyway Home,” “Old Highway,” and “Land Without Age.” Harmonizing vocals for a full rich sound while dressing tunes with passionate guitar melodies, King Washington is well-worth checking out. Amidst their tour with Collective Soul, King Washington also had a couple of headlining shows including one held on October 19th in NYC, and another to be held in Chicago on October 29th, so be sure to see what they are all about.
Following a set change, some time on stage from 94.3 The Shark’s disco jockey’s, and attendees hollering at the televisions in the back bar at deciding Game 5 of the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers NLDS, Collective Soul was ready to roll. Led by Vocalist/Guitarist Ed Roland, Collective Soul’s 2015 lineup includes longtime members Dean Roland on guitar, Will Turpin on bass, along with Johnny Rabb on drums since 2012, and Jesse Triplett as their newest lead guitarist. Recharged with the addition of new members, Collective Soul put together an impressive eleven songs for See What You Start by Continuing, and it was easy to see from the moment the kicked things off they were ready to put on an unforgettable show.
Wasting no time to rouse the crowds excitement, the lights went down, smoke filled the air, and the unmistakable opening guitar of 1995’s “December” filled the air. Having everyone cheering, Ed took center-stage and was animated in his delivery as he leaned into the crowd with his microphone singing the words. Keeping it coming, 1996 single “Precious Declaration” rocked before the band really revved up the amps for the killer Hard Rock cut “Heavy.” Having everyone dancing and singing along, it was at this time new lead guitarist Triplett first had a chance to show off how good he is, ripping through the solos with poise and passion. Taking the moment to greet the audience, Ed, always in high spirits, gave the fans a little insight to what was in store for the show. With that said, they gave a good sampling of See What You Start by Continuing with the album’s first three singles; “Hurricane,” “This,” and “AYTA,” abbreviated for Are You the Answer. Everyone was completely engaged in the new songs and many were even talking about how it could be one of the band’s best records in over a decade.
Mixing it up some, the band went back to the year 2000 and rocked out Blender hit single “Why, Pt. 2” to elevated cheers from the audience. Always a guitar driven band, again Triplett blasted through the riffs and solos with ease, lighting up his corner of the stage in exceptional fashion. Excited to have him a part of Collective Soul, Ed and company humbly stepped aside any chance they had to allow the guitarist to shine in the spotlight throughout the set. This was clearly evident on songs to follow like oldie “Goodnight Good Guy” and their newest single “Contagious.” Of course the rest of the band delivered equally intense musicianship in their own rights. For example, the quiet, mellow demeanor of Dean on guitar solidified the backbone of the set, while Turpin let his presence be known amidst the stage fog to the right side of Rabb’s drum kit, and the excitement Ed bounced all over the stage.
Closing out their opening set with the energized “Better Now,” Ed returned a hot minute later with just himself and an acoustic guitar. Once again engaging the audience in conversation, he went into the beautiful song “She Said.” Originally featured on the Scream 2 soundtrack back in 1997, the song was rearranged as a hidden track for 1999 album Dosage, but Ed performed the cut in the style most of 2005 acoustic EP From the Ground Up. An incredibly insightful track, it was the perfect segue for the rest of the band to rejoin on stage and for Ed to take his play behind the keyboard for new song “Memoirs of 2005.” An incredibly heartfelt song, he gave it all the emotion it needed, making for a successful rendition. Covering more areas of their extensive history, they played on with “Needs” and “Good Morning After All,” before breaking down the house with the fan-favorite “The World I Know.” Perhaps one of the band’s most effective mainstream singles, in their long list of hits, the song had fans raising their hands to the air and singing the chorus, word for word, much to the delight of Ed and the rest of the band.
After such an picture-perfect moment, Ed eased the crowd into the next song, stating it was one he wrote for his wife, promising them they were going to love it. With that, they went into new song “Confession,” which began relatively slow, but quickly lifted off into a riff heavy Rock-n-Roll song that had everyone moving. This was followed by another new one with “Exposed” before they blasted back to the past with 2004 single “Counting the Days,” 1995’s “Gel,” and 1996’s “Where the River Flows.” With everyone’s eyes bright with excitement, Collective Soul then took it all the way back to the very beginning with the song that started it all, “Shine.” Now over two decades old, this positive vibe track still resonates within the hearts of listeners, and that was felt when everyone sang the words, “Love and let your light shine down.”
At the peak of excitement, many would have thought the show was over, but it was not and Ed introduced a song which he stated they had never played before. Not announcing the songs official title, many fans are calling it “Just Looking Around” and it was a soulful sounding Rock tune that hopefully will see the light of day on a future Collective Soul album. Receiving a warm round of applause for offering many with an exclusive first listen, the band thanked everyone once more and sent them home with the ear-tingling “Run” where Ed’s voice hit each note with perfection.
Collective Soul put on a rather extensive set that was in-depth, well-rounded, and captivating from start to finish. At this point in their career, the band could easily mail it in and just release greatest hits records, but they opt to put their hearts into it and write great new songs to add to their collection. They are the type of band even casual listeners come out to see, and left saying they knew pretty much every single song they played. Be sure to be one of the lucky ones to catch them live before the tour has ended, it is a Rock concert no one wants to miss.