Collective Soul, Gin Blossoms @ Toyota Music Factory 09.01.19

Photos and words by Jerome Miron

Atlanta alternative rock band Collective Soul came to the Toyota Music Factory on Tuesday during the latest leg of their “Now’s The Time Tour” which also coincides with their 25th anniversary. Fronted by original members, brothers Ed Rolland (vocals) & Dean Rolland (rhythm guitar), and Will Turpin (bass), the band ripped through a mix of fan favorite hits as well as selections from their 2019 album “Blood”. Lead guitarist Jesse Triplett and drummer Johnny Rabb have been with the band since 2012 and 2014 respectively, and the band seems to have found renewed life with this latest release. Opening with “Observation of Thoughts” from Blood and then rolling right through classics “Heavy”, “Why”, “Shine” and “Better Now”, it was clear that Collective Soul intended to not let up and the full house certainly showed their appreciation while joining in on the chorus when prompted by Ed Rolland. Closing out the show with one of their best songs, “Run” the band reminds us they indeed do have a long way to run and show no signs of quitting anytime soon.

Opening in support of Collective Soul was fellow 90’s rockers The Gin Blossoms. Despite taking a break in the late 90’s, the band remains virtually intact with original members from their 1989 debut, Bill Leen (bass), Jess Valenzuela (lead and rhythm guitar), Robin Wilson (vocals), Scotty Johnson (lead and rhythm guitar) and Scott Hessel (drums). This show was the last night of their tour in support of 2018 release “Mixed Reality” and the band took the opportunity to have their fans leave their seats to join them in front of the stage. While leaning heavily on classics “Follow You Down”, “Found Out About You”, “Hey Jealousy” and “Til I Hear It From You”, the Blossoms also introduced some new material in “Face The Dark”, “Break” and “Still Some Room In Heaven”.

Both bands also found a chance to play a couple of fun covers with the Gin Blossoms playing “Even The Losers” by Tom Petty while joined by a large costumed Eagle on stage and Robin Wilson later joined Collective Soul on stage for an excellent rendition of “The One I Love” by REM. Overall, a great set by a pair of classic 90’s rock groups still producing strong music after over twenty years in the business.