The One Louder free Summer Concert Series on Fremont Street in Downtown Las Vegas kicks off August with prolific rock band Collective Soul.
Once again, the free concert series is set to deliver an exciting show for Downtown Las Vegas. August is a busy month with a show every weekend but tonight they are starting off right with Georgia-based rock band Collective Soul. This band played this series two years ago and it is not a surprise to anyone that they were invited back. Ed Roland is a dynamic and exciting frontman and this band’s shows are always solid. Add to that the recent release of their tenth studio album Blood and it is easy to see why they are back.
Like all the shows here, this one begins with the overhead light show then the band takes the stage. Roland starts the night at the upright piano at the front of the stage with the lights of the Four Queens Casino behind him. The band is rounded out by brother and guitarist Dean Roland, Will Turpin on bass, Jesse Triplett, guitar and Johnny Rabb on drums. The opening track “Observation of Thoughts” is off their new album and it is a perfect way to show this crowd what the band has been up to. This song is classic Collective Soul. It manages to showcase the piano, vocal, and music all simultaneously. When this song is over Ed Roland leaves the piano and the band launches into some of their most well-known songs including “Heavy,” “Why Pt. 2” and “Shine.”
It is during these songs that we begin to see Ed doing his signature dancing with the microphone and he even launches it into the air a few times. The songs sound exactly as you expect, you could be listening to the albums if it weren’t for the energetic and enthusiastic stage performance that is occurring. It is a packed crowd and they are singing along. The Roland brothers and Triplett all take turns on the front bump out of the stage and the crowd loves this as well. One of the reasons for the success of these shows is the ability for the fans to be so close to the performers. As the set continues, we are treated to more familiar favorites like “December,” “The World I Know” and “Gel” but there are more new tracks mixed in including “Right as Rain” and “Now’s the Time.” This is a perfect balance between the familiar and the new and the songs all flow so seamlessly together. If you didn’t know which was which, it would be hard to pick out the new tracks. That is a good thing. Collective Soul is sticking to their sound and it still sounds current.
Fifteen songs are played which is a long set for Fremont Street and the crowd just keeps packing in. By the last song “Run,” there isn’t any place to move and no one seems to have left early and they are about to be rewarded with a very unique ending of the set. While “Run” is being played, the band members gather and walk off stage together while continuing to play. The crowd can’t see what is happening but they can hear it. The band is huddled together playing the last bit of the song and then it is over. This is a unique way to end a show and had a strange, powerful feeling about it that is hard to describe.
It is easy to see why this band has played Las Vegas a few times frequently. They put on an amazing show that both sounds great and is fun. This show is the perfect way to kick off four weeks of straight shows on Fremont Street but it will be a hard one to beat.