Collective Soul at the Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts in Detroit, MI

Collective Soul makes a stop in the D to grind out guitar-riffic, good-time vibes for the metal lovin’ music fans of Motown.

It’s been nearly eight long years since the quintet of rockers from Stockbridge, Georgia known as Collective Soul have made a metropolitan stop to the mighty mitten’s Motor City. In celebration of tonight‘s events, fans from across the tri-state area have trekked far and near to a sold-out night of epicness. The Music Center Hall for the Performing Arts is a venue capable of housing 1781 fans and tonight, she fills up quickly with a diverse crowd of music lovers with smiles on their faces, tickets in hand, and many sporting Collective Soul concert swag from decades past. Fast forward to game time…

8:05 PM and it’s time to rock! Stage lights ignite and we can see four of our five Collective Soulians in place for this evening’s soiree’. Lead singer/frontman Ed Roland is last to the stage and emerges from the shadows with the slow prowl of a predatory Bengal tiger, beaming his famous Cheshire grin. Roland begins to point to nearby fans, and makes eye contact one at a time, sharing a “Soul” moment with the crowd. ER turns to face the band, and as they fire into the high octane, pedal-to-the-floor single “Cut the Cord” (from the new album Vibrating). The night is officially under way and this crowd is ready to party! The new track is well received and Roland takes a moment to bend low and pose for a fan cellphone pic, delivers a quick fist bump, and gets right back to business.

Next up, mega-hit “Heavy,” “Right as Rain,” and the thought-provoker “Compliment.” Soul cranks out the uber-famous number-one rock song of 1994, “Shine.” A quick Soul factoid – singer Ed Roland actually wrote this track during a visit to his parents’ house in 1989ish. He and brother Dean were sharing riffs in the living room, and eventually ended up with the banger “Shine” (and it was not released until five years later. Thank you Wiki!). As “Shine” plays on, we see guitarist Jesse Triplet and Dean Roland launch into syncopated karate kicks as they grind into the track’s crunchy and satisfying turnaround. Rolland and Triplett have a great synergy and provide that thick and powerful guitar presence that Collective Soul is known for.

The first live debut of “Mother’s Love,” the newer track “Let It Flow,” and “Not the Same” hit next in the set. Soul takes a moment to thank the crowd for coming out to support their music before launching into “Precious Declaration.” If you were unaware, this was written about the band signing a release that would make their music career a reality! “Better Now,” “The World I Know,” and “December” are next and the crowd sings along with ER with full karaoke-aphonic support! Bass player Will Turpin and drummer Johnny Rabb are tight, deep in that pocket. Turpin steps center stage and lays down a heavy-duty bass intro to the REM classic “The One I Love.”  The tasty ode is well presented and very well received by the fans as they proceed to croon along with the band.   

The setlist just keeps going and we are seventy-five minutes in… What’s next? “Why, Pt.2,” followed up with the funky slam-jammer “Gel!.” “Gel’s” last notes ring out, and the Soul squad holds guitars high as stage and house lights begin to flash in a spritz of epileptic euphoria, implying this just might be the end of the night… Just kidding, the playful ruse is cut short, and Collective Soul keeps the hits coming with an extended play version of “Where the River Flows,” and they close the night on a smoking deluxe version of their hit “Run.”

Collective Soul comes as a Loud Hailer-recommended concert experience that is high energy, and chock full of groovy guitar riffs and plenty of good-time vibes! Collective Soul is a must-see live band that should be on the bucket list of all music-loving concert-goers. Be sure to check out the band’s official website for upcoming tour dates, details, and current news. And while you’re there, be sure to grab a copy of the band’s latest album Vibrating (also available in a slick vinyl edition!).

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About Jay Dunbar 54 Articles
Jay Dunbar is a professional photographer that enjoys wearing a multitude of hats. He is active in the commercial and stock photography arenas and currently owns and operates a Detroit based investigations firm and photography agency. Despite his many endeavors, Jay can frequently be found in attendance at your favorite concert venues, capturing breathtaking images of live performances of many genres of music. A skilled author and photographer, he could be described as a " Serial Music Journalist." Carrying the photo bug for nearly thirty years, Jay enjoys all styles of photography, testing new gear, and helping aspiring photographers, artists and models to develop their skills and learn their craft.