Let the concert season begin. I dusted off my cameras and headed down to the damp, chilly and cloudy (thankfully there was a break in the rain), OC Springfest to see Collective Soul bring their "See What You Started by Continuing Tour" to our town. Wow, and to think the last time I saw this band was at the "94 WOODSTOCK". With the entertainment tent packed to an almost sell-out, the band took the stage at 8pm and opened with "Smashing Young Man", "Heavy", "Precious Declaration" and "December" to which the crowd exploded in cheers and were already standing up out of their seats. Next up lead singer Ed Roland asks the crowd if it would be ok to play a few songs off their latest album "See What You Started by Continuing" to which the crowd replied, yes. After "Hurricane", "This", and "AYTA (Are You The Answer)", it was back to mostly drawing from their huge catalogue that has earned them their stardom.
Now Roland notices a woman in the aisle holding a baby and he asks what's her name, to which she replies, Lorelei, and tells Roland that during her labor their song “December” was playing, and he says “wow, it only took a 4:45 song to have a child,” and before he congratulates her, the little baby blows him a kiss that was well received by the crowd. After a few songs from their later albums, Roland straps on an acoustic guitar and a roadie brings him out a music sheet stand and he tells the crowd that they like to play a cover every night and this was their favorite to always play, and so they go into Led Zeppelin's "Going To California".
Now addressing the crowd that they have a new song to play for them; one they have only played a few times on their recent Canadian Tour. He went on to say that they had just played 20 shows in the last 22 days and that it’s good to be back on American soil. The song is called "Rule #1" that gets a good response from the crowd. After some more new tunes, the crowd appeared a little lost on the new stuff; but they sang along to the old stuff making the end of the concert the part they liked the most. Now, the relief came when the band started playing "The World I Know" and "Gel", and Roland, jumping behind the keyboards, closed out the night with a smoking version of "Shine". It's strange to think I haven't seen these guys in that long, but I give them credit for performing in such a small tent with very little stage production. They really gave it their all, though, and I think all of the crowd appreciated it as much as I did. I can’t wait for the next concert!!
– Gary Crouthamel, concert photojournalist
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