WITH GIN BLOSSOMS
NOW IS THE TIME TOUR 2019
Hampton Beach, New Hampshire
June 8, 2019
Photos & Review by Dan Wenc
The last time Northeast Rock Review covered Collective Soul at Mohegan Sun Arena in 2018 Ed Roland said they would be back in 2019 with a new album and headlining tour, he was right. Collective Soul’s latest album Blood is set to be released on June 21st.
It was a beautiful spring night along the beach in New Hampshire at the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom. A great night to take in two bands that bridged over the grunge era of music, giving way to next wave of 90’s Rock. A night of the nineties revisited. Not just revisited, but with new music, Collective Soul would perform new songs from the new album and the Gin Blossoms with a recent album that was released in 2018, Mixed Reality. Some two decades later after the bands broke through in the early 90’s, they are still as finely tuned as they were back then. Both bands out on the road together on the ‘Now Is The Time Tour’, in a celebration of their music and bringing it back to the fans.
GIN BLOSSOMS Photo Gallery
Starting off the night were the Gin Blossoms, taking the stage in front of the SOLD OUT crowd. The band kicked off the night with “Lost Horizons” from the 1992 breakthrough album, New Miserable Experience. Robin Wilson made his way that night with his signature, Gin Blossoms vocal sound. Next up was “Here Again”. Robin Wilson worked the stage alternating between Tamborine and acoustic guitar while laying out the vocals of studio album quality.
With the ever-changing musical landscape over the past 25 plus years, the Gin Blossoms are a band whose music has maintained mainstream popularity through the past couple decades since.
The Gin Blossoms are Robin Wilson (vocals), Bill Leen (bass), Jesse Valenzuela (guitar), Scotty Johnson (guitar) and Scott Hessel on drums. Robin Wilson took a few moments to speak to the crowd, he reminisced on the time time they first played the Casino Ballroom with Toad and the Wet Sprocket back in the 90’s.
The 13 song set went by fast. The set consisted of mellow hits such as “Until I Fall Away” and then right into the energetic “Follow You Down”, which was met with roars from the crowd. Even a Tom Petty tune thrown in the set, “Even The Losers”, which sounded great and Robin Wilson’s voice was spot on for a Petty tribute. The Gin Blossoms closed out their set with a number of their popular classics, such as “Found Out About You” and “Til I Hear It From You”, which Robin made his way into the front of the stage in the photo pit barrier going up and down the front of the stage shaking hands and interacting with the crowd, fueling the energy in the room. “Hey Jealously” concluded the Gin Blossoms set. Overall a great sounding performance from the Gin Blossoms and a lot of fun to hear their songs performed live.
COLLECTIVE SOUL Photo Gallery
After a quick set change, there was an unexpected apperance by Ed Roland as he took to the stage for a moment to speak to the crowd. Ed was met with cheers of excitement in anticipation of Collective Soul hitting the stage. Ed had the band’s new CD, Blood and told the crowd that the CD will be released June 21st and while it was not available in stores, it was available for purchase at the show that night with 25 percent of the sales going to a local charity, the National Alliance of Mental Health, New Hampshire. Ed said he would be back and left the stage.
Soon after, the lights went down. Ed Roland made his way back across the stage and took his seat behind the piano. The animated and energetic front man was donned in a grey t-shirt, gold sport coat and a signature brimmed hat and glasses. He was all smiles. The rest of the band took the stage right behind them one by one, Dean Roland (guitar), Will Turpin (bass), Johnny Rabb (drums) and Jesse Triplett on guitar.
“Observation of Thoughts” from the new Blood album, which kicked off their 16 song set. Then came “Heavy”, the energy in the room swelled. It was smiles and entertainment all around. Not just smiles in the crowd, but on stage. The band looked like they were having a great time together and looked so at ease on stage, putting out song after song. Collective Soul is a band that has a great time on stage and projects a great musical vibe. It is great to see a band having fun on stage as they perform.
The third song in was “Shine”. A high energy performance all around, which closed out with the anticipation building for Will Turpin’s jump off the drum riser.
Ed Roland knows how to work a crowd, going into “Better Now”, he got the crowd to sing along and encouraged more audience participation. Ed spent the night, singing, spinning, whirling, twirling and moving all over the stage.
The night included a number of Collective Soul classics. Plus a few from the new album, including “Now’s The Time”, “Right As Rain”and “Over Me”. Each of the new songs played meshed well right into the set list. The band did a good job selecting songs and spreading out the new and classic material.
Ed Roland took a moment to talk the crowd and said that they were celebrating their 10th studio recording that night. Playing some new songs and playing something familiar and then went into their 1995 hit, “December”.
Ed Roland continued through the night dancing with the microphone stand, bouncing back and forth between center stage and to the piano, and even with an acoustic guitar. A definite entertainer and amazing vocalist, firing up the crowd as they performed the songs that were part of the soundtrack of our lives
The night even included an R.E.M. cover of “The One I Love”, with Robin Wilson on vocals and Scotty Johnson on guitar, from the Gin Blossoms, joining Collective Soul on stage.
If you haven’t seen Collective Soul or Gin Blossoms show lately, get out and see them on this tour run. As the tour is titled, ‘Now’s The Time’. An entertaining show filled with great stage entertainment and great music and celebration of the 90’s and new music.
Both bands were a perfect formula for entertainment and provided a memorable experience that exceeded the value of the price of admission. The music was able to take you away from the real world for a couple hours, being entranced by the music. Being present to hear these songs being performed live once again was a memorable experience, and being able to hear their new material performed for the first time was worth it. There is a magic about music from bands like these. It is the music we grew up on, whether you were in college, high school or wherever you were, these songs are a definitive part of the 90’s rock scene. As music fans we can be thankful for the bands like this who continue to keep their music alive thorough their performance and are still making new albums.
Check out the Blood album when it released.