Chicago Theatre Review
Collective Soul and 3 Doors Down
The weather Monday night at Ravinia was beautiful considering what it was like earlier that afternoon on the North Shore. The professional Ravinia goers were prepared on the lawn with their tarps and umbrellas to welcome a great night of music by Collective Soul and then 3 Doors Down.
First to take the stage was front man Ed Roland from Collective Soul. Wearing sunglasses and a white shirt with a pair of true rock and roll jeans on, he moved and swayed the crowd with his diverse range of hits from the past along with some great new tunes off their upcoming album.
Onstage Roland was joined by the other band members, his brother Dean on rhythm guitar, Will Turpin on bass, Johnny Rabb on drums and Jesse Triplet on lead guitar. I have never seen Collective Soul live but am very familiar with their music, having a number of tunes on my own IPod. I began to realize as the band played, how many big hits they had over their early beginnings in Stockbridge, Georgia 23 years ago.
The 52 year old front man Roland, had the rock n roll moves as he danced and engaged the crowd in between songs. His energy was definitely felt and appreciated by the crowd and his acoustic guitar playing with his diverse voice was powerful as they played their old hits and the new material.
I have been to Ravinia on many occasions, and am a novice guitarist, but and whoever was working the sound board that controlled the volume on lead guitarist Jesse Triplet, did not do him justice. His guitar playing and solos were awesome but you really had to struggle to hear the lead guitar come through, a bit disappointing on the volume level of the lead guitar. It was somewhat corrected by the time 3 Doors Down came on, but still the volume on the lead guitar needed to be louder. It was a great collection of the hits that made the band famous and the ongoing creative drive that gives Collective Soul their unique mix of pop and rock n roll.
I have been a 3 Doors Down fan ever since I heard Brad Arnold sing. This guy truly has a rock n roll voice complete with that southern Mississippi sound. He can sing ballads and he can rock the house with his powerful lyrics and harmony accompanied by two big guitar sounds from lead guitarist Chris Henderson and Chet Roberts. Somebody during intermission must have turned up the volume knob on the soundboard, because these guys dueled it out between lead and rhythm licks. Their signature hit that kept them in the number one spot for 15 weeks was Kryptonite which was their encore song. The band has been playing together now for close to 20 years and as you sat there rocking under the stars, you seem to recognize more songs than you thought you might have known. This band can rock with the best of them. My only criticism is I would have like to have been more engaged by lead stinger Arnold. As gracious as his southern manners were, his stage presence is not all that exciting, but his energy and conviction in his voice helps him pull it off. Since the start of their career, 3 Doors Down has sold over 20 million albums worldwide and they continue to be a great band to see live in concert. Two great bands, on another wonderful August evening at Ravinia. It really doesn’t get any better than that.
Reviewed by Joseph Paul