The Rock & Roll Express Tour rolled into St. Petersburg, Florida Wednesday night with Collective Soul, 3 Doors Down, and special guest Soul Asylum. The evening was held at Al Lang Stadium, a 7,500-seat stadium that was used primarily for baseball for 40 years but is now home to The Tampa Bay Rowdies soccer team. With the thick humid air and intermittent drops of rain falling, Soul Asylum hit the stage for an abbreviated 35-minute 7 song set. David Pirner’s vocal presence and lead guitar set the audience at the edge of their seats as The Asylum jumped and dance over the entire stage. Pirner teased the audience by stating “Here’s a song we threw together in the dressing room for you,” as his introduction to Soul Asylum’s 1993 hit, Runaway Train. The fun carried well into the crowd as their set warranted an encore that wasn’t granted.
Misery, Shut Down, Shove, Whatcha Need, Runaway Train, Bus Named Desire, and finishing with April Fool.
3 Doors Down was the headliner of the evening and the last to go on stage. The sun had already set and the lighting and stage construction were that of a mega star. They were well polished, and the production was spectacular. They did however have to follow an impressive performance by collective Soul. The show started with the guitar players perched on platforms above the stage which gave a cool second tier level look. But, there was too much going on and made the show almost distracting as band members were climbing to the platforms. 3 Doors Down was formed in Mississippi in 1995. The Grammy Award nominated band has sold over 16 million albums worldwide.
Duck and Run, Time of My Life, Not My Time, Away From The Sun, Let Me Go, Going Down in Flames, Road I’m On, Be Like That, Citizen Soldier, Danko, In America, Behind Those Eyes, My Way, Loser, Kryptonight, Here Without You, and When I’m Gone.
The band I most anticipated and was sent to review, Collective Soul was sandwiched between two good bands. Collective Soul’s founder, Ed Roland leads the band with the charisma and charm equal to the most famous front men in rock n Roll history. With the first two songs complete, Roland headed over to the keyboards and started playing an intro that wasn’t quite recognizable, which soon turned into their 1993 hit Shine, bring the crowd it their feet. The song that put Collective Soul on the map and lead to their first record contract. Orlando’s WJRR picked up the song from a radio station at Georgia State University and other stations followed suit. Atlantic Records signed the band, and their debut album sold over 2 million copies in America in 1994.
Their set ended with Run from their 1999 album Dosage. Roland played acoustic guitar and all the band members came to the front edge of the stage waving to the crowd. The song continued after they had left the stage and were out of sight. It seems a very fitting ending to an impressive performance.
Collective Soul did not disappoint me or those in attendance, I had felt they should have been headlining the show, and in my opinion, they outperformed the headliner 3 Doors Down.
Now’s The Time, Over Me, Shine, Heavy With Lyrics, Why Pt 2, Better Now, Precious Declaration, December, Right As Rain, Observation of Thought, The World I Know, Gel, Where The River Flows, and Run.