Good Ol’ Boys 3 Doors Down and Collective Soul brought the Twang and Rock to Greensboro
The Rock & Roll Express Tour:
Photos by Luke Jamroz
With more than 18 million digital single sales, 30 million albums sold, billions of streams, and 12 iconic hits combined, 3 Doors Down and Collective Soul are still fullsteam ahead on The Rock & Roll Express Tour.
This show started in the daylight with grunge strongman Soul Asylum. They aren’t on every stop of this show, but Greensboro and everyone attending at White Oak Amphitheater received that treat. Even if punk influence rock wasn’t your jam back in the 90s, there is not a single way you missed hearing them on the radio. Plugging through a six-song set they dropped in “Misery” and “String of Pearls” from their 1995 album Let Your Dim Light Shine and ended the night with the song you came to hear “Runaway Train” off the same album. If you were there you know the quality of the sound throughout the venue was top notch. Can a band sound BETTER than an album?
Now, alternative rock is synonymous with Collective Soul. With a massive amount of tours and experience with some of the best and brightest, they have shown that shrewd lyrics, empirical instrument playing, and keeping on tour for decades leads to a successful career.
Collective Soul lead singer, looking very Les Paul-ish in fashioned glasses and a yellow brimmed hat, took us back to the 90s with vocals and energy that hasn’t aged a day. To know this band live is something special. Their tones and volumes (basically turn that bitch up to 11!!) still even out and spread across the amphitheater with pristine results. But a hint for everyone catching a show on the rest of this tour, PLEASE BRING YOUR EARPLUGS. If not they will definitely stick with you for days while you scream at people trying to hear yourself talk!
Funny: the guys came onto stage – to the strains of “Climb Every Mountain” from The Sound Of Music, before launching into the 14 song-set touching on their most popular songs “Shine”, ”Heavy”, and “The World I Know”. Blessed with the top 10 best songs of CS and the remaining handful of songs were new from their upcoming double-CD planned to be released next year to celebrate their 25th anniversary.
Lead singer Ed Roland and crew (Dean Roland, Will Turpin, Johnny Rabb and Jesse Triplett) played the full stage engaging with fans in small windows of banter and lots of energy, dancing, and giving a show only seasoned veterans can give. They ended on the gentle pop ballad 1999’s hit “Run”. The crowd sung to the very last line – as the lights faded. A goodbye until next year’s run of shows with the 25th Anniversary album.
Grammy Award®-nominated multi-platinum Mississippi rock band 3 Doors Down is touring on their sixth full-length 2016 album, Us And The Night [Republic Records]. There are no huge frills though – we’re not inundated with a distracting stage setup.
There is a flag stage right and left, a few screens projecting different things. Videos of soldiers, the desert, and more as the concert goes on, and the bands instruments. No flying dragons. No 30 foot snakes. No 12 stages rotating to the beat of the music. And it wasn’t needed either!
3 Doors Down known for their ballads and essence of feel good patriotic music came to put on a rock show. We are in the era of bands presented to the masses on MTV that made it big. They were the last wave of this kind of broadcast promotion before the channel became a reality-TV-star-haven. If memory serves me right they were always portrayed as super proud to be American’s with touching chorus and a smash-hit song aimed at military and their families how they persevere through all the trials and tribulations of the lifestyle ”Here Without You”. It was featured in several movies and to this day when played live you get caught right in the chest.
When doing my due diligence as a journalist I came across mostly sad aspects to the band. Member departures, arrests, overdose, and death. It’s earth shattering events we publish on the daily sort of with that disconnect that it will hit a band member hard or a family member if they read it. Here I am dredging through the old stuff trying to find what to write about in the here-and-now, but realized it’s the rawness that connected us to these bands all those years ago. It’s refreshing to see and hear the band has pushed through, overcome and honored the memories of those lost and let go. Perseverance is an amazing trait to have, portray, and share with the world and another way I felt a connection with them, and so did crowd as you saw on their faces during the performance.
They are not known for talking much between songs, and while that is OK for most I wish we heard a little more. Their songs have such stories behind them, maybe we can get another stellar storytellers concert set going with them? People were there to hear their fav and were not disappointed the 17 tune show touched on their most popular hits, mesmerizing guitar solos, and patriotic songs and even a Charlie Daniels cover “In America”. Yes, the theme continues. As mentioned in the opening 3DD is known for their prolific American pride roots, to the point their lights upon the crowd spread their patriotic joy red, white, and blue, respectively all over the concert-goers. One thing you can definitely say is they are all about the full experience. They talked about how they loved to see all the different posts from the night and to make sure to use their hashtag (#3doorsdown).
To drive the concert home – they ended with their top songs “Loser” and “Kryptonite” with an encore performance of “Here Without You” and “When I’m Gone”.
The Rock & Roll Express Tour is produced by Live Nation, and is halfway through its 36 cities rampage across North America. It will wrap up September 16 in Phoenix, AZ. Do not miss this good ol’ American rock show!
Remaining Tour Dates:
Aug 24 — Nashville, TN @ Ascend Amphitheater
Aug 25 — Simpsonville, SC @ Heritage Park Amphitheatre
Sept 6 — Lemoore, CA* @ Tachi Palace Casino
Sept 7 — Las Vegas, NV @ Pearl Concert Theater at Palms Casino Resort
Sept 8 — Funner, CA* @ Harrah’s Resort SoCal
Sept 11 — Denver, CO @ Fillmore Auditorium
Sept 12 — Salt Lake City, UT* @ Utah State Fair
Sept 14 — Mescalero, NM* @ Inn of the Mountain Gods Casino
Sept 16 — Phoenix, AZ @ Comerica Theatre
Oct 27 — Cherokee, NC** @ Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort