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6 Degrees Entertainment

Concert Reviews
Collective Soul / Live / Blues Traveler
(Meadowbrook, MI - June 24th, 2008)

The typical Collective Soul song has a one-word title, runs between three and five minutes, prosecutes a catchy '70s-style melody over warm, burbling '90s-style guitars, frets about the human condition, and dominates rock radio for months at a time.

Tonight they brought their barrel load of one-word title's to the fore and opened up the nights entertainment with songs such as 'Heavy,' 'Listen,' 'December,' and 'Shine.' Indeed, 'Shine' was the first song of the set to get everyone singing along to.

'The World I Know,' 'Gel,' and 'Better Now' all passed the crowd-pleasing test, but it was the latest hit 'Hollywood' that finally got them all up on their feet and singing aloud. The song started off regular then went into a reggae styling, before the guitar riff work to AC/DC's 'Thunderstruck' and then 'Dirty Deeds' finally brought them back into the way 'Hollywood' should be finished off.

Saying their collective thank you to the other two bands for letting them join the tour, then a big thank you to the "good people for being here and listening to us," they ended with a semi-acoustical 'Now.'

Like Phish and Widespread Panic, Blues Traveler emerged in the early 90s as part of a new vanguard of jam bands in the tradition of the Grateful Dead and the Allman Brothers. Early on, the band's reputation was built on relentless touring, marathon sets, and the explosive harmonica solos of oversized front man John Popper.

Tonight they took to the stage as first support to Live, but performed as if they were the actual headliners. Playing a plethora of songs from various albums of theirs, as 'Run-Around' had drawn to a close Popper spied a man in the front row. Listening to what he had to say for a moment he then promised the man (Doug Watson, Shelby Township, MI) that the next time they came around they'd play his requested 'Conquer Me' - instead of 'Run-Around'!

More songs followed before a very animated Popper told the crowd that they were all "f**king awesome" and that he gave his thanks to both Collective Soul and Live for allowing them to tour with them. Toasting them with their raised water bottles high in the air, Blues Traveler brought their show to a close with a cover of Cheap Trick's 'I Want You To Want Me' and a crowd-pleasing rendition of their own 1994 hit 'Hook.'

After making music together for more than half of their lives, touring their way around the world and selling more than 20 million records, the four members of Live - singer, Ed Kowalczyk; guitarist, Chad Taylor; bassist, Patrick Dahlheimer and drummer, Chad Gracey - certainly know how to put on a show.

Stepping out into the main spotlight tonight, the crowd ready to rock after Blues Traveler had more than got their feet tappin', they kicked off the set with 'Simple Creed,' 'All Over You' and 'Waitress.' Live's energy levels are visually pumped, totally on a par for what the crowd expected and demanded. Ripping their way through the night, other hits such as 'I Alone, 'Selling The Drama,' 'The Dolphin's Cry,' and of course a poetically riveting version of the great 'Lightning Crashes' are brought to the fore, one by one.

Review & Photos By: Ramon Trevino Jr.