Friday, April 21, 2006

Collective Soul at Cactus Canyon

Last night's entertainment was Collective Soul at Cactus Canyon. I've never listened to much of their stuff What what I have heard I liked reasonably well, but their only song that really made an impression on me was "In a Moment" from their first album. I don't know why, but I was under the impression that it was one of their biggest hits and I was looking forward to hearing it. It appears I was mistaken, though. It seems that "Shine" is the only song from that album that's captured any significant attention.

The music that they did play--which did not include "In a Moment"--they played well. They had a bit harder sound than I expected, and when they played the intro to "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" and bits of other AC/DC songs between their encore songs, it didn't sound a bit out of place. They could be a pretty good AC/DC tribute band if they set their minds to it. But Ed Roland would have to quit the spinning-the-mike-stand thing that he does. It's really not a suitable hard rockin' "bad boy" sort of thing to do. It's more the sort of thing I'd expect from a band like Reo Speedwagon.

Unlike the crowd at The Little River Band's show last month, the crowd for Collective Soul was a real crowd, and an enthusiastic one at that. Lots of arm waving swaying during the arm waving swaying type songs, and lots of the "hook 'em horns" type rock 'n roll devil hand signs during the harder stuff.

While almost everyone there seemed to be having a fine time, the type of music they play wears on me, and I'd found myself looking at my watch more than a few times before it was over. But again, I was distinctly in the minority. I'm really more the type for the folksy singer-songwriters who as often as not play backed only by their own guitars (which are usually acoustic). The more rockin' stuff tends to have too much of the instrumentation overpowering the vocals for my tastes. ("Too many notes, my dear Mozart") It works for a while, and it works longer the better the songs are, but sooner or later, I end up tuning it out. If you play that sort of music and you don't have a catalog like AC/DC's, you're just not going to hold my interest. I really perked up when they started into "Dirty Deeds." They really should consider that tribute band thing.

But that's just me. It really was a very good show.

The sound wasn't as good as at the Styx show, but it wasn't bad either. Plenty loud enough, but lacking in midrange definition, I thought. Or something. I don't really know how to describe it. Sort of like Potter Stewart's comments on obscenity.

While the sound was just OK, the lighting was more sophisticated than anything I've seen in anywhere Beaumont or anywhere in a venue of this size. They took full advantage of the smoky atmosphere (perhaps supplemented with a fog machine, although I didn't see one running) and made excellent use of color, lighting not only the band, but also the background and the air. They also used hangings of some sort of reflective material. While it could have been some sort of reflective fabric, I'm guessing lightly crumpled and then reflattened strips of 18" Reynolds Wrap Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil. Whatever it was, it worked very well when lit with different colors from opposite sides. Their visual presentation was as good as anything I've seen.

Finally, a tip of the hat to Brent Coon, whose band Image 6 opened for Collective Soul, and whose Coondog Productions has had a hand in bringing to town most of the bigger name acts that I've seen in the past few years.

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Blogger Laurie said...

How about them great seats, huh? :) I loved the pretty lights.

Friday, April 21, 2006 9:23:00 AM  

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