TVD Live Shots: Collective Soul, Magnets and Ghosts, the Fillmore, 11/9

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I’ve always been a fan of Collective Soul, but something happened since the last time I saw these guys live in 2012. It’s almost like a rebirth of sorts. They just released their 9th studio album and embarked on the “See What You Started Tour,” because that’s what a band does, right? But what I saw at the Fillmore on Monday night was the best sounding Collective Soul I’ve ever seen take their show to an entire new level. Who would have guessed that in mid-November there’s a contender for best show of the year? Believe it.

Frontman extraordinaire Ed Roland could be one of the most gifted songwriters alive. He can write a hook like nobody’s business and nine albums in he hasn’t missed a step. Collective Soul’s songs generally go in one of two directions; heavy-duty Zeppelin style grooves, or orchestrated layers and harmonies that can easily turn into one of the best ballads you’ve ever heard before. They’ve also taken a pop route here and there turning simple AC/DC riffs into polished, gang style chants and modern-day summertime anthems. Pull all of this together and you have one hell of an eclectic show.

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The setlist that night pulled heavily from their new album, See What You Started By Continuing and was peppered with hits from the band’s impressive catalog. The fact that they opened up the set with “December” is a testament to how many incredible songs they have to choose from without having to save the “hits” for last. The most remarkable song in the set that night was “Needs.” Every time I hear this song I can’t help but think, how can anyone write such a magnificent song?

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The seven songs played from their latest effort was an impressive statement as well. Most bands touring today get maybe one or two new songs in the set and have to rely on crowd favorites to get them through and hour and a half set. That wasn’t the case at all here. One could say that Collective Soul have returned to true form in a sense, but then again I don’t think you could ever pigeonhole them into anything but an outstanding rock ‘n’ roll band who continues to find success while their ’90s peers are highly absent from any scene today.

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And if that wasn’t enough for a jam-packed Fillmore on a Monday night, the opening band completely blew me away. You know the seemingly quiet Roland brother on rhythm guitar who sort of hangs in the back? Well, it turns out that when you put him at the front of the stage he’s got quite a bit to say.

Dean Roland and Ryan Potesta are the core of a band called Magnets and Ghosts. Both share lead vocals and guitar duties and trade back and forth pretty equally throughout the set. I can’t remember a time when I’ve seen an opening band that had me completely mesmerized for an entire set.

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The last song the band played is called “Hold On” and it sounded like a lost ELO classic that Jeff Lynne wished he had written in the ’70s. Turns out there’s a pretty epic video to support the song as well, so someone in rock radio and the rest of the world missed this one on the band’s debut.

Good thing they released a follow up called Be Born that’s equally as great. I bought both of these records immediately after the show and have been listening to them all week long. By the way, what’s up with the lack of Magnets and Ghosts merch at the show? I didn’t see anything at all and would have loved a t-shirt (hint hint).

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MAGNETS AND GHOSTS

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Bottom line: Collective Soul sound better than ever and put on a rock ‘n’ roll show for the ages. Magnets and Ghosts as an opener is worth the price alone. Don’t miss this show. Check out hi res shots from both bands in the gallery here.

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