Nostalgia Reigns Supreme With Soul Asylum, Collective Soul and 3 Doors Down at The Armory


If Wednesday night was considered my tour of 2000’s nostalgia, then Thursday night’s show was my tour of 1990’s nostalgia. With a couple of hit songs that still sneak into my daily playlist and a bunch of songs I had never heard of but thoroughly enjoyed, Thursday’s night was just what I needed to help me get to the end of this exhausting week.

Local boys Soul Asylum kicked the night off promptly at 7PM with their Minnesota bred alternative rock sounds. Best known for the 1993 hit song “Runaway Train”, (yeah, you know the one) Soul Asylum’s quick thirty minute set was full of classic sing-a-longs and brand new songs that prove this bands is still kicking. Even with the new tunes, it’s clear that nothing has changed with this band and I found a sense of comfort in that. Even though the 90’s are far gone at this point, the new songs from Soul Asylum had a very 90’s vibe about them. Being able to see a band that has stayed so true to their sound and over all these years was definitely amazing and seeing them on their home turf during an extensive U.S. tour was nothing short of a treat. We recently had a chance to talk to Dave Pirner – check out the interview 

Georgia based Collective Soul took the stage next and gave the crowd just over an hour of pure nostalgia. CS is one of those bands that, when walking into the show, I knew I would recognize one or two songs but, about half way through their set I realized I knew oh so many more. I have to be honest, I was a bit shocked this morning when I was doing my research and realized that Collective Soul has nine full length albums out there but after standing there and experiencing their live show last night, it makes sense. CS is so much more than just a 90’s band. They have continued to keep and gain fans through all these years and I watched in awe as those fans sang their hearts out for just over an hour.

Vocalist Ed Roland definitely had a way of connecting with the audience. He admitted that they would be playing a bunch of new songs last night but also urged the audience to still sing along even if they didn’t know the words. Sure, people were screaming along to the hits like “Shine” and “The World I Know” but, when it came to CS playing newer songs, the audience still felt very involved in the set. Whether you knew the words or had to make them up, everyone had a smile on their face the entire time CS was on the stage. Their fourteen song set ended with Ed and an acoustic guitar just strumming the chords to “Shine” as he said goodbye and the audience sang along. So maybe I fell off the CS bandwagon a long time ago (although I’m not sure I was fully on that wagon) but last night’s set was truly enjoyable and took me back to the days of being a kid with my mom at the local public pool listening to the music of the 90’s as my ginger skin roasted in the sun.

Closing the night out was the one and only 3 Doors Down. Okay, I know I claimed that last night was a night of 1990’s nostalgia and you’re probably thinking that everybody knows 3 Doors Down was more around the 2000’s but, come on, give me a little bit of wiggle room. In my defense, the Mississippi based group formed in 1996 so technically I can still get away with calling them a 90’s band. 3 Doors Down released their album “The Better Life” in 2000 and it was off to the races for the five piece band. Sure, there have been many changes in the history of this band and singer Brad Arnold may be the only remaining founding member but that’s about all that has changed. Much like the two bands that graced the stage before them, 3 Doors Down has stayed true to their sound and style without a care in the world about what’s cool or current.

From the first note of “Duck and Run” and until the final note of “When I’m Gone” was left hanging in the air, 3 Doors Down had the audience in the palm of their hand. For being such a successful band over all these years, the band did a really great job of keeping the show about the music. Other than an impressive light show and a couple of risers that were used to elevate the members throughout the set, there was nothing but the music and the adoring fans. Regardless of if you like their music or not, there was no denying that 3 Doors Down knows damn well how to throw a good show and make it about the music and passion and that is something I more than respect. With a fifteen song set that included a cover of “In America” by The Charlie Daniels Band and then a two songs encore, 3 Doors Down gave the packed crowd everything they had and the crowd was giving everything they had right back.

My trip down nostalgia lane continues tonight with a “Journey” to the 80’s (see what I did there?). Music is an amazing thing because, even as the years go by, the music stays the same. Maybe that’s why I’m so addicted. Although this world and our lives as we know it seem to change in the blink of an eye, you can still always go to a concert and re-live the past. Nostalgia is a hell of a drug.