Since early July, Collective Soul has traveled the country with the Goo Goo Dolls, promoting their underrated 2015 album, “See What You Started By Continuing,” and bringing a hefty dose of nostalgia with ‘90s smashes “Heavy,” “December” and “The World I Know.”
On Sunday night opening for the Goos at Chastain Park Amphitheatre, the Atlanta band unleashed an hour of materialwith their usual intensity, most of it courtesy of frontman Ed Roland.
His energy is matched, however, by Jesse Triplett, the band’s happy mad wizard on guitar.
Roland prefaced “Shine” with the first stanza of “Amazing Grace,” seamlessly weaving the hymn into the ragged guitar lines of the Collective Soul classic, which catapulted the nearly sold-out crowd to its feet.
About halfway through the band’s hour-long set, the ever-droll Roland (who early in the show leaned toward the front tables of Chastain concertgoers and asked, “How was dinner?”) decided it was a good time for an introduction: “Good evening, we’re Collective Soul and we’re a rock band from Atlanta, Georgia.”
He also reminded the crowd that the band is still making vital music and performed something “brand spanking new,” a catchy, melodic rocker called “All Our Pieces.” The lovely “AYTA (Are You the Answer),” from “See What You Started…” also made an appearance in the set.
But Roland and the boys – brother Dean on guitar, Will Turpin on bass, Johnny Rabb on drums and Triplett on lead guitar – know that fans like comfort and familiarity and they delivered.
“Precious Declaration” hasn’t lost any of its zip in nearly two decades, while “December” was a slow-burn into a frenzy of sound and “Gel” pummeled with its punchy, staccato guitar riffs.
Through them all, Roland spun his microphone stand around the stage, hopped like a teenager and flashed peace signs at the adoring crowd.
He also had a message for the audience before the set-closing sing-along, “The World I Know.”
“Support new music,” he said, and then added emphatically, “This s*** is not free.”
Collective Soul slowly unfurls "December":