Wet and rainy conditions hit Central Florida with flood advisories on Friday September 16, 2022. Universal Studios was nearly abandoned relative to this time of year with Halloween Horror Nights in full swing. None of these issues stopped concert goers heading to Hard Rock Live Orlando in Orlando, Florida to see Collective Soul, Switchfoot, and Jade Jackson. The venue was sold out, and the 3,000 fans made it to their seats just a bit soggy ready to rock.
First in front of the crowd was singer/songwriter Jade Jackson at 7:30pm on the dot. Jackson has released three albums to date, the latest in 2021. In 2017, Rolling Stone Magazine listed her as “10 New Country Artists You Need to Know.” She performed alone on stage with a microphone and her black acoustic guitar. Her five song set included a duet with Switchfoot’s, Jon Foreman, a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in The Dark.” Jade Jackson has a beautiful voice, and she was a good 30 minute warm up. She came out later to sing with Switchfoot and Collective Soul during their sets.
Jade Jackson – Vocals/Guitar
1.) Multiple Choice
4.) Dancing in the Dark (Bruce Springsteen cover)
5.) As You Run
Switchfoot hit The Hard Rock Stage with incredible energy which carried over for their complete set. Jon Foreman The lead vocalist and guitar player was captivating and funny! The band opened with “Take My Fire” and “Stars” then Jon hopped off the stage to introduce his new best friend, a young man from the audience who was seated in the first row with a Switchfoot sweatshirt. He introduced him to the crowd with the spotlight on the two of them. And just like that, he was back up on stage. To start the third song, Jon asked his brother Tim, the bass player, “What song do you want to do tonight?” and he started banging out “Sabotage” by the Beastie Boys! This was the point in the show, that if you were in attendance, the rock n roll party had officially started.
Jon Foreman was enjoying himself, and he came to the edge of the stage often. It radiated throughout the sold out crowd. Half way through the set, the band came to center stage, drummer included, to do a six song acoustic performance of well known cover songs complete with what appeared to be a concertina (a musical instrument with bellows that expand and contract, with buttons on the end). The acoustic set was intimate, and the crowd ate it up. Once that was finished, Switchfoot welcomed Jade Jackson back on stage to perform “I Won’t Let You Go” with them. Her powerful vocals really made the song special.
The fans were on their feet singing and dancing and having the time of their lives. Then, to add more fun to the show, bubble cannons went off and bubbles were floating everywhere creating smiles as far as the eye could see in the sea of happy people. This show was fun and it was evident that Switchfoot has a huge fan base.
The real surprise of this concert was the performance of Switchfoot. This journalist will be looking out for future performances as they captivated the audience as I have seen few bands capture. They captured the hearts and minds. Truly a very enjoyable set best described as Christian Rock meets Flogging Molly. Go to their show if they come near you, you will have a great time.
Jon Foreman – Lead Vocals/Keyboards/Piano/Lead Guitar/Rhythm Guitar
Tim Foreman – Bass/Backing Vocals/Acoustic Guitar
Chad Butler – Drums/Percussion
Jerome Fontamillas – Keyboards/Piano/Synthesizers/Rhythm Guitar/Backing Vocals
Boaz Roberts – Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals
1.) Take My Fire
3.) Sabotage (Beastie Boys cover)
4.) Bull in a China Shop
5.) If I Were You
6.) Where the Light Shines Through
Acoustic medley with “dukelele”
7.) Hello Hurricane
8.) Hit the Road Jack (Ray Charles cover)
9.) That’s the Way (I Like It) (KC and the Sunshine Band cover)
10.) Low (Flo Rida cover)
11.) Free Bird (Lynyrd Skynyrd cover)
12.) Free Fallin’ (Tom Petty cover)
13.) I Won’t Let You Go (with Jade Jackson)
15.) Where I Belong
16.) Meant to Live
17.) Dare You to Move (Power shut off halfway… more )
The headliner, Collective Soul took the stage at 9:52pm and immediately broke into their newest single “Cut The Cord” of their latest album Vibrating released August 12, 2022. A wild thing happened about two minutes into the song. The storm outside cut the power, and the venue went dark lit only by the limited safety lights. The bands PA system went down and there was no music. Being the consummate professional that he is, Ed Roland went to the guitar tech and grabbed an acoustic guitar as the show must go on. At first he sat on the edge of the stage, but then he decided to get closer to the crowd. He passed his guitar to a photographer in the pit and hopped down from the stage and started to play without an amplifier. Jesse Triplett then sat on the edge where Ed once was with an acoustic guitar and the two started to play. It was futile as in the full house the guitars could barely be heard. Thankfully power was restored in about five minutes and Ed returned to the stage and the show was on. Skipping the opening song, “Cut The Cord” with connotations about cutting the power, Collective Soul started the revised show with “Heavy”, the number one hit of the 1999 album, Dosage. The restart of the show appeared to have an effect on the band. But, that quickly passed as they definitely had their mojo back, and they were firing on all cylinders for the third song, “Shine.”
Ed took a break and talked to the crowd as the rest of the band exited the stage. He informed the crowd that Collective Soul has been working hard the past two years during the pandemic and have recorded three new albums. My guess is that included the album Dosage, so there are still two yet to be released. He spoke of writing a political or revolution song, but it’s love songs, songs about relationships and humanity where he pulls his inspiration, it’s in his DNA. This was his introduction to his new song, “Bob Dylan Where Are You Today,” which he played solo with just an acoustic guitar and harmonica, Ala Bob Dylan.
The twelfth song of the set was “The One I Love” by REM. Jade Jackson and Jon Foreman came and performed it with the band. Followed by two of Collective Souls’ rocking hits “Gel” and “Where the River Flows.” The show was building steam and heated up. Collective Soul ended in true Ed Roland fashion, with “Run” a song with lyrics asking the question for mankind.
Collective Soul always brings it, and leaves it all on the stage. They are great musicians and have survived for 30 years. Their songs have great lyrics that provoke thought, and with great musical composition. I am thankful WJRR in Orlando, Florida started playing their demo “Shine” back in 1993 which built an audience and got them signed by Atlantic Records.
You may reside in Atlanta, Georgia. But welcome home Collective Soul!
Ed Roland – Lead Vocals/Additional Guitars/Keyboards
Dean Roland – Rhythm Guitar
Will Turpin – Bass, Percussion/Backing Vocals
Johnny Rabb – Drums/Percussion
Jesse Triplett – Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals
1.) Cut the Cord (aborted due to power outage)
3.) All Our Pieces
6.) Better Now
7.) Bob Dylan Where Are You Today (Ed Roland solo acoustic and harmonica)
8.) She Said
9.) The World I Know
10.) Right as Rain
12.) The One I Love (R.E.M. cover) (with Jon Foreman) (also with Jade Jackson)
14.) Where the River Flows