The 176th edition of Erie County Fair kicked off Wednesday. Two bands that hail from the south, 3 Doors Down and Collective Soul kicked off the National Grid Concert Series at the Gusto Grandstand.
3 Doors Down who formed in Mississippi in the mid nineties, headlined the show with a solid set featuring all their big hits over the years. The show marked the bands third area appearance in an eighteen month span.
The band has changed since its original formation leaving vocalist Brad Arnold as the lone original member. The band is currently made up of drummer Greg Upchurch, bassist Justin Biltonen and guitarists Chris Henderson and Chet Roberts. I took notice of this band as I saw how much each member seemed into the show. You could clearly see how each member played their instrument with style and flair. Some bands seem to go through the motions but not these guys. They were delighted to be up on that stage performing.
The band started things off slowly with top 5 ballad “Here Without You” before kicking it into gear with “Duck And Run” and “The Broken”. The band also cranked out a few new tunes from their upcoming release Us and the Night.
Other highlights of note included “It’s Not My Time” and “Loser” went over strongly with the crowd.
The band ended their brief 70 minute set with their two biggest songs in “Kryptonite” and “When I’m Gone”. As they ended the set, a fireworks show began to celebrate the end of the first day of the fair.
That band from Georgia, Collective Soul got the evening underway as they took to the stage with their smash “December”. They quickly followed with two of their heavier songs “Precious Declaration” and “Heavy”.
Front man Ed Roland was very animated as he worked the stage and the crowd during the band’s all too skimpy hour long set. This band has so many songs they can choose to play, that a short set time will not serve them justice. Not to take away anything from 3 Doors Down, Collective Soul seemed like a band on a mission as they gave it their all and took advantage of every minute of their time.
The band also has a new album due out soon entitled See What You Started By Continuing. The band gave the crowd a taste of it by playing three songs in succession from it including “This”, the lead single. The new songs fit in well with the bands older songs.
A crunching version of “Better Now” followed by “The World I Know” stood out as two of the sets finer moments.
The band closed out their time with “Run” an underrated track from their Dosage album. As the song was finishing the band left leaving Roland still playing the song on his guitar. It was unique in the way that Roland continued playing until he reached the backstage area out near the busses.
Both bands have new releases coming out by the end of the year. Judging by the new material played by both, they are sticking to the formula that brought them success. I would also have to point out at how pristine the sound was for both bands. It was the best sounding show I ever heard at this venue in all the years I’ve been the coming.
3 Doors Down
Here Without You
Duck and Run
Let Me Go
Away From the Sun
It’s Not My Time
The Road I’m On
Do It In The Dark
Behind Those Eyes
Danko (Still Alive)
Landing in London
When I’m Gone
The World I Know
Where The River Flows
Special thanks to Steve Karas from SKH Music for the credentials