It was a night of nostalgia, a night where three bands known as 3 Doors Down, Collective Soul, and Soul Asylum brought the good vibes, while their hits flooded our memories during a time when we could unabashedly sing at the top of our lungs in our car as we gathered up our loved ones on that magical journey. Through their songs, they reminded us that sometimes it’s not the destination, but the journey along the way that we remember. Recently, 3 Doors Down, Collective Soul, and Soul Asylum brought the “Rock & Roll Express Tour” to The Armory in Minneapolis, Minnesota to a crowd of approximately 5,000 people, and let me tell you, The Armory is going to be a premiere venue in the United States.
The Armory is located in close proximity to US Bank Stadium, which is home to the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings. This venue holds approximately 9,000 people, and it has the feel of looking like an old train station mixed with this mega nightclub atmosphere. On the ground level, the bar seemed never ending as there were liquor bottles of virtually every type of liquor that a person can think of, with employees dressed to the 9’s, which provided that intimate feeling along with that big arena atmosphere. The acoustics in the venue were impeccable as the sound was crisp and the show went off without a hitch. The security guards were even friendly as they mingled with the crowd as if they were part of the experience. Minneapolis’s own Soul Asylum was the first band to take the stage.
To tell you the truth, with Soul Asylum being a hometown band, I expected more of a crowd response, however, they had to provide that little something extra in order to make sure that the crowd was warmed up for the main attractions tonight. One thing I learned about Soul Asylum is that they have been around since 1983 and Dave Pirner has been a mainstay with the band. Currently, they have Pirner on guitars/vocals, Michael Bland on drums, Winston Roye on bass, and Ryan Smith on lead guitars. They ripped through their hits including “Freaks”, “Misery”, “Somebody To Shove” and closed off the set with “Runaway Train” and “Hopped Up Feelin'”. The crowd especially sang along to their massive hit “Runaway Train” and the got a rousing ovation, which indicated that they warmed up the crowd for the main attractions tonight. Collective Soul was the next band to take the stage.
Georgia’s own Collective Soul was the next to take the stage. They brought the energy and enthusiasm to the Minneapolis crowd. Frontman/keyboardist Ed Roland brought his somewhat unpredictable antics along with his no-filter attitude to the stage with the rest of the band in tow. Collective Soul immediately had the crowd in the palm of their “collective” hands as they poured through their extensive catalog of hits. They are one of those bands when you see them, you’re there to hear their songs “Shine” and “December”, however as they pour through their catalog, you turn to your friends and exclaim, “I DIDN’T KNOW THEY SANG THAT SONG TOO”. They started off their killer set with “Climb Every Mountain” and “Now’s The Time”, before Ed Roland got to his keyboard, sat down and played that scintillating arrangement to their mega classic “Shine”. Ed sang with intimacy and passion as if this was the first time he was singing this song, while the band just absolutely rocked through the song. While taking photos, I had goosebumps the whole time while they played that song. The lights and the backdrop of their music videos or their discography where that hit came from only added to the nostalgic feeling, you know, the time where we had to wait until that certain date to pick up the album. I still miss that feeling where you got the album on release day and you couldn’t unwrap the cellophane quickly enough to jam out to it. Collective Soul performed the songs that people came to hear such as “Why Pt. 2”, “Heavy”, “Precious Declaration”, “December”, “The World I Know”, before closing off their wonderful set with “Where The River Flows” and “Run”.
3 Doors Down brought the spirit of America to the evening. It has been well-documented that this band received some flak for performing at President Trump’s inauguration, however, they’re a band that has always stayed true to who they are and that they always remember their Mississippi roots. Plus, 3 Doors Down is a band that just writes good songs that people can immediately connect through because chances are, you’ve also been through what 3 Doors Down has been through. Guitarists Chris Henderson and Chet Roberts definitely provided the attack in the riffs with the opener “Duck And Run”, while esteemed frontman Brad Arnold crooned his way through the song while whipping the crowd into a frenzy. The riffs, Arnold’s voice coupled with the pulsating rhythm section composed of Greg Upchurch on drums and Justin Biltonen on bass, the crowd was ready to sing along to the classics by 3 Doors Down.
After “Time Of My Life”, the crowd, along with myself sang as loud as I could remember with their smash hit “It’s Not My Time”, and it legit brought a tear to my eye because the song is such a feelgood song, and you could tell the band was fighting not to be overcome with emotion due to the crowd response of that song, and you could tell that they certainly kicked it up a notch while performing that song. It was truly one of the best concert moments that I remember in awhile.
3 Doors Down was relentless with hit after hit, and while standing in the back so I can take the band in, I saw couples slow dancing to “Be Like That”, which was an ode to Brad’s family. Along with the ode to family, 3 Doors Down brought their ode to the National Guard and America with the songs “Citizen/Soldier”, “Still Alive” and the Charlie Daniels Band cover of “In America”. It was coupled with the American flag on stage, along with action figures of Incredible Hulk and Captain America at a mic stand, which got me to chuckle. The crowd sang so loud to “Loser” and “Kryptonite”, before the encore was amazing with “Here Without You” and “When I’m Gone”.
At the end of the night, my generation felt like it was back in the high school and college years all over again. The songs by 3 Doors Down, Collective Soul, and Soul Asylum allowed our memories to be flooded when times were relatively innocent and when the songs just flat out made us feel good. Luckily, there is a second leg of this tour that goes through the summer before wrapping up in the fall. Check out the dates below. An * indicates no Soul Asylum.
Friday, August 3rd- Clearfield County Fair in Clearfield, Pennsylvania *
Saturday, August 4th- Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo, Michigan
Tuesday, August 7th- Michigan Lottery Amphitheater in Sterling Heights, Michigan
Wednesday, August 8th- Rose Music Center in Huber Heights, Ohio *
Friday, August 10th- Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion in Gilford, New Hampshire
Saturday, August 11th- PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey
Tuesday, August 14th- The Amphitheater at Bald Hill in Brookhaven, New York
Thursday, August 16th- Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut *
Saturday, August 18th- Seneca Niagara Hotel & Casino in Niagara Falls, New York *
Sunday, August 19th- Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey *
Tuesday, August 21st- Pier Six Pavilion in Baltimore, Maryland *
Wednesday, August 22nd- White Oak Amphitheatre in Greensboro, North Carolina
Friday, August 24th- Ascend Amphitheater in Nashville, Tennessee
Saturday, August 25th- Heritage Park Amphitheatre in Simpsonville, South Carolina
Thursday, September 6th- Tachi Palace Casino in Lemoore, California *
Friday, September 7th- Pearl Concert Theater @ Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada *
Saturday, September 8th- Harrah’s Resort Socal in Funner, California *
Tuesday, September 11th- Fillmore Auditorium in Denver, Colorado *
Wednesday, September 12th- Utah State Fair in Salt Lake City, Utah *
Friday, September 14th- Inn of the Mountain Gods Casino in Mescalero, New Mexico *
Sunday, September 16th- Comerica Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona *
Saturday, October 27th- Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in Cherokee, North Carolina- 15th The Better Life Foundation Concert *
For tickets and further information, click here!