In 2004 Collective Soul released Youth. They embarked on a long tour and in May of '05 released an EP called From The Ground Up. This is a concert from late 2005 that features the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra.
Ed Roland: vocals and guitar
Dean Roland: guitar and keyboards
Joel Kosche: lead guitar
Will Turpin: bass and percussion
Ryan Hoyle: drums and percussion
In my opinion a lot of Collective Soul's songs sound better live. For example, the intro riff to "Compliment" sounds better here when played with an electric guitar than on Dosage where it used a synthesizer. That song is one of the highlights. It's great to hear the crowd yell out the lyrics at key moments while listening to the powerful guitar work of new guitarist Joel Kosche. Another instance is with "Listen." The riff doesn't sound as electronica-like on here, which is definitely a good thing. The energy that goes along with this song is fantastic, you have to love all the drum fills.
"Counting The Days" kicks the album off. It sounds great with the orchestration. Listening to this song, it's easy to tell that every person in the crowd loves this band. Rightfully so, this is their hometown. Even "Heavy" sounds great with the orchestration. The only flaw in that one is that Joel plays the solo differently, and not as well as the original.
Throughout the years Collective Soul has made quite a few songs that included horns and strings. "Needs" is definitely a highlight on this dvd. Jampacked with emotion and great lyrics, Ed even catches the crowd off-guard slightly at the false ending. "Run" has always been a great song. It's also a perfect song to please a crowd. There's a great section for the crowd to sing and a great guitar solo to get them pumped up. "The World I Know" uses the most strings of all. Ed's singing is a little sub-par. But then again, how do you match the singing in the original recording? Even with the violins and such, this uses some very powerful guitars at the end.
The only bad section on here is in the middle. "Youth," "Crown," and "Pretty Donna" tend to drag on a little bit and don't have the same energy as the other songs. Ed does a crappy job of singing crown, but the brass section literally takes it away with a big horn solo. "Pretty Donna" doesn't even involve any CS members. The first two minutes are great, but then you just want it to end.
Once the "boring" section is over, the final 8 songs knock your socks off. "Under Heaven's Skies," utilizing the new drummer's ability, is much harder and more fun than the version on Youth. "She Said" has always been awesome, but this one includes a really cool guitar solo from Joel to perfect it. "Home" is as cheesy as ever, but is performed at it's best thanks to it being at their 'home.' Ed sings "How Do You Love" breathtakingly. The best part of the whole concert is "Better Now." Pounding bass, screaming guitar, this song has it all. It even sounds great with the orchestra. It ends up lasting about 7 minutes, since the crowd sings "The world's done shaking me down" for a long time. Every kid in the symphony stands up and dances, how could you not? After Joel's guitar solo the band leaves the stage, leaving the crowd to sing and cheer them back.
The final song is Collective Soul's very first song ever made, the masterpiece "Shine." At first Ed plays another song on his guitar and then stops and says, "Ryan Hoyle on drums, we always forget Ryan. Give it to me Ryan." And then all of a sudden you hear the signature riff. It's pretty exciting, the only bad part about the song is that Ed yells out "Hey Girl" a few times in the song when he should just say nothing at all. He leaves it up to the crowd to say the "yeahs," a wise decision. The coolest part of the whole concert is during the guitar solo when ed pulls his guitar off and chucks it at least 30 feet. So cool. Great way to end the concert.
I will have to admit that you don't even have to like Collective Soul to enjoy this. It's basically just a kick-ass concert that's impossible to not enjoy. There's plenty of bonus crap, such as the making of the Better Now video and Will interviewing the kids.