Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Collective Soul

I know that a rock band might seem like an odd choice for the subject of a blog post on a Mommy blog, but hear me out.  This band is not only my favorite, but has become so indelibly woven into the fabric of my life over the years that I just had to document it to share with the world.

It all started in 1997.  I was 16 years old, and a huge concert called Rockfest '97 was taking place at the Texas Motor Speedway, just a few hours south of where I was living at the time (Ada, OK).  It ended up being an epic experience for so many reasons, but the most lasting thing that came out of it was my love for the band Collective Soul, which I hadn't really known about until the event.


After the concert, I purchased their latest album, Discplined Breakdown, and immediately fell in love.  The obsession was born.

The very early days of social media led me to discussion board and email groups full of other CS fans.  I even met and began corresponding with a couple of friends in Oklahoma who were equally as passionate as I quickly became.  We later met in person and became good friends, and though we've all gone our separate ways, we're still in touch today - thanks to Facebook, of course!

So far sounds like a pretty typical fan experience, right?  I've seen them in concert at least 9 times, all across Texas and Oklahoma.  Every time has been equally amazing.  I've attended free concerts at festivals, seen them play at college stadiums and arenas, and even at least one venue that no longer exists.  One of the coolest experiences was getting to take promo photos of them when they played the venue at the Citizen Potawatomi Nation's FireLake Grand Casino.  My dad happens to be in charge of Public Information for the tribe, and we were allowed to stand right in front of the stage and take pictures with fancy cameras for the first couple of songs. 

But the coolest part of it all (even cooler than meeting the band) has been how their music has been weaved into the very fabric of my life.  Collective Soul has become my soundtrack.

  • When I married my husband, I walked down the aisle to an instrumental piece, called Pretty Donna, from CS' first album. 
  • Our first dance as husband and wife was to Adored, from their album Afterwords.
  • When my father died, the song I selected for his service was Hymn for My Father, from their latest album, nicknamed "Rabbit" for the cover art, but officially self-titled.
  • When my son was born, the first song I had them play in the birthing room was Tremble for My Beloved, which the band's lead singer wrote for his own son.

Not only that, but when I was newly pregnant with my son, I had the pleasure of seeing the band perform at House of Blues in Dallas - just a mile away from our home.  And to put the cherry on top, Mr. CityLove and I have tickets to see them perform at the same venue two weeks from Sunday - so this baby will get to go to a CS concert in utero just like his/her big brother did!

Collective Soul has definitely been a huge part of my life over the last 15 years, and I hope I can pass along a love and appreciation for their music to my children.  Either that, or they'll just roll their eyes and laugh at me for listening to such "old-fashioned music."  We'll see!