I went to Saturday's concert with the atlanta symphony youth orchestra. needless to say, it was awesome. there was a brief opening act, an old friend of Ed's (really wish i could remember his name). then the band kicked things off with the orchestra, beginning with counting the days. there were a lot of songs i was expecting and really looking forward to being performed with an orchestra (like december, run, and the world i know... mostly the really good songs that were recorded originally with a quartet), but the symphony infused new life into some songs i hadn't really thought about. they never sounded out of place, even on songs like heavy or gel.
the most touching run of songs came about halfway through the show. the band stepped offstage, and runners setup for a quartet. four musicians stepped out of the orchestra and formed a quartet center stage. they then began to play pretty donna, a song i hadn't even dreamed about hearing live. about halfway through the song, the entire orchestra joined in. then ed came back out, and performed how do you love with the orchestra. following that, as a tribute to his dad, ed performed crown with the orchestra. will also played percussion on the song. at the song's end, dean came back out, kissed ed on the head, and the band moved on to the next song.
the rest of the show was like the beginning, lively and energetic. the band ended their show with home, playing with the orchestra and having the audience sing along. then, the encore. dedicated to ed's son, the band played satellite. then they closed with shine, of course. the audience got really into it, and at the end, when they get to sing the chorus on their own, it was obvious. the band finished and let the audience keep going, but we didn't really know when to stop. the band just kinda stood there watching us, and finally, while we continued singing, ed sorta laughed and walked offstage. finally the chanting of "heaven let your light shine down" died off and was replaced with cheering and applause.
the band was really awesome, and the orchestra was superb. the kids did a really good job. some of them even had to give up their prom to perform that night. i was really impressed, and they deserve a lot of recognition for the show.
both shows, saturday and sunday, are being recorded. the double-cd and the dvd, titled Home, should come out in october. i can't wait to get them. this was a really great return to their own home, and an awesome collaboration with the youth of atlanta. it's good to see collective soul back in action and so alive and doing what they do.