After a two month hiatus, RizzoMusic is back and today I have something to report back from my summer travels.

This summer I spent some time in the Big Apple, New York City. Over two months, and I only managed to get to one concert. Luckily for me it was a great one. I saw Collective Soul and Live play at the Hammerstein Ballroom on July 30th. This wouldn’t be the first time I’ve seen these bands live in concert but it was surely a concert I would never forget.

Fortunately for me, I was able to go for free. RizzoMusic’s first sponsor,, was able to provide me with enough funds to go to a concert of my choice, free of charge. It was too good of a deal for me to pass up. After much debate I decided on Live and Collective Soul, two bands that I have seen before individually and together. Having a great respect of their newest releases, Songs from Black Mountain, and Afterwords, respectively, I knew that it would be a great show.

First I am going to give a little review of RazorGator’s services before I get into actually reviewing the concert. RazorGator is a ticket marketplace where anyone can post extra tickets they have for other people to buy. Their slogan is “Your Connection for Hard-to-Get® Tickets!” and unfortunately for me, the Collective Soul tickets weren’t exactly hard to get. The tickets were not sold out and retailed for about 50 dollars. The cheapest I was able to come across were 74 dollars. Not too bad but considering that you could still buy them from the box office for cheaper, there wasn’t much incentive to buy from RazorGator. RazorGator does charge for shipping and processing fees, so my total was $189.30. So for this particular concert, I can’t really say that I would recommend using RazorGator but if a concert or sporting event is sold out, they are a very good option. I ordered my tickets 2 days before the concert and they were shipped and delivered in time. One little caveat for people looking to use RazorGator’s services is that you need to be able to sign for the tickets when they come to your house. Luckily where I was living, we had a doorman so it wasn’t a problem but I could see where this could become problematic. They do give you the shipping tracking number so you can figure out about what time the package will come and I can understand RazorGator’s position in requiring a signature. They guarantee the tickets to be there on time for the event and a signature requirement ensures that the tickets were received. The process was very smooth, and overall I was happy with their service. They accept all major credit cards and everything is shipped FedEx. I even called their customer service number, and the man I talked to was very helpful. I would recommend the website for sold out concert tickets or if you’re looking for closer seats then are available. The Hammerstein Ballroom had balcony seats but I was cool with the general admission floor tickets. You can get a lot closer and everyone down there gets really into it.

Alright, now that you know how I got to the concert, I am sure you are all dying to hear how the concert was. In case you were living in a cellar throughout the 90s, Live and Collective Soul were two of the most popular rock bands of the decade. Each have had their fair share of chart topping hits, combining sales of about 20 million records in the U.S. While Live has sold more records, Collective Soul has had more #1 singles on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart.

Hana Pestle

The concert opened with an up and coming female artist, Hana Pestle. A singer/songwriter from Montana, Pestle was a surprisingly good addition to what was sure to be a great concert. Coming on stage with only an acoustic guitar, she impressed the audience with her entrancing voice. She has some serious range, and her songs were very good. I was a little disappointed when I heard that Blues Traveler, famous for “Hook” and “Run Around”, wasn’t going to open up for this concert like they have been in the past but Hana Pestle, more then made up for their void. Like most opening acts, the crowd wasn’t really into it like they were for the main act but you could tell that some were pleasantly surprised by her performance. She was upbeat and talkative, though you could tell that she felt that crowd was unresponsive. She covered the song “Creep” by Radiohead before she left the stage and the audience finally welcomed her with a rousing applause. She has the voice to make it in the business and I wouldn’t be surprised if she breaks though sooner, rather then later.

Collective Soul

Next up was Ed Roland and company. They got the crowd going by opening up with “Heavy” and never looked back. They played the usual classics, like “Shine”, “Run”, “The World I Know”, and “December”. I’ve seen them 3 times in the last three years and they never fail to play the songs that the crowd wants to hear. Since it was a shortened set because they were sharing time with Live, they only played two of their songs from their new album, the two singles, “Hollywood” and “All That I Know”. They also played one of my favorite songs to hear live, “Listen”, one of their more underrated songs. Much to my delight, they pulled one of their best songs out of the archive for this tour, “Needs”. I’ve been hoping and hoping that they would play it live one of these days and I finally got to hear it. The crowd loved it and it sounded great even without the strings. Ed gave his usual energetic performance and had everyone singing along.

Live (Band)

After about a 30 minute intermission to get things set up, Live came out and “the other Ed”, Ed Kowalczyk, got the crowd roaring with the opening song, “Simple Creed”. Like Collective Soul, Live never seems to disappoint on the classics. They turned out “All Over You”, “Heaven”, “Dolphins Cry”, “Selling the Drama”, “I Alone”, and of course “Lightning Crashes”. They ended with their bone-chilling performance of “Lightning Crashes” like they normally do but I think that their performance of “I Alone” is even better. Hearing that song live in concert is something that everyone should see before they die. They played some of the new ones including, “The River”, “Wings” and “Sophia”. Like “Needs” for Collective Soul, I was very surprised to hear “Turn My Head”; easily my favorite lesser known hit from Live. Hearing those two gems that night was well worth the ticket price. They played an awesome four song encore. Not quite the seven song encore I was able to see a few years back when they played without an opening act but very good nonetheless.

Overall, it was one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to. It was about 5 times better then the last time I saw them together in concert, mainly because it was an indoor, intimate concert. The crowd was great, the bands were great and having the equivalent of about a 4th row floor seat was amazing. Rock concerts always tend to be better when there is standing room right in front of the stage. Unfortunately I don’t have any picture as I forgot my camera but if you would like to see some, Pop Culture Madness also reviewed the concert and took a few pictures. I hope you enjoyed the review and hopefully there will be a lot of new articles in the near future. Thanks for listening.