Collective Dreams

Since the elimination of a vocalist and the addition of keyboardist Jonathan Lopez, Collective Dreams has entered instrumental territory. It is impossible to sum up Sunday night’s performance in one word. Hell, it’s difficult to choose which of the myriad of remarks Collective Dreams inspired to include in this review.

Besides hitting the stage almost an hour later than scheduled (a major turn-off in this city’s music scene, but expected), the quintet stunned the diverse crowd, ranging from blond, cardigan-clad ’tweens to Lone Star swiggin’ twenty-somethings. An intense prelude complete with homemade synchronized lights could have spurred a seizure in the nearest epileptic. Although it was a solid opening, technical difficulties were already on the horizon.

Providing a smooth transition, the gentle tides of “Fighting the Undertow” contrasted well with the amped-up intro. “Little Fingers” had the diehards in the front lifting their beers in the air and bouncing in place. What began as another mellow head-nodder developed into a last minute dance party. Too bad that crowd pleaser lasted no longer than two minutes, at best. While guitarist, Caleb Barber worked out some technicalities, Drummer Travis Hildenbrand finally introduced the band… or attempted to. Short of a microphone, Hildenbrand shouted a thank you to the crowd and a few more wor330 Eds obscured by buzzing conversation.

Soon enough the band was back with fan favorite “Breathing Someone Else’s Air.” The sound differed from the rest of the set with a faster tempo and pop vibe. Unfortunately, many of the following songs were marred by a sound snafu. During “Zanzabar” and “Snow Crab Beach Party,” guitarist Albert Salinas couldn’t veil his expression of dismay, furrowing his brow and straining to investigate his surroundings. Things were not going as planned, with Salinas’ hands moving but no sound following. Luckily, by “Greg’s Song,” the band’s closer and memorial to a late friend, all was audible and ended on a tender, totally in tune note.

Unfortunately for Collective Dreams, this show was full of ups and downs, and not just because of their build and release approach to songcraft. Luckily, live performance glitches are no match for the group’s waves of sound. What Collective Dreams lacked in stage presence, they made up for with captivating melodies and crafty lighting.

Collective Dreams
Sun, Oct 10
Sam’s Burger Joint
330 E Grayson
(210) 223-2830