‘Collective Soul’
reaches out to fans

For most of the summer, Collective Soul has put on several festival-type shows around the country, playing for fans of such hits as "Shine" and "December." The band stops in Hawaii this week for three dates, all in support of the 2004 release of the critically acclaimed album "Youth," and the May 2005 release of the acoustic showcase "From the Ground Up," with its stripped-down versions of favorites and lesser-known songs.

'Windows of Hope'

A benefit for Windows of Hope Family Relief Fund:

When: 4:30 p.m. Sunday; doors open at 3 p.m.

Where: Pipeline Cafe, 805 Pohukaina St.

Tickets: $35 advance, $40 at door, $130 for VIP seating

Call: 589-1999 or 896-4845

Online: www.windowsofhope.org


When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Where: Maui Arts & Cultural Center

Tickets: $35, $40, $45

Call: (808) 242-SHOW

(A portion of proceeds go toward arts education in the schools.)

Big Island

When: 6:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Kona Brewing Company

Tickets: $30, $35

Call: (808) 334-2739 or 334-1133

Guitarist Dean Roland is enthusiastic about Collective Soul's latest projects, which he talked about by phone from a tour stop in Chicago. "Music is subjective, it hits people differently, (but) I think 'Youth' is the best album we've put out."

Collective Soul took a much-needed break in 2001 after growing disenchanted with its old label, he said. "We were tired, it wasn't fun. There's no excuse for it not to be fun. Now the perspective is back."

What started out as a general string of Hawaii concert dates for Collective Soul now includes a benefit show on Oahu for the Windows of Hope Family Relief Fund. The benefit, which also includes sets by Analog and Missing Dave, is sanctioned by the charity, which provides educational opportunities such as scholarships for families of those killed on 9/11.

Local concert producer Les Hershorn, a Long Island, N.Y., native, said that as he was putting the Collective Soul dates together, he was very conscious that "one of the dates fell on Sept. 11."

It would be remiss to pass over the anniversary without note, Hershorn said, or to forget people such as Heather Ho, a former Hawaii resident and executive pastry chef at Windows on the World atop the World Trade Center. The concert honors Ho and others killed in the terrorist attacks.

Hershorn's expectations are modest: He hopes at least 1,000 people will attend. "The tour was set up not as a benefit, but a concert tour."

But in drawing from his experience as a chef and music promoter, and his connections in both the culinary and music worlds, Hershorn has planned ambitious side events, including culinary treats from participating restaurants and a live auction with items valued between $50 and $3,000.

A portion of proceeds from ticket sales and all the proceeds from the auction will go toward Windows of Hope. The auction includes items such as a signed electric guitar from Collective Soul, a Martin guitar, dolphin excursions, restaurant gift certificates and vacation packages. (Those interested in donating items for the auction should call Hershorn at 896-4845.)

But Hershorn finds himself "in the middle of another juncture" as he puts the finishing touches on the show. Now the benefit will encompass two goals -- for the 9/11 charity and to support victims of Hurricane Katrina along the ravaged Gulf Coast.

"In New Orleans, right now it is about survival," he said. "After 9/11, people in New York all have a place to live, they are re-entering society, and right now it is a different focus. It is the very definition of disaster: Emergency is unplanned."

A portion of the concert proceeds will also go to Share Our Strength, to help rebuild foodbanks in New Orleans.

Hershorn says he has an affinity for New Orleans.

"When I lived in Texas, I worked with a lot of artists out of New Orleans, zydeco and Cajun artists. Here I am working on this show, and I have a lot angst in me to figure out how to make funds work for both disasters. Because of the immediacy of the current event, it takes precedence in everyone's minds. It needs to be included."

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