Collin Raye Delivers Passionate, Fun Set Of Classic Songs In Nashville

Iconic country star showcases immense vocal talent on wide variety of classic rock songs to a packed audience.

In early January, Multi-Platinum country star Collin Raye announced that he would be playing a special show at Nashville’s 3rd & Lindsley  with his band the Riff Raff. The goal of this show was to simply have fun, with an audience joining in on all of it, where he would perform not a long set from his 13 albums or 21 Top 10 hits but a set of songs that inspired him to be a singer in a first place. With just three rehearsals under their belt Collin and his band, The Riff Raff launched into their show, A Salute to Classic Rock.

And what a show it was as the band proved the special nature of seeing such a show in Nashville where top flight musicians bring to any music that they do. Over the course of three plus hours, the band performed two sets, one set saluting American Classic Rock and the second saluting Classic Rock from “across the pond.” Each set featured 15 songs from the likes of Tom Petty (“Running Down A Dream”), Jackson Browne (“Run-in On Empty”), The Eagles (“Hotel California”), Billy Joel (“Vienna”), Joe Walsh (“Rocky Mountain Way”) and of course Bruce Springsteen (“Born To Run”), among others from the USA set. There were a few surprises in this set including a spirited “Devil Went Down To Georgia” (where Collin rightly reminded the audience that the Charlie Daniels Band was a rock band way before they became a household mainstream country band later on) and Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out,” something I would’ve NEVER guessed would be on such a playlist but it makes sense and it is, too, classic rock.  

Collin and the Riff Raff’s second half of the show included a pair of Beatles songs, songs from Elton John (“Rocket Man” among them), Led Zeppelin, Jethero Tull, Rod Stewart, the Rolling Stones (“Brown Sugar,” a song Collin once recorded for a tribute album), Queen, and a closing pair of songs from The Who, songs Collin said were put at that part of the show because they were the hardest to replicate (Have YOU tried to sing like Roger Daltrey or play drums like Keith Moon or guitars like Pete Townsend?). The actual closer was The Beatles “I Saw Her Standing There.” This set had a few surprises starting with “Comfortably Numb,” the Pink Floyd song which brought a standing ovation from the crowd while Fleetwood Mac garnered coverage on BOTH sets due to the band’s US and UK citizenry. Also, the newest song in the set, Mike + The Mechanic’s “The Living Years” was a song (much like Vienna), which fit Collin Raye’s voice like a glove and was perhaps the most-surprising song in the set but it is well over 30 years old at this point (and one of my personal favorite songs of all time). It should also be noted that Collin allowed his band to take moments to showcase their own talents with both his drummer and fiddle/mandolin player taking lead vocals on a pair of tracks.

Overall, this show, which Collin hoped to replicate at least once a month in the future, is definitely worthy of seeing. The show, which was my first live show since the pandemic started in 2020, brought a smile to my face the entire night (when I wasn’t singing along). Collin promised that future versions of “A Salute To Classic Rock” would not be the same as this first show as there are too many great songs to not showcase them for all to hear. If you’re not from Nashville and you come for a visit, you should really check out a show at the venue, 3rd & Lindsley, as it’s one of the best clubs in Nashville to see a show that has both great sound and an intimate feel to the venue. As soon as I hear about another one of these shows from Collin Raye and the Riff Raff, I’m gonna circle the date on my calendar and go see what they have on their setlist and see which songs they pull off surprise and delight me the most.

Set list/ First Set: Salute To USA Classic Rock:

  • "Running Down A Dream" - Tom Petty
  • "Big Shot" - Billy Joel
  • "Redneck Friend" - Jackson Browne
  • "Running On Empty" - Jackson Browne
  • "Go Your Own Way" - Fleetwood Mac
  • "Roll Me Away" - Bob Seger
  • "Get Out Of Denver" - Bob Seger
  • "Hotel California" - The Eagles
  • "Rhiannon" - Fleetwood Mac
  • "The Devil Went Down To Georgia" - Charlie Daniels Band
  • "Vienna" - Billy Joel
  • "You May Be Right" - Billy Joel
  • "Rocky Mountain Way" - Joe Walsh
  • "School's Out" - Alice Cooper
  • "Born To Run" - Bruce Springsteen

Second Set: Salute To UK Classic Rock:

  • "Get Back" - The Beatles
  • "Brown Sugar" - The Rolling Stones
  • "Dancing Days" - Led Zeppelin
  • "Rocket Man" - Elton John
  • "Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)" - Elton John
  • "Comfortably Numb" - Pink Floyd
  • "You Make Lovin' Fun" - Fleetwood Mac
  • "Tie Your Mother Down" - Queen
  • "Locomotive Breath" - Jethero Tull
  • "The Living Years" - Mike + The Mechanics
  • "Maggie May" - Rod Stewart
  • "Hot Legs" - Rod Stewart
  • "Baba O'Reilly (Teenage Wasteland)" - The Who
  • Won't Get Fooled Again" - The Who


  • "I Saw Her Standing There" - The Beatles