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Lighting things up

Collective Soul got its name from the Ayn Rand novel Atlas Shrugged, so you figure these are pretty smart fellas. But brothers Ed and Dean Roland and the gang don't let their big ol' brains prevent them from making super-catchy pop, even if the lyrics to Shine, Where The River Flows and The World I Know are a bit weightier than your average radio fare.

The Roland brothers, from Stockbridge, Ga., were forbidden to listen to rock 'n' roll growing up. Maybe the crunchy riffs and soulful singing on Blender, the band's fifth album, will help change the minds of Ma and Pa. Or maybe that duet with Elton John will make them buckle. Whatever, millions of others, according to the Billboard charts, have been listening since Shine lit things up in 1994.

Boston's Vertical Horizon is one of those "hippie" jam bands that brings the college-aged, patchouli-wearin' music lovers out in droves. The band's live shows are filled with jangly guitar, pretty acoustic numbers, and kickin' melodies.

Collective Soul and Vertical Horizon perform at 8 p.m Saturday at the USF Sun Dome, 4202 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. Tickets are $24.50 advance, $26 day of show. (813) 287-8844 or (727) 898-2100.

_ GINA VIVINETTO, Times pop music critic