Three bands that dominated radio airwaves in the 1990s and 2000s have joined forces for the promising Rock and Roll Express Tour.

The bands -- headliner 3 Doors Down, Collective Soul and opener Soul Asylum -- will come to the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion at Meadowbrook on Lake Winnipesaukee tonight for a triple bill of hits, hits and more hits.

Thanks to some hard-working publicists and a lot of patient bands, I actually had the chance to talk to someone from each of the three bands over the past several weeks -- 3 Doors Down rhythm guitarist Chris Henderson, Collective Soul bassist Will Turpin and Soul Asylum lead singer Dave Pirner.

The ties that bind the band are obvious in some ways.

Henderson and Turpin told me separately that their bands are really close and that a lot of the band members have become good friends over the years, while also saying they were looking forward to seeing Soul Asylum and how much they respect Pirner.

"We've known each other for a long time," Turpin said of the camaraderie between 3 Doors Down and Collective Soul. "It's fun to catch up with those guys and to hang out with them. Plus, it will be great to see Soul Asylum.



Meanwhile, Pirner and Turpin both told me they are huge jazz fans. Pirner said he has always been a fan of Miles Davis, while Turpin said he loves both Davis and John Coltrane.

When I mentioned to Pirner that he should consider making a jazz album, he chuckled and said, "Maybe someday." It's not for lack of creative energy, as he is working on a new album.

One of the challenges for all three bands is fitting their massive catalogs of hits into a shorter set than an individual show, but those cutting-room-floor choices mean what you hear is that much better.

Suffice to say you're going to hear "Runaway Train" and "Misery" from Soul Asylum, "Shine" and "The World I Know" from Collective Soul, and "Kryptonite" and "When I'm Gone" from 3 Doors Down.

Those are the biggies, but the sets will include all of the hits, so even if you're a fan of just one or two of the bands, you're going to hear all their hits. That's the beauty of a package tour.

"You get a lot of bang for your buck," Henderson said. "You're going to get to hear a lot of music you know and love, all in one night. It's, like, four hours of music, all for one ticket."

There are tickets still available for tonight's Rock and Roll Express Tour, so book them now.