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LIVE – THE ROCKING REUNION TOUR

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What do Bono, Eddie Vedder and Peter Buck have in common?

They are all influential artists of Ed Kowalczyk.

Bono from U2 for his consistency, Eddie Vedder for his emotion and unique voice. Peter Buck from REM remains the most admired and when you hear LIVE you can’t help hearing REM. The Cure, are pure original artists that had a huge influence on Ed. Stevie Ray Vaughn another attribute and Neil Young for being so bombastic. If LIVE could collaborate with any artist, it would definitely be with Peter Buck of REM. However, their ideal line-up for a kickass concert would be Talking Heads and The Smiths of which Ed will gladly volunteer to be their roadie, any day.

I attended the press conference last week where Ed Kowalczyk and Chad Taylor spoke about the LIVE reunion tour.

The story goes that the band missed each other considering their break 15 years ago, and decided it is time to rock out again and rekindle the good old days. They maintain that the band are still unmistakeable on stage. In 2016, LIVE ran a social media campaign (no official announcement on the process). The mystique of it all, the balance of emotions, a combination of PR and the band's decision resulted in an official reunion tour. How do you do a comeback? They didn’t even know and did not think they would be in South Africa so soon before heading to Australia.

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The question was asked at the press conference how they would choose the set-list, however, it depended on more about what Ed was comfortable to sing for 2 hours. It has been the 25th anniversary since the release of LIVE’S first album, Jewellery. In 1994 they released 'Throwing Copper' at the young age of 23 years old, a time when they were still figuring out how to be in a band. From playing in a night club with 200 people and in a short while playing to a packed stadium at Spectrum Arena in Philadelphia was mind-blowing. Later playing at a Woodstock festival playing in front of a million people, still leaving them in awe.

They are still around all these years later making something great, lyrically strong and the songs written 25 years ago still are still as relevant as ever. Making noise in their recording studio in their home town of Pennsylvania, was enough inspiration to get band in a room to rock out. Perfect singer/songwriter combination and the trick is to jam together and follow the band rules… that there are no rules.

They have as stronger sound on stage and it’s bigger than ever with a 6-piece band. Additional bands members, Zak Loy is one the best guitarists that has been in the band and a second drummer Adam Diaz just adds more beat alongside Chad Gracey, who Dave Grohl thinks is one of the best drummers from the 90’s.

Ed maintains he still gets goose bumps when the crowd sings back to them, especially the popular hits like Under The Water, Dolphins Cry, Heaven.

Back to the concert…..

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Menlyn on Maine in Pretoria was packed with 8000 fans for the Live Reunion Tour for a two hour set list with a night of nostalgia. The Sweet Resistance from Cape Town were phenomenal opening the stage rocking out for 30 minutes before LIVE. I cant wait to hear more material from them. They are fairly new on the music scene and making their mark quickly. I think they have an amazing future ahead of them and will be keeping my eye on them.

Then the big guns came out…. LIVE consumed everyone in the crowed opening with All Over You. Those vocals of Ed and Chad slaying it away on his Les Paul was totally thrilling. I must admit the sound rig was so powerful, I felt like my intestines were going to rupture standing in the photographer’s pit. The sound was full and the band was on fire!

Chad and Ed warned the media they were going to rock out and give SA their best. A touching addition to the set list was their tribute to iconic Audioslave’s Chris Cornell on 'I AM THE HIGHWAY'

The 2 hour set list was

  • All Over You

  • Operation Spirit

  • Pain Lies

  • Dolphins

  • Send The Drama

  • I Walk the Line (Johnny Cash cover)

  • TBD

  • Pillar of Davidson

  • Beauty of Gray

  • Shit Towne

  • Iris

  • I Alone

  • Lakinis Juice

  • White Discussion

  • Turn my Head

  • Heaven

  • Mirror Song

  • Rattlesnake

  • Run to The Water

  • I am The Highway (Chris Cornell)

  • Lightning Crashes

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LIVE took most of fans back to their varsity days. Now in their mature years, they have the same heartfelt respect for LIVE as they did all those years ago, maybe more?

A powerful and stellar performance it was, indeed trip down memory.

When Ed Kowalczyk performed in SA as a solo performance about 2 years ago, he said he would be back, next time with his band. High five and huge thank you to Andy Mac from AMP Events for another awesome concert! He really does know how to bring out some stellar performances. I can’t wait to see who is next on Andy’s your list, maybe another, Kings of Chaos, The Cure or Depeche Mode?


 

LIVE – THE ROCKING REUNION TOUR - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote
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