Ed Kowalczyk formerly of LIVE, brought the house down at the Culture Room in Lauderdale this past Sunday night. Ed was touring in celebration of his former band’s most successful album to date, Throwing Copper, which celebrated it’s 20th anniversary. The album was a huge success for the band, both commercially (8 million+ in US sales) and musically, with 3 top 10 hits. He hit the stage right at 8pm with Zak Loy accompanying him on all the tracks that made LIVE, a household name, and Throwing Copper one of the best albums of the 90’s. To this day, it is still in my top 10 best albums of all time.
The album, just gets better, and better with every track as you progress through it. Ed and Zak took the stage last night, bathed in a hue of blue and just ripped right into the first track ‘The Dam at Otter Creek’ followed by the entire album in order from start to finish. All 14 tracks performed by one of the most enigmatic vocalists in rock music. Ed having left LIVE over 6 years ago has had a very successful solo career; releasing 2 full albums and he let me know during our conversation that an EP is in the works and will be released in the near future.
I was able to catch the sound check, then after, Ed and I sat down and had a cool conversation about Throwing Copper, LIVE, and what it was like going from playing 1000 seat clubs one year, to playing 15,000+ arenas the next. Ed is a really cool guy and this being my 10th LIVE/Ed K show, I knew it was going to be special. The capacity crowd at the Culture Room was filled with fans that remember when music was an experience, and it meant something. Every song from Throwing Copper was an anthem, from ‘Lightning Crashes’, to ‘Shit Towne’, ‘All Over You’ ‘T.B.D.’ the audience sand along to every song and didn’t miss a beat.
At one point, Ed made his way into the energetic crowd and sang along with several of the excited fans. Ed and Zak could’ve just come out, started playing and the crowd would have done the rest. It was an amazing night for myself, and the crowd, as well as Ed and Zak. Whenever you get to hear one of the most profound albums of your early years, played live by one of its original architects, well you are in for a musical treat. Ed sings with a passion, charisma, and emotion that most bands and artists today just don’t have. His unique sound will always be the voice of LIVE. He loves what he does and you can see it on his face as he belts out word after word to a responsive crowd, who sing in unison and in gratitude. The mutual appreciation between the crowd and Ed was really cool to see on Sunday night. If you get a chance, go see this show. If you know anything about 90’s music, then Throwing Copper is definitely on the highlight reel.
This leg of the US tour is over, having played 35 shows with most of the shows sold out. In June he hits a few towns in Europe, and then returns to the US in September for a final round of shows. It was a great night, by a great musician, and I look forward to whatever Ed has in store for us next. Always support live music!