Years ago, while attending one of Europe’s largest festivals (Roskilde Festival) I was lucky to experience an awesome band. Some parts of the evening are still a little blurry, but based on what I read in the news, I was joined by 59,987 people in front of the main stage. The band was none other than the American band ‘Live‘.
It was a great concert; music blaring from the oversized sound system, pounding the audience with Americana rock, while the super cool lead singer jumped around on stage with his enthusiasm and love for the music they were sharing with the crowd.
Fast forward almost a decade, and a lot of things happens in a decade, and among these the band ‘Live‘ decided to call it a day and I was left with a void in my music collection.
I had successfully collected all their albums and enjoyed the fantastic lyrics and rhythms daily, and now these dudes for Pennsylvania just decided to leave the stage; how would I be able to enjoy ‘Live‘ live again?
Well, I actually think the band decided to take a short break, but unfortunately some strange legal disputes started filling the media. Despite the band ‘Live; being back in business, I somehow doubt that it will be with the original cast. It will never be the same without him. It’s never easy to break up!
To my delight, the cool lead singer from ‘Live‘, Ed Kowalczyk, started a solo career and my living room would again be filled with chilling tunes and lyrics.
One day, mid 2012, I discovered that Big Ed was touring the US and he just happened to stop by a venue only 10 miles from my house. It was a given, I had to go see him, and thankfully persuaded my missus to join me.
The venue was much smaller this time and the concert much more intimate. We were only 200 people, mostly fans I suppose, and it was only Ed and a base player on stage. He played his new stuff, but also impressed us with acoustic versions of the ‘Live‘ songs too.
After the show I managed to get a lyric sheet for my favourite ‘Live‘ song and shook Ed‘s hand. It was pretty weird suddenly standing face-to-face with this legend, but yet VERY cool.
I’m fairly certain my wife had a wonderful evening and that she enjoyed the music. The pre-concert dinner was a romantic neo lit Subway, where we held hand and shared a bottle of bubbly (coke).
A few months ago, Ed arrived back in NYC and we had to go again. This time I splashed a little more on the pre-concert dinner and the actual venue was even smaller. I estimate no more than 125-150 people gathered around a small stage in the corner, where Mr. Ed K shared his new songs, old songs and a few cover songs.
It was an awesome experience sitting among fellow fans while Ed K sang his chilling lyrics; just him and his guitar. Nobody jumped on stage, people appreciated the music, sat back, sang along and encouraged Ed to play more songs.
There’s something magical attending such a private concert. You are no longer just part of the audience, but part of small group of friends brought together by the musk you love. I even shook the guy’s hand who was sitting next to us, when we left, and it wasn’t even awkward 🙂
Another amazing happened that evening, I finally found the name for the music genre I’ve enjoyed for decades – it’s called Americana.
I’m going to see him again, that’s for sure, and I might even get to see him in his hometown York, PA – that would be ‘All that I wanted‘ 🙂
Keep writing these awesome songs/lyrics Ed; it has been an absolute pleasure and honour to be part of the recent concerts and I’m amazed with the passion you perform.