Saturday, April 26, 2008
Red Robinson Theatre
Coquitlam, BC Canada
***Live Review & All Photos By Lord of The Wasteland
Upon first hearing that Live was hitting Vancouver, I thought to myself, “It will be great to hear the hits from THROWING COPPER and SECRET SAMADHI.” But once I started researching for this show, I realized the nineties’ college/alt-rock heroes had released studio albums since the last I had heard of them with 1999’s grossly underrated, THE DISTANCE TO HERE. With the original lineup still in place, I was curious how reliant the band would be on the two albums that made the Pennsylvania veterans a household name in the mid- to late nineties with such staples as “Lightning Crashes,” “All Over You” and “Lakini’s Juice.”
Never ones to really shine on the star radar (I defy anyone outside diehard Live fans to even name another band member besides vocalist Ed Kowalczyk), a still-unassuming Live hit the stage to throngs of people, like myself, in their mid-thirties who undoubtedly had THROWING COPPER on near-constant rotation through 1995 and 1996. Second guitarist (and brother of Ed) Adam Kowalczyk completed the touring lineup with Chad Taylor (lead guitar), Patrick Dahlheimer (bass) and Chad Gracey (drums) remaining from the original band. It is worth mentioning this lineup has remained unchanged since the mid-eighties, which is no small feat, and while Live’s place in the modern rock world may not be what it once was, this is still an excellent group of musicians who are releasing viable music to this day.
To their credit, Live did a fantastic job of assembling a career-spanning setlist stretching from 1991’s MENTAL JEWELRY up to 2006’s SONGS FROM THE BLACK MOUNTAIN. Naturally, the hits were all here and garnered the biggest response but “Mirror Song,” “The Dolphin’s Cry” and a darkly enigmatic cover of Johnny Cash’s “I Walk The Line” were warmly received, as well. The gargantuan opening chords of “Lakini’s Juice” still give me chills and “Lightning Crashes” (along with its creepy video) remains a powerful ballad and the band’s best-known song. “Selling The Drama,” “All Over You” and the stellar album cut, “Waitress,” showcased the finest moments of the monstrous THROWING COPPER but SECRET SAMADHI was sadly underrepresented (no “Rattlesnake” or “Turn My Head”?) and 2001’s V was completely omitted. Surprisingly, a good deal of the crowd was familiar with the band’s newer material, too, which had to make the band feel good knowing people weren’t there just to hear THROWING COPPER played front to back.
All Over You
The Dolphin’s Cry
They Stood Up For Love
Selling The Drama
I Walk The Line
The Beauty of Gray
Run To The Water
Live has been off most music fans’ radars for the better part of a decade but you wouldn’t know it based on the performance and turn out at this show, especially considering the band played the area just nine months earlier. It’s nice to see that a band like Live still has the chops and drive to get out and play more than just the hits because these guys always struck me as being above the MTV treacle with classy albums that were lyrically thought-provoking and didn’t pander to the trends. While they may not be churning out radio staples anymore, there is much to be said for a band like Live that still carries a devoted fanbase with it long after the mainstream press has considered them obsolete.
***Thanks to Donnie at Great Canadian Casinos for the press pass.