Something I did not imagine I would ever be doing is posting a new video from alternative rock radio darlings Live in this column – and one featuring all four original members, no less! I admit that, not only because I was pretty sure that Live had broken up in a manner that could only be described as ‘acrimonious,’ but also because I had heard from sources that would know that lead singer Ed Kowalczyk had kind of, well, turned into dick. I guess that Ed must have worked through his issues, because Patrick (Dahlheimer) and the two Chads (Gracey and Taylor) have accepted him back into the fold, and Live is back to making the skull-splittingly-brilliant music that, at one point in the ’90s, made them The Biggest Band in the World — at least if this clip for “Love Lounge” is any indication. Wow. Wonders truly never cease.
If you are fans of old-school Live, you will be blown away by the sonic locomotive that is “Love Lounge.” Holy shit, Ed‘s voice is in top shape, and he is still one of the sexiest, most charismatic front men in rock. You don’t even need me to tell you anything else about this song except that, aurally, Live still have it going on. “Love Lounge” sounds like no time has passed since the glory day of Throwing Copper, except that Live somehow got ever better. Visually, you’ve got a wall of golden skulls, a high roller’s poker game, and a graffiti-covered tunnel as the major back drops that “Love Lounge” plays against. And then, there’s Ed looking like a stone solid rock god. It’s not anything I thought I would see again. And yet, here it is.
Ladies and gentlemen, Live is back. Enjoy!
Chad Taylor, Ed Kowalcyck, Chad Gracey and Patrick Dahlheimer are Live
Are you perhaps craving more of my Rock Critic wit and wisdom? Then cruise on over to East Portland Blog for my revealing and candid take on Live’s version of Johnny Cash’s “I Walk The Line.” (You know, it’s the arrangement American Idol Contestant Chris Daughtry ripped off from Live and then took all the credit for!)
Last night Geoffrey and I went to see Collective Soul and Live at the Hammerstein Ballroom, because my friend Ryan plays drums for Collective Soul and he got us in for free. So don’t even start with me. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve seen Live about a hundred and fifty times since Mental Jewelry was released and every single one of their shows has blown the top of my head right off. Honestly, Live is one of the best rock bands around even if they haven’t had a hit record in ten years. I’d rather see Live in concert a million billion times than Fallout Boy or any one of those shitty modern alternative crap ass emo bands that can’t stop whining about their feelings for one second.
But one thing that really bugs me about seeing Live, well, live is that Ed Kowalczyk lets his retarded-acting younger brother, Adam, tour with the band as a rhythm guitarist, and the guy is obviously suffering from delusions of grandeur that are just way out of control. Watching Adam try to take over the stage and turn it into “The Adam Kowalczyk Show” is something that must be seen to be believed. While Live’s REAL guitarist, the understated and brilliant Chad Taylor, stands in the shadows and plays his ass off, Ed’s retarded brother charges up to the front of the stage so he can hang around with Ed, like he’s the star of the fucking band! He, literally steals the spotlight from Ed, spazzes out like a mental patient and does karate kicks like he’s Dennis Dunaway or something. It’s insane.
Here’s what I want explained to me: since when do touring guitarists that do not even record with the band take the spotlight away from a group’s iconic lead singer? If anybody deserves a spotlight it’s the guitarist, bassist or drummer in Live that helped the band sell 8 million copies of Throwing Copper, the single greatest album of the alternative era! Dude, get over yourself! You’re not even an official member of the band! You’re only up on that stage because your older, more successful, infinitely more talented and way better looking older brother feels sorry for you. Earth to Adam Kowalczyk: This is a Reality Check. Come in. Over