May 26, 2007

Your ’90s Nostalgia summer tour

Counting Crows is heading out on the road this summer in support of their new album coming out this fall, which is in the mixing stages at the moment. They will be reprising their double bill with Live — I saw this same pairing on the tour for This Desert Life at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, and that was just when Ed Kowalczyk was hitting his full rap-rock stride (complete with crotch-gesturing, which he has now perfected into a veritable art form).

It was actually a really good show (I remember Adam running out on stage to sing with Ed on “Dolphin’s Cry” and I think Ed returned the favor during the Crows’ set as well). If they announce another leg of this tour (nothing this far West yet) I will probably go if it isn’t too expensive.

You know I love Counting Crows, and have never really grown tired of Live. I absolutely wore out their Throwing Copper album in high school, and even though Secret Samadhi was a little uneven, they struck gold again my book with The Distance To Here. I just love their strong and soaring, melodic-rock sound.

Collective Soul and Third Eye Blind will also be joining the tour for most dates. I don’t especially ascribe to either of these groups (which is why I only have covers from them to post below), but allegedly the lead singer of 3EB is a foxy, foxy man in concert. Duritz writes, “What you may not know is that on Saturday, May 21st, 1994, Third Eye Blind played their 1st show ever, opening for Counting Crows at the historic Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco. We’ve never toured with Collective Soul before, but we’ve played festivals together and…well, they’re just a great band.”

The tour will be hitting minor-league ballparks across the nation in smaller towns and communities (speaking of which – I am going to a Colorado Sky Sox game tomorrow on a package with free food and free beer until the 7th inning . . . no better way to spend Memorial Day? ). This is an interesting idea for a tour — and just in case there was any lingering question who the primary audience now is for Counting Crows, children under 12 are free at all shows on this tour. Ha.

Einstein On The Beach – Counting Crows
They Stood Up For Love – Live
Train in Vain (Clash cover) – Third Eye Blind
Jealous Guy (Lennon cover) – Collective Soul

July 22nd – Daniel S. Frawley Stadium in Wilmington, DE

Home of the Blue Rocks
July 24th – Classic Park in Eastlake, OH
Home of the Lake County Captains
July 25th – Consol Energy Park in Washington, PA
Home of the Wild Things
July 27th – Fifth Third Field in Dayton, OH
Home of the Dragons
July 28th – Fifth Third Ballpark in Comstock Park, MI
Home of the West Michigan Whitecaps
July 31st – Jerry Uht Park in Erie, PA
Home of the Seawolves
August 1st – Dunne Tire Park in Buffalo, NY
Home of the Bisons
August 3rd – Louisville Slugger Field in Louisville, KY
Home of the Bats
August 4th – Victory Field in Indianapolis, IN
Home of the Indians
August 7th – GCS Ballpark in Sauget, IL
Home of the Gateway Grizzlies
August 8th – Drillers Stadium in Tulsa, OK
Home of the Drillers
August 10th – Sedalia, MO – without Live/Collective Soul or 3EB
August 11th – Principal Park in Des Moines, IA
Home of the Iowa Cubs
August 14th – Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, MD
Home of the Ironbirds
August 15th – Harry Grove Stadium in Frederick, MD
Home of the Keys
August 17th – Stadium in Manchester, NH
Home of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats
August 18th – New Britain Stadium in New Britain, CT
Home of the Rock Cats
August 21st – Blair County Ballpark in Altoona, PA
(“all that moisture’s gonna push off towards Altoona“)
Home of the Curve
August 22nd – First Energy Park in Lakewood, NJ
Home of the BlueClaws
August 24th – McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, RI
Home of the Paw Sox
August 25th – Dutchess Stadium in Wappingers Falls, NY
Home of the Hudson Valley Renegades
August 27th – Syracuse, NY – without Live/Collective Soul or 3EB
August 28th – Allentown, PA- without Live/Collective Soul or 3EB
August 30th – Memorial Stadium in Ft. Wayne, IN
Home of the Wizards
September 1st – Midway Stadium in St. Paul, MN
Home of the Saints
September 2nd – Newman Outdoor Field in Fargo, ND
Home of the Redhawks

May 23, 2006

Live in Concert (or, the fine art of preserving your musical credibility by keeping your shirt on)

I got to see Live in concert on Friday night in Denver, at the Paramount Theatre (which is a very cool venue, but I have to say the Paramount in Oakland will always be my first love!).

My sister and I were saying that we are kind of glad that many folks seem to have forgotten about Live (the venue was rather intimate, at only about 1500 people) because I still think they rock as hard as some of the bigger names from the ’90s, like Pearl Jam, with some great quality songs and a unmistakable soaring voice from lead singer Ed Kowalcyzk.

Live has a new CD coming out in June (or already out for you non-USAers), Songs From Black Mountain. They performed several songs off of it, and overall it seems like a strong return to melodic/anthemic form from their albums past (my two favorite are Throwing Copper and The Distance To Here) after forays into the world of rap-rock with albums like V (“Deep Enough” was a debacle I never want to see repeated: “Does he run it deep enough – yeah – to take you there?” Thanks, Ed, for your compassion for my well-being.)

As they worked their way through some of their older songs, I was reminded of how much I love them and how much I listened to them in high school. Here were some of the highlights from the setlist:

Iris (off Throwing Copper, my sister rightly commented that this song is the audio equivalent of a heart attack)

Mirror Song (from Mental Jewelry, their 1991 debut)

Heaven (this is really a great song, the closest you’ll get to church at a rock concert, with lyrics that I think are undeniably true. From 2003′s Birds of Pray.)

They Stood Up For Love (This was one of the best songs off of The Distance To Here)

Run To The Water (they did NOT play this one, but we kept wishing they would, so I will throw it on here as wishful thinking. Also from The Distance To Here)

And new ones from Songs From Black Mountain:

Mystery (a striking song, which they will apparently be playing on the American Idol finale tomorrow night) and Wings

(to hear “The River,” which I love, see this post)

Now about the title of this post. The most disturbing aspect of the show, for me, was lead singer Ed Kowalcyzk‘s over-the-top sexual posturing, swaggering, crotch-gesturing, and general badass-act. This is a far cry from the wispy, sensitive unibrow man who we first met in 1991. Yes, okay, you’re fairly cut and sweaty. That does not mean I want to see your navel as you sing “Show me your love…” I found Ed to be a distraction from the music, ESPECIALLY at the end when he actually removed his fitted tank top and performed the last song and both encores shirtless, often while thrusting his crotch in my general direction.

Yeah, that’s what I’m talkin’ about. My sister made the observation that his nipples were tiny, and looked like they were drawn on with a felt tip marker. So then I just couldn’t stop looking at them and it was just all bad. Bad, bad, I tell you.

But the music itself was stellar.

Some pics thanks to Brian and Viki.

January 9, 2006

Live: Songs From Black Mountain

The problem with being a fan of a band called “Live” is in finding information and rare material. How effective is a web search going to be using the term “live”? You get like a thousand unrelated results. Kind of like looking for information on Cake and getting baking results, but that is another story. (Someday when I am in a band, we are going to have a very unique name. Mark my words!).

So, back to Live. I was thrilled today to get email from Franz in Dorf, Austria, pointing me in the direction of some excellent Live mp3s, and I’d like to share them with you.

  • The River, highly recommended new single from the upcoming release Songs From Black Mountain (April 11, 2006). This is a complete studio version (sourced from an online stream by Epic Records).

If “The River” is any indication, I am looking forward to the new album. Two of my favorite Live albums are The Distance To Here (1999) and Throwing Copper (1994) and “The River” reminds me of their more melodic fare of those days. They kind of lost me a bit with 2001′s V, which was a little too hardcore, falling in with that rap-rock craze, and totally turned me off.

Live is doing a Canadian tour, so all my Canadian readers should consider checking them out. (The only problem with Canadian tour is that they are playing with Nickelback, and I truly cannot condone that. My apologies). I saw them at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley with Counting Crows back in ’99 or 2000, and they were excellent, even though Ed Kowalczyk reminded me a bit of Kid Rock or someone in his badass posturing of that era. Whatever. Hopefully there will be less crotch-gesturing in the current tour because the music was really excellent.

Thanks to The Live Lounge for these tracks, and again danke to Franz for pointing me in the right direction. And here’s one more bonus track:

Tagged with .
Subscribe to this tasty feed.
I tweet things. It's amazing.

Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

View all Interviews → View all Shows I've Seen →