Saturday, February 14, 2015

Be Here Now

Throwing Copper  by Live was such a pivotal album in my life. It represents the time I was growing up, beginning to understand the world, and really listening to the soul inside of music. While bands such as Dave Matthews were a part of that era, I've consistently gone to see him play. Live is a time capsule - a band I saw in my youth with the world ahead of me. Until Friday, February 13th, 2015, I had not heard one of their songs performed on stage since 1997.

1994 listening to Live versus seeing Ed Kowalczyk, the former lead singer of Live in 2015 can be described as a complete 180. While sipping red wine by candlelight, I shared a table with others who were also high school grads in the 90's. We were taken back to 1994 for the show opener - and quickly admitted that 1994 was filled with the very low of life, and at the same time, the very groundbreaking.  The video began with the Times Square countdown at New Years, and then showed grainy footage of OJ Simpson, Kurt Cobain, Nancy Kerrigan, the Northridge earthquake, Rwanda. To better our downtrodden souls at that point, we were shown video of new South African president Nelson Mandela and the signing of the Kremlin accords between Clinton and Yeltsin before going back to the ball dropping in Times Square ...1994.

Ed looks incredible - that must be said first. Our generation has aged very well. It was just Ed on guitar with a dual mic set and one other guitarist, Zak Loy. Just as we had twenty years prior, we heard those opening guitar notes and echoes of The Dam at Otter Creek...the haunting repeat of be here now and it was on. Throwing Copper in full was ours - acoustic.

The Dam at Otter Creek
Selling the Drama
I Alone
Lightning Crashes
All Over You
Shit Towne
Pillar of Davidson
White, Discussion

Every note and every word came back easily. The Dam at Otter Creek is a song about living in the now - irony that we were there to relive our youth. Each song brought a reaction - a reminder of where we were back then.

1994 was still a time of innocence. When we heard the first sad chords from Lighting Crash, it took me back to when that innocence was lost. This was the song that was used in constant rotation following the Oklahoma City Bombing. This song definitely brought tears to many people's eyes. It was still as hauntingly beautiful as when I used to listen to it in my bedroom.

And on the album went - every song just as we remembered it. Hearing TBD live is always a treat. It' s a very emotional song about death and really more about living to that point.

Once the final notes of Horse were played - we were promised more. And wow, Ed delivered.

Lakini's Juice  
All That I Wanted
The Beauty of Gray  
The highlight for me was from the 1991 freshman album, Mental Jewelry. I had gone into the night wanting to hear either The Distance or The Beauty of Gray. Wish granted when I heard those first few notes of Beauty.
                                                                                                 My clip from 2/13.
 The video is from MTV Unplugged in 1995.
It was great to relive such an important part of my life. A time where the world had not yet completely changed. Looking back twenty years, I can't be more happy of where I'm at now and to know how far I have trekked since those days. And to follow Live's advice, I am in full appreciation to Be Here Now. 

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