20th Anniversary Celebration Done Right: Ed Kowalczyk at City Winery (February 28, 2015)

City Winery is packed to the brim. On stage is a screen with seven candles burning. The lights go out and news clips from 1994 are shown on the screen; the infamous OJ Simpson Ford Bronco chase scene, Bill Clinton with accusations of sexual harassment and Kurt Cobain’s suicide. The final clip is the release of Throwing Copper, the second album by Live. Tonight, Ed Kowalczyk, accompanied by a guitarist, will play the entire album in order. “No Spotify shuffle,” Kowalczyk says.

As the first song begins, the fans experience a tingle down their spines. When an album has been around for 20 years, it becomes a part of you. The familiarity of the chords and the lyrics sink into your soul. Being able to hear these songs performed live for the first time is a magical moment. The audience sings along to the whole album and are completely silent during the instrumentals. There is something about the music you listen to during your teenage years that can’t be matched. Like your first love, you’ll never forget how it makes you feel. Even though you have heard “I Alone”, “Iris”, and “Lightning Crashes” countless times, they still sound fresh. Before you know it, the music has stopped, the album is a wrap and the musicians have left the stage. The applause is constant until they return.

For the encore, a mix of Kowalczyk’s solo material and Live songs from other albums are played. While these other songs are great, there is quite a different feeling in the room during this portion of the night. The emotional intensity of Throwing Copper is tough to follow. Throwing Copper truly does deserve a 20 year anniversary celebration and this performance was a fantastic exhibition of this golden album.

Setlist: http://www.setlist.fm/setlist/ed-kowalczyk/2015/city-winery-chicago-il-43cba7d3.html


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