Ed Kowalczyk (Full Band)
Civic Center Park
Ft. Collins, CO

We weathered the cold and drizzle to see Ed and the band’s first US date (8th date ever?). We arrived at Civic Center Park about an hour before show time, there were probably only 25 people there waiting for the show. We made our way to the barracade just left of center. As show time got closer more people showed up, there we’re about 500 people there by the time they took the stage, given the weather that’s not too bad.

I’m not sure if it was the physical stage set-up (the side fills were taking up most of the front corners of the stage) or if it Ed’s new stage set-up, but Ed is right up front by himself and the the rest of the band are all lined up together about 15′ behind him, kinda strange after seeing Live for the past 18 years with Ed, Chad and Pat (and sometimes Adam) lined up front together. Ed took the stage all in black, black pants, shirt and beanie and the band dove into Drive, a song from the upcoming Alive release from Ed. From all of the new songs played, this was my favorite, good hooks, interesting guitar parts and heavy drums. The other new songs didn’t do much for me, I enjoy the studio of Grace, but after hearing it live, it is apparent that there is a lot of post production on the studio version, the guitars sound HUGE, but live they weren’t that captivating. It was very strange seeing Live songs, especially AOY, LJ, BoG, IA and STD, without the rest of the band. I kept wanting to see Chad pounding on the drums or Chad stomping, but the new guys (especially the guitar and bass players) look like they are trying really hard to remember their parts. The drummer is the best musician of the bunch. And the guitarist tryied to add his own touches to a few songs, AOY and LC were particularly bad. It may have been the weather, but Ed’s falsetto sounded pretty rough, otherwise he sounded pretty good and looked to be having a good time. He didn’t interact with the crowd too much, but he never has. I was a little disappointed that he only played 4 new songs, out of a total of 15. I know he’s trying to please the fans, and hopefully after the album drops he will add more Ed solo songs to the setlist and take away some of the heavier Live songs (they just don’t fit very well with his solo sound and the new band just doesn’t measure up to the Chads and Pat).

We stuck around afterwards to see if Ed and the band would come out to meet the fans. Ed came out afterward to meet with a few fans that stuck around in the cold drizzle. He was the most personable I have seen him in a long, long time. He chatted with people, took picts and signed stuff for everyone that was there.

I read on FB that he (and maybe a few other band members) played a few songs at a bar after the show. My wife and I were a few doors down eating dinner and had no idea it was going on. Bummer.

This review may seem a pretty negative, but I enjoyed seeing Ed, glad I went and will see him when/if he comes back through town. But it just isn’t Live, the vibe is very different, not bad, just different. It should be different, if it did sound like Live, Ed would be doing himself a disservice, he needs to go out and make a name for himself and his sound.

Set list:

01. Drive
02. All Over You
03. The Distance
04. Just In Time
05. The Great Beyond
06. Selling The Drama
07. The Dolphins Cry
08. Drink (Everlasting Love)
09. Lakini’s Juice
10. I Alone
11. Grace
12. Heaven
13. Lightning Crashes
14. The Beauty Of Grey
15. Dance With You