LIVE at The Chameleon Club - April 13, 2007 Review

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22 avr. 2007, 23h36m

Fri 13 Apr – Live

The Chameleon Club holds a special place in the history of Live. The club was where the band filmed early versions of the music videos for “Operation Spirit (The Tyranny Of Tradition)” and “Pain Lies On The Riverside” from their debut album Mental Jewelry. It was also the place where the band “cut their teeth” and began to develop their onstage chemistry. Anyone who has seen or heard material from these early shows can here the sounds of a band with something to prove. After seven albums and touring all over the world, a confident and experienced Live returned to The Chameleon Club las Friday, April 13. However, confidence and experience doesn’t mean Live has grown boring with age. Live played with a level of energy and excitement that few band are able to match.

The most notable feature about Live’s onstage performance is the level of energy and passion they bring to their shows. Other bands are able to perform their music as well as or better than their studio work. Yet, the excitement of the show comes either from seeing the band in person or hearing your favorite songs preformed. With Live, it’s more than that - the audience it able to feel the passion the band has for their work. When Chad Taylor stomped his way on top of the security barrier to play his guitar solos during the stunning cover of Johnny Cash’s “I Walk The Line” and “Lakini’s Juice” or when Ed Kowalczyk leaned strait into the crowd while singing during the closer, “White, Discussion,” it’s hard not to feel the same level of energy the band has. As the crowd sang along to “The dolphin’s cry” mid-way through the show, it was apparent that Live had succeeded in working crowd up to the same level of excitement they had. Compared to their earlier shows the energy level was a bit subdued by the size of the stage. With little room for Kowalczyk and Taylor to move around, one couldn’t help but get the feeling the show would have been even better with a larger stage. At times it looks as though Kowalczyk was being held back by how little room he had to maneuver.

It wasn’t just the energy that made the show standout. Along with staples such as “Lightning Crashes” and “I Alone,” the band also took care to change up the arrangement of their songs a bit for fans. They added a longer intro to “Sofia” from Songs from Black Mountain, grafted part of U2’s “Bad” in the middle of “Iris”, and played an extended version of “White, Discussion.” They also changed up their set list by opening with “Operation Spirit,” “Pain Lies on the Riverside” and “The Beauty Of Gray” from Mental Jewelry. These songs used to be an important part of their early concerts but have disappeared from more recent shows. Live has generally played their biggest hits and fan favorites in concert. Over time, early songs get lost in the shuffle, appearing only sporadically. This can make their shows a little less exciting for fans that have seen multiple shows. The opening trio of songs and the different arrangement was a great treat for fans that have been following the band for years.

The show also had its softer moments. Fans were treated to a trip down memory lane with Taylor as he explained the importance of the club to Live. He reminisced about how the cover art photography from Mental Jewelry were taken next to the stage and how he proposed to his wife in the club. Kowalczyk also added a few stories of his own. After performing the hit “Selling The Drama” from Throwing Copper he said performing on the club’s stage reminded that it was that very spot where they was arranged song years ago. The stories added to the already special feeling of the show.

Live’s show at The Chameleon Club was an example of a band who’s onstage performance has only gotten better over the years. Live’s success and confidence hasn’t dulled the band’s ability to deliver a quality. Instead of falling into a comfort zone and performing just to perform, Live has become only more passionate on stage over time. If Friday’s show is any indication, Live is an act that genuinely gets better with time.

Grade: A

Live proves they are still playing for the fans.

- Originally published in Franklin and Marshall College newspaper, The College Reporter on April 16, 2007, which is located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

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