The reunited original line-up of +LIVE+ triumphantly returned to the road in 2017 to open an exciting new chapter. It’s one that continues to take the iconic and multi-platinum band—Ed Kowalczyk (vocals, guitar), Chad Taylor (guitar, backing vocals), Patrick Dahlheimer (bass) and Chad Gracey (drums, percussion)–around the world to headline stages and perform at major festivals. Performing with both fire and emotional heart, they’ve reminded music audiences worldwide how potent and electrifying they are as a live act, playing songs from albums that have sold over 22 million copies worldwide (including two number one albums, Throwing Copper and Secret Samadhi).
Most recently, in 2019, +LIVE+ joined forces with Bush for a high-powered co-headline summer and fall arena and amphitheater tour, “The ALT-IMATE Tour,” with both bands celebrating the 25th anniversary of their respective landmark albums, LIVE’s Throwing Copper and Bush’s Sixteen Stone. Throwing Copper reached #1 on the Billboard Top 200 and eventually surpassed sales of 10 million albums sold with Rolling Stone honoring the album with placement on their list, “1994: The 40 Best Records From Mainstream Alternative’s Greatest Year.” A new deluxe 25th anniversary edition of Throwing Copper was released in July 2019 via Radioactive/Geffen/UMe and featured the single “Hold Me Up,” recorded for the Throwing Copper sessions and making its first appearance on this reissue. The band also partnered with the Southern California-based brewing company Alosta Brewing for the creation of the band’s first craft beer “Throwing Copper Ale.”
“It’s an amazing feeling to know that these songs still resonate so profoundly with people,” says Ed Kowalczyk. “And I still totally get off on celebrating this music with them. With Throwing Copper, we were taking on big things with a big sound. Love, truth, birth, death, philosophy, religion, spirituality…we were asking the perennial questions and poking around for answers with this massive and dynamic sound. It attracted people from all over the world. We were inviting them to imagine that rock and roll could be a valid forum for exploring these types of things…we built it and they came.”
In 2019, +LIVE+ performed a total of 71 shows including a sold-out European tour and festival appearances. The band’s onstage dynamism was noted by Billboard:
“Kowalczyk, who looked like a shamanistic Stanley Tucci with his necklace and flowing black shirt, is a roaring tenor who commands the stage with his passion and spirited dancing. Taylor and Dahlheimer, with their facial hair, fedoras and sunglasses, flanked Kowalczyk throughout the night like a modern ZZ Top. They are a tight group and hits like ‘All Over You,’ ‘Shit Towne’ and ‘I Alone’ stood out in the set as the members moved around the stage…”
— Mick Stingley, BILLBOARD, 6/7/2019
More recent background on +LIVE+:
- In 2018, +LIVE+ completed a massive summer outdoor amphitheater tour of North America with Counting Crows and released a critically acclaimed five-song EP LOCAL 717 via Kavalry Records (October 2018). It marked the first collection of new material from the original line-up in over a decade. Rolling Stone praised the single “Love Lounge” as “thunderous,” noting that “Kowalczyk alternates between a muted, bluesy rumble and a full-throated roar on the track, singing over psychedelic guitar leads, swooshing hi-hats and layers of distortion.” The EP was produced by +LIVE+ guitarist Chad Taylor and recorded at Think Loud Studios in the band’s hometown of York, PA with additional recording completed in Los Angeles at the Foo Fighters’ Studio 606.
- In 2017, the multi-platinum band performed 26 shows–including major festivals such as Austin City Limits, Lollapalooza and KAABOO; a run of arena dates with Guns N’ Roses; and solo headlining shows–in five different countries. A recap trailer of their achievements can be viewed here.
- +LIVE+ garnered praise at Lollapalooza from writers such as Randall Colburn of CONSEQUENCE OF SOUND who noted, “A packed set from a recently reunited Live at one of the country’s foremost music festivals…‘All Over You’ kicked off the proceedings, with ‘Selling the Drama,’ ‘The Dolphin’s Cry,’ and ‘I Alone’ ushering us towards the glorious climax that is ‘Lightning Crashes.’” (August 7, 2017) Jessi Roti of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE backed up the sentiment noticing “The drama is still there.” (August 6, 2017)
- The AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN caught the band’s performance at Austin City Limits and raved: “LĪVE sells the drama in epic, hit-filled ACL Fest set…Credit to LĪVE’s consummate showmanship and seemingly endless collection of hits that their Saturday afternoon set at ACL managed to be muscularly epic…Indeed, something was in the air during the band’s masterful performance…Back indeed, and with a vengeance, as they tore through their hit-filled discography with the same vigor as in their heyday. Kowalczyk’s full-throated roar and tender vibrato took front-and-center on originals and covers alike…LĪVE sold the drama in their Saturday performance, and the audience lapped it up. But they also sold something bigger: a call for unity, a balm for a troubled spirit, and a promise of life after death.” (October 7, 2017)
- 2017 also celebrated the 25th anniversary release (8/11 via Radioactive/Geffen/Ume) of the band’s 1991 debut full-length album, MENTAL JEWELRY, produced by Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads. The remastered deluxe reissue was released digitally and physically featuring an unreleased studio track (“Born Branded”) from the album’s original sessions; a club remix of “Pain Lies On The Riverside” by Public Enemy producer, Hank Shocklee; two songs from the band’s September 1991 EP Four Songs; and an unreleased 1992 full concert at The Roxy in Los Angeles.
- “It was such an amazing year full of so many wonderful moments,” reflects Ed Kowalczyk. “I would have to say it absolutely exceeded everyone’s expectations. We are really sounding better than ever and our chemistry on and off stage is just at another level. We can feel it and I’m sure the fans can sense that this isn’t some one-off ‘reunion where everyone sort of phones it in and then goes about their business. LIVE is back and better than ever at every level.”
- “By the time LIVE hit the stage at Lollapalooza,” says Chad Taylor, “we were performing at our very best. Something about the reunion renewed our energy and spirit. The band and our fans have been on fire, like nuclear hot sauce. I’m blown away with how passionate our fan base is. Now I can’t wait to elevate things to an even higher level with new tunes.”
- Kowalczyk adds that “the festivals were so amazing. During every show there was a palpable sense of joy in the audience. People were just so happy to see us come full circle, reunited and sounding so strong. Highlight for me was watching Dave Grohl in my periphery rockin’ out to our set at Voodoo Fest in New Orleans. I hadn’t seen Dave in years and by the smile on his face, I could tell he was catching a good bit of the “LIVE-joy” as well…it’s contagious!”
- “Most important,” says Taylor, “we’re having so much f**king fun being in and enjoying our band!”
+LIVE+, the multi-platinum band from Pennsylvania–Ed Kowalczyk (vocals, guitar), Chad Taylor (guitar, backing vocals), Patrick Dahlheimer (bass) and Chad Gracey (drums, percussion)–have sold over 22 million albums worldwide and earned two number one albums (Throwing Copper, Secret Samadhi). Their catalog is filled with such gems as “Lightning Crashes,” “I Alone,” “All Over You,” and “Lakini’s Juice,” which live on today as classics at rock radio. Throwing Copper—which is being celebrated in 2019 with a new deluxe 25th anniversary edition via Radioactive/Geffen/Ume–produced the band’s biggest single, “Lightning Crashes,” which was #1 at Modern Rock radio for 10 consecutive weeks. Throwing Copper reached #1 on the Billboard Top 200 and eventually surpassed sales of 10 million albums sold with Rolling Stone honoring the album with placement on their list, “1994: The 40 Best Records From Mainstream Alternative’s Greatest Year.” Secret Samadhi (1997) immediately shot to #1 on the Billboard Top 200 and eventually went double platinum. The release of the platinum-selling The Distance to Here (1999) turned +LIVE+ into an international powerhouse and moved the band from arenas into stadiums. +LIVE+ has been and remains today a global concert juggernaut. The band released an acclaimed five-song EP in 2018, LOCAL 717, their first new music in over a decade.