It’s been rumored that Ed Kowalczyk is reuniting with his old band mates, Live. There is no doubt Throwing Copper was a definitive album of the 90’s, spawning hit after hit. I was a fan and stuck with the band through Secret Samadhi , The Distance to Here, V, and then I only got into the song “Heaven” from Birds of Pray. You’d think after that long I’d be excited about the idea of a reunion, but I’m really not. It’s one thing to be nostalgic, but it has been 13 years since I cared about a new song of theirs and over 20 years since the height of their popularity in the mid 90’s.
Looking back at what’s happened since, it’s surprising that they’re getting back together. In 2009 they planned to take a two year hiatus that turned into a tumultuous break-up. The band sued Kowalczyk over publishing rights and trademark infringement, which he counter-sued. I wasn’t aware of this, but the remaining Live members recruited Kevin Martin and Sean Hennesy of Candlebox to form a new band, The Gracious Few, and released a self-titled album. I’ll have to go check that out. By 2011 though, the guys from Live decided to find a new lead singer and move on without Kowalczyk, releasing an album, The Turn.
It bothers me when bands tour without the original lead singer. Let’s be honest; if the bass player gets replaced who really notices? We recognize bands by the sound of the singer’s voice. There isn’t always going to be an Arnel Pineda to replace a voice like Steve Perry’s. So when a band tours under the same name but a different lead singer, they may as well be a really good cover band.
I’d probably be more excited about a reunited Live if they went on the road with another good band from the same era. For some reason Third Eye Blind comes to mind. The two bands are similar in the success they had with numerous hits from one album. Candlebox would like make a lot of sense, too, given the history of the Gracious Few. I never saw Live perform live back in the day, and I likely wouldn’t go out of my way to see them now.