Twenty years ago, the York, Pennsylvania, four-piece Live, which formed for a middle school talent show, was one of the biggest rock bands in the world. The group sold out stadiums and performed the massive Woodstock anniversary concerts in '94 and '99 on the strength of the album Throwing Copper. That release sold more than 8 million copies, topped radio charts, and dominated MTV with staples such as "Lightning Crashes."
But one of their biggest hits has turned out to be the most prophetic: "I Alone." While Live has re-formed with a new singer, the band's original voice and lyricist, Ed Kowalczyk, is now embarking on an acoustic tour where he will be both alone and live.
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After his departure from the band incited lawsuits and ugly squabbling among the bandmates and childhood friends, Kowalczyk has channeled the negative energy into productivity. In 2010, he released the album Alive, and last autumn came The Flood and the Mercy, which features guest musicians including former R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck and Rachael Yamagata.
But as the title of the tour makes clear, I Alone Acoustic will feature Kowalczyk alone onstage singing and playing guitar. He will perform all the old hits and some new tunes, and maybe if you ask nicely, he'll repeat the dialogue from his only film appearance as the waiter in Fight Club who tells Ed Norton: "In that case, sir, may I advise against the lady eating the clam chowder."
Ed Kowalczyk on the I Alone Acoustic tour with the Baron Sisters. 8 p.m. Saturday, March 1, at Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost 25 plus fees. Call 954-564-1074, or visit cultureroom.net.