This sold-out appearance, the first of three shows in the area, was Live's first local show since its last album, "Throwing Copper" (Radioactive/MCA), hit No.1 on the charts. This was the band's first chance to put on a real show here.

This sold-out appearance, the first of three shows in the area, was Live’s first local show since its last album, “Throwing Copper” (Radioactive/MCA), hit No.1 on the charts. This was the band’s first chance to put on a real show here.

Throughout the 18-song set, Live played with an intense sense of purpose befitting the songs’ beauty and drama. Profound examinations of rural life, tragedy, and spiritual and romantic longing were couched in a driving, melodic rock style alternately reminiscent of R.E.M., Midnight Oil and U2.

Bathed in waves of evocative lighting, the band, led by intense singer Ed Kowalczyk, kept demonstrative embellishments to a minimum, instead focusing on the sheer power of the songs, certainly this band’s greatest strength.

The newly penned, Chris Isaak-style “Cheater,” the powerful love tome “Iris” (the show’s highlight), and the hard-rockin’ “All Over You” spotlighted Live’s adventurous sense of dynamism and diversity.

Live

(Universal Amphitheatre; 6,353 seats; $ 25.50 top)

Production

Reviewed Aug. 9, 1995. If you're going to call your rock band "Live," you'd better make certain the band can cut it onstage. Thankfully, this Pennsylvania quartet has all the tools necessary for concert greatness and utilized them all in creating their best-ever L.A.-area performance.

Cast

Band: Edward Kowalczyk, Chad Taylor, Patrick Dahleimer, Chad Gracey.
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