Rocker to sing solo, Live songs at casino on March 30Written by Vicki L. Kroll | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Ed Kowalczyk, former frontman of the alternative band Live, was a South by Southwest virgin.
“Very excited to be at my first SXSW! It’s been such a blast so far,” he wrote from Austin, Texas, in an email interview with Toledo Free Press. “Couldn’t imagine a more perfect way to introduce I Alone Acoustic. Such an eclectic and international gathering here in Austin; it’s going to be great.”
The singer-songwriter played songs from Live and his solo career at the annual event.
“I love my acoustic shows mostly for the intimacy and the rawness of the environment and production,” he wrote. “It takes a lot more to pull off a 90-minute set with just a mic and an acoustic guitar than with a band, so it’s very gratifying when it happens!
“Toledo will be my full band though; we’re gonna rock!”
Kowalczyk will play a free show at 9 p.m. March 30 in the Hollywood Casino Toledo H Lounge.
“I play lots of songs from my work in Live, including all the ‘hits’ — ‘Lightning Crashes,’ ‘I Alone,’ ‘The Dolphin’s Cry,’ etc.”
That set list may include cuts from his 2012 EP “The Garden.”
The title track packs a powerful chorus: “Take my hand like you did on the night you disappeared/ I found you sleeping in the garden I had sown/ For your love, for your love, I would die 10,000 times/ Just to take that pain and turn it into light/ Just to take that pain and turn it into love.”
“The basic lyrical idea behind ‘The Garden’ is that it’s always easier to find and follow the road traveled, and harder to find and follow the one that is less traveled but leads to greater reward,” Kowalczyk wrote.
“I didn’t intend it consciously, but a lot of fans have said it recalls Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. I like that interpretation.”
The spirited musician gained a reputation by penning dynamic, mystical songs for Live. The group’s 1994 disc, “Throwing Copper,” launched the quartet thanks to “I Alone,” “All Over You,” “Selling the Drama” and “Lightning Crashes.”
In 2009, the band went on hiatus, Kowalczyk recorded a solo disc titled “Alive” and the three other Live members formed The Gracious Few with a couple of friends from Candlebox. The break became permanent — until 2011 when the three Live members reformed with a new lead singer.
Kowalczyk is working on a new disc and wrote that he hopes it will be out this fall.
“I may include at least one track [from ‘The Garden’] on the LP, but in any event, there will be 10 brand new tracks,” he wrote.
“A good song is one that touches the soul. Period. Most people don’t even know they have a soul, or they do and just forget like we all do sometimes,” Kowalczyk wrote. “Then a great song comes along and blows open their heart and mind and points to a deeper reality.”