I am not sure where you were 20 years ago but if you’re a music fan over the age of 30, I am betting wherever you were, songs from Throwing Copper were playing all around you.
If you aren’t sure what Throwing Copper is then let me give you a brief history. Throwing Copper is the second album from the group LIVE which sold over 8 million copies spawned two #1 hits and four top 10’s. It’s the album that thrust LIVE into the mainstream and after 52 weeks on the charts ended up as #1 on the Billboard 200. Needless to say it’s an amazing album that not only stands the test of time but is the basis for former lead singer, Ed Kowalcyzk’s latest tour.
This master piece of 90’s music is 20 years old and Ed K is celebrating while taking his fans along for the ride. Last year he brought us Throwing Copper with a full band but decided to change it up a little doing a more intimate acoustic show on his current tour.
This tour is a two man show that features Ed singing and playing acoustic guitar while his counterpart Zak Loy plays a variety of instruments including acoustic guitar, electric guitar, mandolin and lap steel. Zak, who’s been with Ed for a couple of years, has been playing guitar since he’s a kid and was voted one of the top three guitarist in Austin as a teenager. He’s also doing double duty as the guitarist for Alpha Rev who have had a few chart toppers of their own.
The current show is hitting smaller venues in over 30 cities (some with multiple dates) for about three dozen shows. Thanks to the hospitality of Ed and Zak I was able to catch shows in two distinctly different venues and capture some moments as well.
The first venue was City Winery in New York City which hosted back to back sold out shows. For those who haven’t been to this venue it’s more like dinner theatre. It’s a good lively atmosphere and is a great venue that gets some incredible acts. My only criticism of City Winery is that the seating is tight like an old school comedy club and if you truly want to watch the show there are some distractions that include wait staff serving, noise from people eating (dishes, glasses, etc) and definitely a lot more talking then a typical concert.
The second venue, and the show I preferred, was in Bay Shore NY at the Boulton Center for the Performing Arts. This venue provided a truly intimate experience with a sold out crowd of less than 300 people. With comfortable stadium seating and the furthest seat probably less than 100 feet from the stage, there’s no bad view. Since there are none of the outside distractions the sound was better, the stage bigger and the show was the focus. I would urge everyone to check out their website and see a show there as they also get some great performances coming through their doors.
Getting back to the show, the two venues although different had the same set and I imagine there is little to no variation throughout the tour. It begins with a video countdown to 1994 with the time square ball dropping and some TV footage from that year. Obviously since it’s a celebration of Throwing Copper the first half of the show is the entire album from beginning to end. Throughout Ed provides anecdotes and insight to some of the tracks and gets the crowd singing along; as if he could stop them.
The Throwing Copper set which included the CD hidden track “Horse” is as follows.
Selling the Drama
Pillar of Davidson
After playing Copper, Ed and Zak took a brief break before returning to the stage and finishing out the show with a couple of more well received songs including the hit “Heaven” and an emotional rendition of the “Overcome.” The full encore included
All That I Wanted
As someone who has seen Ed with LIVE as far back as the original Throwing Copper Tour, I would tell you that not only does the album hold up but this is an album that helped shape the landscape of music in the 90’s. Ed’s voice sounds fantastic and he and Zak put on and amazing performance. If you’re interested in reliving that album in a somewhat different format then my advice to you is to get out and see this special 20th Anniversary acoustic Throwing Copper tour.
From what I understand, once this tour is complete Ed will hang up the acoustic and return to the stage continuing the celebration taking the full band on a world tour. If you missed it last time, don’t miss it again and check out the CD and/or DVD from last years Sydney Australia show which you can order here.