Gig review: +LIVE+ at the Adelaide 500

Adelaide, South Australia. 3 March 2018

This after-race concert, was one, South Australian fans had waited a long time for. At last the iconic rock band +Live+ had returned to wow them.

After many years apart the band had reformed in 2016 and were the headline act at Adelaide’s prestigious car race the Adelaide 500.

Adelaide 500 and Music SA had teamed up to provide a stage (literally) for up and coming bands to play support, for some big names during this 3 day Race meet. Under the banner ‘Bands on track’, young artists got the chance to share the bill with major stars.

Kitchen Witch https://kitchenwitch.bandcamp.com/ kicked off the night from 5:30 pm with their own brand of sultry rock.

At 6:10pm punk/alt rock band Young Offenders https://soundcloud.com/youngoffenders who have a stage presence bigger than many better known artists, took over. Then it was time for Birds of Tokyo who took the stage just after 7pm http://www.birdsoftokyo.com/ Birds of Tokyo were the band some racegoers waited to see, as quite a few people left after their set and before the main attraction even took the stage.

After a short interval +Live+ emerged to thunderous applause from a still massive crowd despite the early leavers. Almost 25 years ago +Live+ released their ‘Throwing Copper’ album which achieved worldwide success and cemented the bands’ place in Rock history. After an acrimonious split in 2009, their followers thought that they would never see the band play again. Fast forward to 2016 and the reunion of the band members meant that they had put their differences aside. On Saturday, lead singer Ed Kowalczyk made mention on stage of the split, by saying that it was time to forget what had happened in the past and enjoy the future. Judging by the loud cheer from the crowd, I think they agreed with him.

Opening their set with the ever popular anthem ‘All over you’, the four original members Ed Kowalczyk, Chad Taylor, Patrick Dahlheimer, and Chad Gracey were joined by an additional drummer and guitarist who slotted into their roles perfectly. The band looked as comfortable on stage as ever and they delivered hit after hit to an appreciative Adelaide audience. The Johnny Cash “feed the people” introduction to ‘Walk the Line‘, hushed the crowd to a level which enabled Kowalczyk to deliver the first half of the song in quiet tones along with his acoustic guitar strumming, before the band tore into it making it their own.

When Kowalczyk referred to Adelaide as ‘Radelaide’ – the unofficial moniker given to the town to denote its party atmosphere – the crowd loved it and showed him. After more than an hour on stage the +live+ experience came to an end. To the dismay of the crowd, who called, screamed and begged for an encore. Of course it was going to happen, and the band delivered ‘Heaven’, ‘Turn My Head’ and ‘I am the highway’ dedicated by Kowalczyk to his family and to the late Chris Cornell respectively. ‘Lightning Crashes.’ was the final song that the band left ringing in the ears and hearts of the Adelaide 500 crowd who had been revved up by the adrenalin rush of the big race and then calmed, serenaded and rocked to their very core by one of the worlds’ best Bands.

I’m guessing there are more than a few who will be eagerly awaiting their next +Live+ fix.

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