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Ed Kowalczyk – Klubben, Stockholm, Sweden, 2010-09-07

2010-09-12

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So, this past Tuesday me and the missus went to see Ed Kowalczyk from Live at Klubben in Stockholm. And not only did we get to enjoy the show from the front row, we also got to meet him!

We got to the venue about 20 minutes before the doors opened, only to discover that there were just like five people waiting outside. I couldn’t believe it, since last time Live played in Stockholm the line went around the entire building. So, as I said we got front row, which was a really good thing, cause the stage was very low, and we probably wouldn’t have seen a thing otherwise. But now we got a great view!

The concert started with Just In Time. I purposely avoided to look at the setlist before the show, even though it was right in front of me. It’s much more fun to be surprised. Next up was The Great Beyond. I really like Ed’s solo album Alive, so it was great that he played so many of the new songs. After that he did The Distance, All Over You, and Selling the Drama back to back, which was just fantastic. The Distance sounded really organic and scaled back – very nice.

Zion is one of my absolute favorite tracks from Alive, and Ed made everyone hum along to the melody in the beginning. The missus was real happy when he played her favorite song The Dolphin’s Cry, which always sounds fantastic. It was so good that we were in the front row cause it gave me an opportunity to watch guitarist James Gabbie during the song. Being a recreational guitar player myself, I enjoy watching what effect pedals other guitar players use. It was interesting to see how he controlled the feedback going in to the chorus of the song with a foot pedal.

Ed didn’t really talk much between songs except to say thanks. However he did at one point say “Everyone know I write about beaches”, upon which he started laughing saying he didn’t quite know where that came from and that now it’s going to end up as an Ed quote on YouTube. I’d say everyone knows he writes about water, so he wasn’t too far off.

The best song of the night for me was Heaven it really gave me goose bumps when the entire audience were singing along. The main set ended with a great version of I Alone, which ended up having a very long intro, since Adam Kowalczyk’s amp stopped working for a while. The back bone of Ed’s new band is drummer Ramy Antoun. He is a very accomplished drummer and probably the most charismatic band member. It’s a real joy to watch him play.

After a short break, the band came back and played Fire on the Mountain, followed by The Beauty of Gray. It was great to hear this song live finally. The only Mental Jewlery song I’ve heard Ed (Live) play before is Mirror Song, which I’ve heard twice. Grace was awesome, I love that song. But you could tell that Ed was not totally focused, and actually seemed a bit annoyed for some reason. Right after Grace, he said something to Adam, and you could tell they were skipping a song. So after Lightning Crashes the band took a bow and left the stage, and the show was over! They only played for an hour and twenty minutes, and later when I looked at the setlist I saw that they had skipped four songs: Overcome, Rome, They Stood up for Love, and Dance with You. I really wished they would have played They Stood up for Love at least, it’s such a good song.

So, it was quite a surprise to see the set cut short. But after the concert it was time for the meet and greet that I had signed up for through eddieklive.com. We got to wait by the side of the stage for maybe 15 minutes before Ed’s tour manager Seth came and got us. He commented on the short set, mentioning how it’s hard to do a two hour set when you’re not feeling good. Even though we were the only ones who had booked a meet and greet, they allowed three other people to come along as well, which I think was great, and it shows what a nice guy Ed really is.

When we got backstage we ran in to Ramy, and I got to shake his hand and tell him how much I enjoyed his drumming. Then Seth opened a door that had a sign that said Ed Kowalczyk on it, and there he was! Ed shook hands with all of us, and proceeded to sign stuff. I had him sign quite a few things, including the CD booklet from The Distance to Here, which I’m going to frame. We all took pictures with Ed, and I actually had to retake mine because I came out all weird. Ed was amused and commented on how that happens sometimes.

Ed was very interested to know how the sound was. I told him how we stood in the front, and he commented on that we probably heard the monitors a lot (which is true – front row isn’t sonically the best seat in the house). I said that it’s nice to be in the front row every once in a while and Ed agreed, saying it’s cool to get that up-front experience. I also told him about that we saw Live at the Starland Ballroom in New Jersey three years ago, and he said he likes the venue and that he played there a couple of months ago. Then he proceeded to tell me that he’s playing the Bowery Ballroom in a couple of months. He seemed really excited about it, saying he’d never played there before.

Ed was very interested to hear that the missus was from New Jersey, and was asking what town she’s from, saying he’s pretty familiar with the area, especially Newark Airport (who hasn’t traveled through Newark?). Then Ed said he had to leave, and he almost forgot his bag! I asked if they were going to St. Petersburg next (don’t know where I got that from, maybe the last Live tour), but he said it was Oslo tomorrow night, then Copenhagen the next, and then home. He was smiling when he said it and you could tell he really couldn’t wait to go home. Ed told us to help ourselves to some beers from the fridge in the dressing room before he left, and of course we all got something to drink. We also got one of Ramy’s drumsticks that he left behind!

When we left the dressing room I spoke to guitarist James Gabbie for a little while. I told him I really liked his playing and that I play a bit in my spare time. I had noticed that he had a violin bow on his mike stand and asked him what song he uses it on. He said it’s for Lightning Crashes, but that his strings are so old, that there’s too much friction. He only uses it when the strings are new and have more resistance.

When we left, Seth the tour manager apologized for the meet and greet being so rushed. But it didn’t matter, it was still great to meet Ed, and really awesome that he took the time even though he wasn’t feeling well.

As a final note I have to mention that a guy asked Ed if he would ever reunite with Live, upon which Ed replied with a very determined “No”. Guess it settles that question.

Setlist:

Setlist:

Start: 20.40

01. Just in Time
02. The Great Beyond
03. The Distance
04. All Over You
05. Selling the Drama
06. Zion
07. Drive
08. The Dolphin’s Cry
09. Soul Whispers
10. Everlasting Love
11. Stand
12. Heaven
13. I Alone
Overcome

Encore (21.40):
14. Fire on the Mountain
15. Beauty of Grey
16. Grace
Rome
They Stood up for love

17. Lightning Crashes
Dance with you

End: 22.00

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2 Responses to “Ed Kowalczyk – Klubben, Stockholm, Sweden, 2010-09-07”

  1. Irma says:

    Great show but such a shame he wasn’t feeling 100%. But I’m just thrilled that he did Dolphin’s Cry! And I really liked watching the whole band because everyone seemed to really be enjoying themselves. And they were all such nice people backstage!

  2. taw99 says:

    Great Music Videos. Thanks for sharing!

    taw

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