"This night was truly a testament to the fact that, while flashback tours as such may be an easy money grab, there will always be a select group of people that fondly remember the first time they heard their “favourite song”"
It seems '90s reunion/anniversary tours have been a hot commodity as of late, and while it wasn't this certain Wednesday night's less-than-packed Metro City that reiterated this notion, the eager and intimate crowd that made it to see Ed Kowalczyk perform Live's 1994 release Throwing Copper in its entirety were clearly overjoyed at the gesture.
An intriguing choice for national tour support came in the form of Lester The Fierce. While the venue had a surprising lack of house music/background noise to set any sort of mood upon entry, the Australian singer-songwriter did her best to wow the crowd with her whimsical melodies and strong vocal performance. Unfortunately she was not as strongly acquainted with her only other instrument, an acoustic guitar, and the set grew merely tiresome as she 'treated' us with an over-done cover of Radiohead's hit Creep.
The first real surge of energy was felt as the tall, gangly characters that form Ed Kowalczyk's backing band rushed on stage, followed by the main man himself, draped in black and grey suits and scarves and leaping straight into The Dam At Otter Creek. Sometimes with, but mostly without, a guitar in his hands, an excited Kowalczyk sang beautifully and made fans feel loved and giddy thanks to the cheeky smile that never seemed to leave his face.
Guitars that were not always perfectly in tune and a lack of distracting, pretentious digital effects gave the performance a home-show vibe and the chance to really appreciate the songwriting on the album. Stand-outs and heartwarming moments came from Iris – “I think the last time I played this song, I had hair,” said Kowalczyk – and of course the huge hit Lightning Crashes. While it may be done to death by half of Australia's pub-rock cover-bands, Kowalczyk and friends truly owned the nostalgia and let the fans sing it back to them in a massive choir that reached a powerful volume louder than the band's front of house sound itself.
This night was truly a testament to the fact that, while flashback tours as such may be an easy money grab, there will always be a select group of people that fondly remember the first time they heard their “favourite song” and will feel ultimately privileged that they are once more given the opportunity to see and hear it exactly how the songwriter meant it to be.