Live reunites, goes on tour with the Counting Crows

Tahoe Onstage

Ed Kowalczyk and Live share the Grand Sierra Resort stage with Counting Crows.
Tahoe Onstage photos by Tony Contini / Tahoe Onstage

Counting Crows from Berkeley, California, and Live from York, Pennsylvania, have kicked off a joint-tour that stoped at the Grand Sierra Resort in the Grand Theatre on Monday, July 2.

The headlining Counting Crows are celebrating 25 years of relevance and persistence on a run they’ve deemed the “25 Years and Counting” tour. Live have reunited its original lineup and are happy to be releasing new music and touring with friends.

“We are long time road buddies with the Counting Crows,” Live frontman Ed Kowalczyk said in a phone interview. “I met Adam (Duritz) in the late ’90s in Los Angeles and we’d hang out a lot. It’s great to get along and be inspired by each other.”

Both bands will surely take the opportunity to show off their new creations, but don’t think they’ll be coming ’round here without playing the hits.

“I think Adam is an incredible singer and songwriter,” Kowalczyk said. “I’m excited to watch them play.”

After years of touring with singer Chris Shinn of Unified Theory, Kowalczyk took back the helm. Their new single “Love Lounge” is upbeat and is highlighted by a true-to-form chorus and pulsating chant section. It will be featured on an EP release later this summer. Kowalczyk has been recently influenced by the blues, and said their new material might be more sophisticated and melodic.


Reunited: Live portrait by Clay Patrick McBride.

“We did our first shows as a reunited band last year,” Kowalczyk said. “It was so inspiring. We kicked the whole thing up a notch in the studio with new energy and excitement. The new EP is still Live, but with octane.”

Most of Kowalczyk’s time outside of music is devoted to being a father to four children. The rest is satiating a coffee addiction.

“I’m pretty much a school bus driver in an Audi,” Kowalczyk said. “But on tour, we spend our days scoping out the best coffee in town. I’m also a coffee nerd.”

Kowalczyk has an entrancingly unique voice. He credits ’80s alt-rockers like Robert Smith, Morrissey and Bono as vocal influences.

“I love how their music was custom-built for not only big gigs, but huge sounds of the world,” Kowalczyk said.

Kowalczyk mirrors U2’s frontman in more ways than just his voice. He is also a humanitarian who donates his time and finances to support struggling children through programs like World Vision.

“It’s more powerful now to focus on our immediate impact, despite how crazy things seem,” Kowalczyk said. “Charity is a beautiful thing. No matter what we’re addressing – providing clean water, hunger, housing refuges – whatever inspires you to get involved is how we change things.”

Kowalczyk has been sponsoring children through World Vision for years. He was inspired and impressed by the amount of assets and resources that end up with those who need it most.

“I think having kids made me focus on it in a new way,” Kowalczyk said. “It’s beautiful. I wanted to spread the luxuries we have outside of our immediate family.”

Live is comprised of rambling men who love to travel. Writing music and playing shows always relights the fire, but so does moving, both around and forward.

“Rolling to different cities and connecting with fans doesn’t get old,” Kowalczyk said. “I don’t think anyone expected us to get back together, so it feels miraculous.”

-Tony Contini

Concert review: Full night of ’90s indie rock in Reno.

About Tony Contini

Photographer and journalist Tony Contini graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a bachelor's degree in journalism and a minor in art photography. He loves working with bands and telling stories. Photography portfolio:

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