I'd say over our many years as avid concert-goers, Abby and I have seen upwards of 500 live shows, easily. We each have our favorites, and while not all are shared favorites, Live (or +Live+ the band) is one of them. Together, we've seen them four times, and somehow Abby has managed to accrue four more of their concerts on her own. So I think it's safe to say that we know that of which we speak when we say that Live (the band) puts on one hell of a show. And we have never, ever been disappointed.
We schlepped our now concert-weary butts up Route 93 to Manchester, New Hampshire on Friday afternoon. After suffering through yet another mediocre pre-concert meal, we had just agreed that over a dozen concerts in one summer, at our age, you know what, isn't such a great idea. Never again. So we also agreed that this would be a low key affair, and we'd sit in the stands for this show, not wanting to tempt fate and risk life and limb in another general admission crowd. So we did. And we comfortably caught the end of Collective Soul's opening set and even made it through most of the intermission while Live's crew set the stage for them. But suddenly, the excitement grew and as we saw cute little (and I do mean little) bald Ed Kowalczyk in the wings of the stage, we both subliminally -- or is it subconciously? -- agreed to hit the field asap. We tripped our way down the stairway to the grass and managed to get within about 25 feet of stage left. Right in front of a fifty foot speaker stack. Not necessarily the brightest thing we have ever done, but what a small price to pay....
As always, Live came to play and, perhaps fittingly in this minor league ballpark, knock one out of the park. While Collective Soul and the Counting Crows might deservingly be accused of phoning one in for the sake of riding the reunion tour wave, Live was there to do business. And do the business they did. We were breathless with their 70 minute set that perfectly set radio-classics amidst deeper intense cuts that were equally as infectious. We rode that energy and sang until we were hoarse. We squealed like 13-year olds when Ed waved back at us (although the thought "I wouldn't kick him out of my bed" probably isn't a 13-year old's first thought as it was ours). And we left that field and retreated to the stands when Live was done, thoroughly and completely deaf in our left ears, those which suffered from direct exposure to the aforementioned speaker stack.
So imagine our delight when we remember that we see just Live and Collective Soul again in four weeks, closer to home, in a "real" (aka "has seats") venue. That'll mean a longer setlist from Live and greater distance from the band (awwww for us but probably better for Ed's personal safety). I'm hoping to have 100% hearing back in time for Manilow in a couple weeks, but for now it's just proof of our unfailing love for a band that never ceases to render us breathless. They've managed to reinstill our faith in excellent rock acts, especially after a summer of some pretty tedious shows. Which is why we still ♥ Live.