The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

ED KOWALCZYK
Metropolis
Fremantle, Western Australia
08 NOVEMBER 2010

 


 

All hot and cold...

Set-list (not quite in order)

1.Just in Time
2.The Great Beyond
3.The Distance (Live cover)
4.All Over You (Live cover)
5.Selling the Drama (Live cover)
6.Zion
7.Drive
8.The Dolphin's Cry (Live cover)
9.Soul Whispers
10.Drink (Everlasting Love)
11.Stand
12.Heaven (Live cover)
13.I Alone (Live cover)

Encore:
14.Fire on the Mountain
15.Grace
16.Lightning Crashes (Live cover)
17.Dance With You (Live cover)


It’s a Monday night in Perth (or more accurately Fremantle) and Ed K has decided to end his 2010 here with us. For a Monday there’s a reasonable crowd in but not as big as I expected for a full electric show, and certainly not as big as the last time he touched down in sunny Western Australia at UWA for his acoustic tour.

 

I’ve always had a liking for the band ‘Live’ and it’s not something I can easily explain as they sound so unlike a lot of my favourite bands, but this is the seventh time I’ve seen either Live or Ed and always with my mate Rob. It’s a sort of tradition we have had over the years.

 

To be honest I’m a little apprehensive, I’ve just been blasting out the remainder of Live’s debut album all week, and the Grateful Few (as they are called) have overshadowed Ed’s solo release of late for me at least.

 

So tonight to me it’s all about the set-list. Ed could easily play a blinder, tear it up and remind us how great a band Live was; and then stick in some of the punchier tunes from his new release which to be fair is probably a lot more solid then the last few Live releases were OR…

 

OR… I guess he could do what he chose to do tonight, play a set heavy on new material, punctuated by gems and full of proselytising, but we’ll get to that bit later.

 

My biggest gripe this evening is how unbalanced the set is and how we constantly seem to be losing any momentum we gain because of the song selection. One minute the crowd is up, rocking along to one of the faster new numbers, then we’re crawling again. Up and punching the air for a ‘Live’ classic then down again for a low-light ballad. It’s unsettling and kind of confusing; but if the feeling Ed hoped to forge was one of ‘light and shade’ it went to plan. I find myself singing along one moment and enticed by the bar the next.

 

To be fair it’s not a bad night, but it’s not a great night either, and certainly not the best show I’ve seen Ed play. The band seems good, particularly the drummer who carries the grove beautifully, his kit set up on the left of the stage, rather than rear centre.

 

 

Things kick off with the new song ‘Just in Time’ which is one of the better songs from the new CD but it’s not until ‘All Over You’ that the crowd is really starting to move out there. There’s a strange listlessness hanging about the place and it’s hard to tell whether it’s entirely down to the Monday night or the quite frankly variable sound mix in a club that generally sounds great. I think more than anything though it’s the unsustained momentum that kills it, every rocker is counter-balanced with a lull. It’s not often at Metros that you can walk practically up to the stage.

 

We get the expected highlights we paid for though: ‘Lightning Crashes’, ‘Dolphin’s Cry’ and ‘I Alone’ all go down as you would expect and new songs like ‘Zion’ sound particularly strong even in such company. But for every high there’s a low. We know you love your kids Ed but you’ve told us about them the last few times you’ve been over, and yes we know that’s where ‘Heaven’ comes from.

 

So the set has it’s moments, the newer stuff just doesn’t seem to be able to live with the old classics though. In the main, the more metaphysical Ed gets the less passion seems to be generated; the more emotion he pours into the lyrics the less crescendos we get, almost as if the all too apparent sentimentality of his words are weights around the songs themselves. I could imagine weeping if I was depressed at some points in the set.

 

Tonight we end with a ‘World Vision’ promo, with slides and personal tales; it’s all wrapped up in Ed’s love the ‘family’ theme. We learn he’s joined World Vision’s artists affiliate program. I guess he must have the certificate somewhere... Yes we know they are a charity, and we’re sure they do great work, yes bad things do happen out there, and it is great to hear that fans have sponsored 124 kids so far: but this is a rock concert isn’t it? You know the place people go to forget about their troubles and shake the world out of their hair for the night: shouldn’t we be leaving this sort of thing to Bono? It appears not.

 

Ed slaps on the acoustic for the obligatory closer ‘Dance With You’ and you can’t knock the guy for trying, we all know his heart is in the right place and we all know unlike some he’s genuine and passionate in his beliefs, but people can make up their own mind to do or not to do the right thing. It’s hard to be negative about such a gesture but it is approaching midnight and some of us have work tomorrow… but maybe I’m just tired…

 

So we get an evening of songs about love and making the world a better place. At the end though it’s the very laid back nature of the newer stuff and the slower tempo ‘Live’ songs in the set list that weigh things down a little. As a result both the music and the message come out a little muted.

 

We do get almost two hours of music though and these days that’s value so I suppose even if we didn’t quite get the quality we might have anticipated we got the weight to make up for it.

 

 

Mark