Friday the 25th of September will be a day to remember. Not because of a seismic event that would change the history of Cape Town as a city, but for an event that brought a truly magical artist back to Cape Town to echo the sounds that formed the anthem of our youth in this beautiful city.
Growing up in South Africa, our early days were somewhat deprived of international concerts. Then after 1994 it seemed that every band in the world wanted a piece of South Africa. It took a while for South African concert goers to realise that they could actually choose to go to a concert and not go as if it was the last show we would ever receive. At round about the time of this realisation the band called Live came to play and I attended the concert in 2003 to hear all the great tracks from their Albums like Throwing Copper (1994), Secret Samadhi (1997), The Distance to Here (1999), V (2001) and Birds of Pray (2003). The concert was unforgettable and sealed my passion for this great band and the unique voice of the front man Ed Kowalczyk. Three years later the band came again to show us new material from their Songs from Black Mountain (2006) album. Once again the concert delivered melodic modern rock that took your breath away with its powerful delivery of all the hits the band had accrued until then.
In 2009 the band decided to part ways with Ed continuing on a solo career and releasing 2 albums: Alive (2010) and The Flood and The Mercy (2013). Early this year a new promoter, AMP Events decided it was time to bring this great talent back to South Africa. Tickets sold out fast and indicated that it was not only me that was fond of this amazing talent. Finally the day arrived, the 25th of September 2015. The concert format was amazing. Ed played a stripped down versions of the full Throwing Copper album, song for song, in the same order as they appear on the album to celebrate the albums 21st anniversary. By stripped down I do not mean that they lost any appeal, I mean that it was 2 guitars and some back ground percussion which only emphasised Ed’s voice even more. Ed looked totally at home with the Cape Town crowd, with the intimate nature of the venue making it seem as if we were sitting in Ed’s lounge and he was showing us something secret. After finishing the Throwing Copper piece of the show, he got a standing ovation and came out again to play hits from his solo career as well as some classics from the Live era.
This was indeed an unbelievable experience and well worth attending. Ed plays a second concert this evening in Cape Town and will be moving on to Canada for the next leg of his tour. I cannot recommend this experience highly enough and look forward to Ed’s return in a couple of years to showcase his new material. Well done to AMP events as well, for bringing out the bands that people care about and are not necessarily the biggest and latest thing. It is important to keep showcasing rock and roll and proving that rock and roll is not dead.