The ’90s are a-Live again at Mohegan Sun Pocono

Print This Page




    For a time in the ’90s, the band Live was the greatest thing to come out of York since the peppermint patty.

    The band’s second album, ‘94’s “Throwing Copper,” sold 8 million copies, spawning five hit singles on the Alternative Songs charts: the No. 1 “Selling the Drama” and “Lightning Crashes,” plus “I Alone” (No. 6), “All Over You” (No. 4) and “White, Discussion” (No. 15).

    Their sophomore effort, 1997’s “Secret Samadhi,” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, producing four more hits (including another chart topper, “Lakini’s Juice”), going on to sell 2 million copies. 1999’s “The Distance to Here” debuted at No. 4 and sold 1 million.

    After three more successful albums, the band took what was originally intended as a two-year hiatus in 2009 as lead singer Ed Kowalczyk released a solo album and the other three band members – Patrick Dahlheimer (bass, backing vocals), Chad Gracey (drums) and Chad Taylor (lead guitar, backing vocals) – put out an album as The Gracious Few with Kevin Martin and Sean Hennessy of Candlebox.

    A few months later, it was announced that Kowalczyk had left the band , which seemed like the end for Live.

    The band returned in March 2012 with new lead singer Chris Shinn, formerly of Unified Theory (a Seattle band featuring Blind Melon’s Christopher Thorn and Brad Smith along with Dave Krusen, Pearl Jam’s original drummer), for a series of live shows.

    The reformed band released the album “The Turn” in October, working once again with Jerry Harrison, who produced the group’s debut EP and debut album “Mental Jewelry” in 1991, plus the smashes “Throwing Copper” and “The Distance to Here.”

    Live is back on the road, making a stop on Saturday, May 16 at Mohegan Sun Pocono.

    “It will be a good, long 90-minute set,” Shinn said. “It’s close to the band’s hometown and it’s the longest we’ve had off since I joined, so we will be fired up. The guys have an energy they haven’t had in 10 years and this is the most intense band I’ve ever been in. I was a big fan of Live and I can honestly say they are playing like they did back in their prime.”

    Shinn said his connection with Live goes back to 2000 when his former band opened for them. He stayed in touch with Taylor over the years. When the three Live bandmates got back together, Taylor reached out to Shinn.

    “He said they weren’t sure what they wanted to do. At first, they were thinking about doing some re-recordings of their hits as they now own the licensing. But then we started tip-toeing through some new songs,” he said.

    “We took our time with it, to make sure we paid as much respect to the fans and the catalog as possible.”

    Shinn, who ended up writing seven of the album’s 11 songs with Harrison, said it was great working with the former member of Talking Heads, who he considers one of his closest friends.

    “They had worked with him a lot, but I had not,” Shinn said. “A lot of times it was just him and me in the studio by ourselves, working on the lyrics and finishing up the songs.

    “He knew right from the very beginning that we had to be a new band. We had to move into the future and embrace the new vibe, and that’s what we have done.”

    Shinn said audiences should expect all the hits from “Throwing Copper” plus the band’s harder-edged material — along with about three songs from their new album — at the Mohegan Sun Pocono show.

    “We are having so much fun and that supersedes all the other crap,” he said. “These guys have taken the high road in all of this, and any tensions or pressures that have built up are let out in the music.”