Live (frontman Ed Kowalczyk is pictured second from left) plays on a bill with Counting Crows at Shoreline Amphitheatre on July 6. (Courtesy Clay Patrick McBride)

Live’s back in action after seven years

To many, the co-headlining run of arena stars Live and Counting Crows, both celebrating 25 years, looks like a clever summer shed tour. But to Live bandleader Ed Kowalczyk, it means much more. Not only does the bill mark his fourth team-up with longtime Crows chum Adam Duritz, it also clarifies the fact that the original lineup of Live, after splintering in 2009, is officially reunited and recording again. The band’s galloping new single “Love Lounge,” preceding a fall EP, is its first new material in seven years. “It’s all slightly miraculous, because I don’t think anybody expected us to get back together,” he says.

You kept the Live sessions hush-hush, right?

Yeah. And we finally got to play “Love Lounge” for the first time in concert the other night in Boise, where we kicked off, and the response was just through the roof. And our EP is ready; we just have to mix it. So we did all he hard work. Now the fun part is listening to the mix and putting all that work together. And we actually started writing right away, because the process of us reuniting started about three years ago.

What spurred it?

Well, rewind all the way back to 2009, and we’d decided on a break, which turned into a, uh, much longer break than anyone had anticipated. But that’s life — it’s a box of chocolates. And three years ago, Chad (Taylor, guitarist) and I really started missing each other, and we said, “Let’s get back onstage together or let’s just get in a room together, just to see what happens.” Right away, we felt a regathering of our relationships, with each other and our old chemistry. Then we played our first shows last year, together again after seven years apart. We played a lot of festivals like Austin City Limits and Lollapalooza. And when we got back from that, it had really kicked up the energy, the tempos, everything. It was like, “We want to rock fast and hard and just have a great time.” So for the EP, the energy was just infectious right away. And everything for us really is better than ever now.

”Love Lounge” sounds majestic, like Live never went away.

I think we absolutely knew that there’s something special that happens when we get together. We really do have a unique sound and chemistry when it’s just the four of us, together. And we missed it. So there’s this level of gratitude that you can feel onstage now, and fans can sense that excitement. The raw energy of this reunion is just really authentic.

Live, Counting Crows
Where: Shoreline Amphitheatre, 1 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View
When: 6:30 p.m. July 6
Tickets: $29.50 to $125.50

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