Review: Ed Kowalczyk – I Alone Acoustic Tour
Ed Kowalczyk, former frontman of the post-grunge powerhouse band Live, possesses one of the most recognizable voices in music. Ed has hit the road with his I Alone solo acoustic tour, which I caught up with on February 1st, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fl.
The venue was Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, an intimate multipurpose performing arts facility with amazing acoustics. Most of the capacity crowd arrived early and were treated to a great set by St. Augustine, FL’s own The Sweetest Punch, a folksy guy/girl duo with some amazing talent.
Ed took the stage about 8:30 illuminated by tea-light candles and surrounded with black draping. He greeted the crowd, accompanied by bassist Chris Heerlein, with an acoustic version of Live’s All Over You, followed by The Distance. The set also included greatest hits like, The Dolphins Cry and I Alone, interspersed with solo material Garden, Angels on a Razor, and The Great Beyond. He even surprised fans with a cover of U2′s, With or Without You.
Ed has joined forces with World Vision, a child sponsorship program, and promoted them heavily toward the end of the show. Many fans accepted his offer of an ”Ed hug” and a CD in front of the stage if they agreed to sponsor a child. Ed followed this heartwarming moment with his hopeful song, Grace, and then ended the show with the exalted, Lightning Crashes, which bled in to a prayerful melody giving thanks to God. He then told the fans he would be happy to meet them after the show by the merchandise table.
The line to meet Ed was filled with just about as many people as attended the show. The fans recognized what a rarity it is to have have someone of Ed’s caliber stay to personally meet each and every fan. The merchandise was rare too, and included signed and numbered, hand written lyrics to I Alone and Lightning Crashes, complete with Ed’s thumbprint.
Ed Kowalczyk is an incredibly talented musician with an almost mystical songwriting ability. His lyrics are literally poetry set to music. The newer material stays true to his musical roots, but gives the listener a glimpse of his softer side. The I Alone acoustic show was a fantastic mix of old and new music played in an intimate setting that engaged each listener. You can find out where you can catch Ed on tour now at his official website.