Words by Stephen Buckle
Photos by Charlyn Cameron
Walking into what was soon to be a full field of older but still as avid punters, the Riverstage was in for a special night of three international bands; The Calling, Lifehouse, and the reunion of Pennsylvania’s own Live! With gates opening at 5pm and the sun setting over the Brisbane river, the venue slowly started filling to its capacity.
The Calling were the first to play while the sun was still setting. With a new album due out early 2018, the band powered through their hit songs ‘Could It Be Any Harder’, ‘Stigmatized’ before going into a new song called ‘At The Gate’ I believe. With the crowd being serenaded by Alex Band and co, they played what would be the bands biggest hit to date ‘Wherever You Will Go’ which had the Brisbane crowd louder than ever! Closing their set The Calling performed a cover of ‘With Or Without You’ by arena giant; U2.
Noticing that it got quite a lot darker during the first set, the light show was in full effect for Los Angeles own; Lifehouse. Opening with ‘Hurricane’ and ‘All In’, the crowd went wild for Jason and the band! With every word being yelled back by middle aged ladies and bearded elderly males the energy in the venue was electric.
True appreciation was alive and well for Lifehouse when they continued through their set, running through hits like ‘Halfway Gone’, ‘Spin’ and fan favourite ‘You and Me.’ Closing their set the band played ‘Hanging By The Moment’ much to the delight of the crowd.
While I was closer to the barrier for The Calling and Lifehouse, I wanted to appreciate Live’s reunion tour properly so I took a back step and sat at the top of the hill with a great view of the stage and punters below.
Lights go out, guitar starts buzzing and everyone was loud with cheers. It was time for Live and boy did they bring the ‘Lightning!’ (pun intended)…
Opening their hour and a half long set with ‘All Over You’ it was surreal seeing how much the crowd here in Australia praised Live and their catalogue of music. While the band is from Pennsylvania in the USA, their music is very reminiscent of some Australian bands like Cold Chisel and even AC/DC to an extent, so I can understand the power and message that their music may portray to the people here in Australia.
The band oddly enough had two drummers performing on stage with them but neither miss-timed anything and it looked like a mirror image of each other the way they played! Hits like ‘The Dolphins Cry’, ‘Selling The Drama’ and even a cover of ‘I Walk The Line’ by Johnny Cash were performed to the highest standard. This showed that even after breaking up, the reunion of Live as a whole was a force not to be stopped!
Dedicating the next song ‘Pillar of Davidson’ to the hard working men in the small blue collar town of York, Pennsylvania, Live had garnered every persons attention and made a personal connection with each and every soul in the venue. ‘I Alone’ (a Triple M radio favourite) gave the audience the bounce it needed to show the band that the audience knew the words, and how much it meant to them.
With an awe inspiring performance of ‘White, Discussion’, the band went off stage while the crowd chanted “Encore!” Knowing there would be maybe one or two more songs they eagerly awaited the band to come back out. Rolling out not one, not two but five encores, Live could be considered to be back at its peak (if it ever even left). Performing ‘Rattlesnake’, ‘Run The Water’ and even a cover of an Audioslave favourite ‘I Am The Highway’, Live dedicated the songs to Chris Cornell as he was someone they’d always followed as a musician. Closing out a historic night with ‘Lightning Crashes’ the crowd pushed one last burst of eclectic energy to praise the absolute fantastic performance in front of them: The Live reunion!!
With Ed’s voice not missing a beat and the two drummers basically looking like mirror images on stage, Live proved that even after a band breaks up, it’s not the end. This reunion was sure to prove people wrong as it seemed like Live were still where they were 15 years ago. On top of the world with the best fans following their every step! Welcome back to the top Live!