Selling the drama

Live and in color

I was a pretty big fan of the band Live back in high school, but then, basically everyone was. Throwing Copper sold eight million copies, and you couldn’t turn on MTV or the radio without hearing “Lightning Crashes” or “I Alone.” I went to four excellent Live concerts in college, and the crowds were universally jam-packed.

Two summers ago, a full decade after Live’s popularity began to wane, I caught wind of a free outdoor show by former lead singer Ed Kowalczyk in the parking lot behind City Winery in New York. My high school friends and I discovered a somewhat different dynamic than what we had been used to, with Ed K. playing Live songs and new solo material in the oppressive heat of a 90-degree afternoon in front of a couple dozen nostalgia-seekers.

Not my video

At first, I found the scene bittersweet in that the enormous popularity of a band I loved had been distilled down to a very small group at a show that cost nothing to attend.

But the music was wonderful as always. I came face-to-face with a lot of memories; Live had, after all, been my first concert as a freshman in college. I was finally able to meet Kowalczyk.

And there was something pretty great about sharing the afternoon solely with true die-hards who had bothered to stick around long after Live’s last spin on contemporary rock radio.

Continue Reading

Love at first fight: Thoughts on Froch-Johnson

In a wonderful development, my girlfriend has really gotten into boxing in recent months, becoming invested in fights I’d turn on while she studied for law school exams. It was pretty much a no-brainer, as I think anything’s better than reading that stuff, but it got to the point that she watched Bernard Hopkins-Jean Pascal two weeks ago without me.

StaredownSo when she asked me recently to take her to her first boxing match, I was like, “I guess…”

No, honestly, I was ecstatic. And I wanted to make sure to pick a fight that would properly represent the experience, and hopefully have her interested in going to more.

We ended up going to Saturday’s Super Six semifinal between Carl Froch and Glen Johnson. It didn’t disappoint — I wouldn’t term it a great fight, but it was certainly a very good one that wasn’t short on action. There was a decent helping of suspense; it was a tough fight to call live, and sure enough, one of the judges had it a draw.

There was also the requisite amount of danger; Froch outclassed Johnson down the stretch en route to a majority decision, but the old warhorse pressed him the entire fight and managed to connect flush with a couple of not insignificant right hands — one in particular, in the eighth round, that produced a satisfying gasp from the assembled masses.

But more so than the fights themselves, we enjoyed the intimacy of the proceedings — which, in all honesty, is what keeps me coming back.

Continue Reading