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 couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t turn on MTV or the radio without hearing Ã¢â‚¬Å“Lightning CrashesÃ¢â‚¬Â or Ã¢â‚¬Å“I Alone.Ã¢â‚¬Â I went to four excellent Live concerts in college, and the crowds were universally jam-packed.
Two summers ago, a full decade after LiveÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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.
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 LiveÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s last spin on contemporary rock radio.
In a wonderful development, my girlfriend has really gotten into boxing in recent months, becoming invested in fights IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d turn on while she studied for law school exams. It was pretty much a no-brainer, as I think anythingÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s better than reading that stuff, but it got to the point that she watched Bernard Hopkins-Jean Pascal two weeks ago without me.
So when she asked me recently to take her to her first boxing match, I was like, Ã¢â‚¬Å“I guessÃ¢â‚¬Â¦Ã¢â‚¬Â
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 SaturdayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Super Six semifinal between Carl Froch and Glen Johnson. It didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t disappoint — I wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t term it a great fight, but it was certainly a very good one that wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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.