I’ve been going to concerts all my life, and certain shows will always hold a place high in the rankings. I was fortunate enough when in college to see Live on their Throwing Copper tour. Now I get the bonus privilege of reviewing this incredible 2 LP/2 CD release celebrating the 25th anniversary of this incredible album.
Throwing Copper garnered accolades and success for the band far beyond anything they might have expected. Their debut album, Mental Jewelry, was already heralded as a strong, lyrical statement from the young foursome out of York, Pennsylvania. They built a strong following and avid fan base, but Throwing Copper thrust them into an entirely new rock stratosphere. The album went on to sell over eight million copies, and they took those new songs to Woodstock ’94 and cemented their place in music history.
I usually group tracks by style, power, or quality when writing a review, but this album defies that format. Each track is powerful, brimming with electricity and passion, no matter the tempo. From “The Dam at Otter Creek” to “White, Discussion,” these songs dare you to try and rank them. “Lightning Crashes” destroyed the charts upon release and stayed a compelling, relevant statement for years.
Included with the original album are a handful of bonus tracks: “Horse,” “Hold Me Up,” “We Deal in Dreams,” and “Susquehanna.” The second CD/LP vividly captures the band’s dominant performance at Woodstock ’94. The crowd of people was so large lead singer Ed Kowalczyk described it as disappearing into the horizon. For many bands, the shift from mid-sized venues to an undulating sea of humanity would prove too daunting, but Live rose to the occasion.
Included with the music is a 12-page booklet showing the insane timeline of Throwing Copper’s success. Reading the interview with the band members gives fans a much more personal window into what it was like for the band to ride that wave.
Getting to review the Throwing Copper 25th Anniversary 2 CD/2 LP set turned out to be more than a time capsule for me. It was a reminder of how music can reach through the decades and still deliver power, passion, and precision to any lucky listener. It’s an absolute joy for Live fans to add to their collections, and a great new opportunity for them to play it for those unaware of how great this album is.