Ed Kowalczyk is alone but not lonely

Kowalczyk is alone but not lonely

By Mellissa Ang, photos courtesy of TAB

Clad in a simple black shirt and pants with a dark brown guitar strapped on his left shoulder for his opening number, singer-songwriter Ed Kowalczyk’s I Alone gig at TAB seemed like any other live performance. But as Kowalczyk started to strum the first few chords of American alternative rock band Live’s debut single Selling the Drama from their 1994 album Throwing Copper, screams and wolf-whistles echoed around the cosy TAB venue.

Within minutes, the former lead singer of Live was moving earth with his music.

Throughout the hour and a half long showcase, Kowalczyk performed nostalgic renditions of songs from Live’s albums which spanned from the 90s. Songs like The Beauty of Grey, which was written by Kowalczyk at 19 years old about people of different backgrounds coming together, were reflective of the societal influences in Kowalczyk’s song writing.

After parting ways with Live in 2009, Kowalczyk retained his song writing inspiration from events happening around the world with his composition of Grace, following the earthquake which devastated Haiti in 2010.

Apart from the social influences in Kowalczyk’s music, a simple brown cross that hung from his neck symbolized the second source of his inspiration, his spirituality. As Kowalczyk Heaven, which he wrote when his eldest daughter Honest Sophia was born, the faith expressed through its lyrics silenced the audience.

Through the song lyrics I don’t need no one to tell me about heaven. I look at my daughter, and I believe, Kowalczyk revealed the father he is to his three daughters.

Basking in all the screams, wolf whistles and huge sing-along reception he received, Kowalczyk quipped, “Well, better late than never!” when people asked him what took him so long to come and perform in Singapore.

From unique music equipment, like an old-school microphone which looked like he borrowed from John Travolta in Grease, to the makeshift cardboard boxes his drummer was playing on with neon green drum sticks, Kowalczyk went beyond any other live performance.

With his preview of an upcoming summer EP titled The Garden, we will be hearing more from Kowalczyk in the coming months. As long as Kowalczyk returns to Singapore, local Kowalczyk fans will make sure he never has to say ‘I Alone’ anymore.