- 🇺🇸 York, PA
- Years Active
1984 - Now
Live was one of the most commercially successful alternative rock bands to emerge in the wake of Nirvana's Nevermind, notching a series of chart hits culminating in the melancholy blockbuster "Lightning Crashes."
Guitarist Chad Taylor, bassist Patrick Dahlheimer and drummer Chad Gracey formed the first incarnation of Live while attending middle school in York, Penn. With the 1987 addition of schoolmate and singer Ed Kowalczyk, the band adopted the name Public Affection, and self-released The Death of a Dictionary. An EP of demos, Divided Mind, Divided Planet, followed a year later, and after a series of performances at New York City's legendary CBGB, Public Affection signed to now-defunct MCA subsidiary Radioactive Records, changing its name to Live ahead of 1991's Four Songs, the first in a string of collaborations with producer Jerry Harrison.
The full-length Mental Jewelry appeared on New Year's Eve 1991. Videos for the singles "Operation Spirit (The Tyranny of Tradition)" and "Pain Lies on the Riverside" became fixtures on MTV's weekly alternative rock showcase 120 Minutes. Live launched its third studio album Throwing Copper in 1994: the singles "Selling the Drama" and "I Alone" both hit big at modern rock radio, setting the stage for "Lightning Crashes," which peaked at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100. Sales of Throwing Copper ultimately eclipsed the 8 million mark, and while 1997's Secret Samadhi debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, the lead single "Lakini's Juice" stalled at number 35 on the Hot 100, and Live never regained its momentum. Kowalcyzk split from Live in 2009, but eventually rejoined in 2016: Taylor, Dahlheimer and Gracey were all fired by the end of 2022, the culmination of years of legal drama and interpersonal conflict.