Let’s just start with a confession – I am a huge fan, so the +LIVE+ Reunion World Tour was always going to be the highlight of my year.
That said, the band surpassed all expectations when they rocked the brand-new Time Square arena in Pretoria on Friday night.
After a seven-year break, the original members have reunited to give both their original fans – many of whom are now in their 40s, having loved the band since they released Mental Jewelry 25 years ago – and new converts an explosive two-hour performance.
The international rock band came out guns blazing with two drummers, two electric guitars and Ed Kowalczyk’s signature voice and massive vocal range to keep the audience enthralled with old favourites – some with a new twist.
Clearly enjoying themselves on stage, the band members show no sign of ageing and are just as lively as they were the first time I saw them live in 2000.
The band played a string of their hits including I Alone, The Dolphin’s Cry, Run to the Water and Lightning Crashes.
They also included a fitting tribute to fellow grunge singer Chris Cornell on I Am The Highway and Johnny Cash with (and here I am a little biased) a far better rendition of I Walk The Line.
As Ed says: “We took a little break and I can’t remember what the f**k happened but we’re back now,” and they certainly are.
As cellphones lit up the arena during most of their performance – the 21st century’s answer to the lighter – the band proved the last seven years have done nothing to dampen their enthusiasm for the music or slow them down.
Now, armed with only their CDs for company, the fans’ wait begins for their next appearance in South Africa.