Live has been sneaking up on people this year.

In January, three original members of the rock band born and bred in York - Chad Taylor, Patrick Dahlheimer and Chad Gracey - told the city that they were moving back. The trio, along with Bill Hynes, announced that its development company Think Loud will set to renovate a 47,000-square-foot structure downtown. The plan is to create jobs by bringing in a tech company and creating a music studio.

Then, the band discreetly sent out hundreds of invitations to a March 12 concert. A few days before the show, Taylor, Dahlheimer and Gracey announced that they were moving on with a new lead singer.

Hundreds of fans packed into York's Strand Theatre March 12 to meet Chris Shinn - a close friend of Live. About a decade ago, he was in the group Unified Theory, which opened for Live.

Most fans have embraced Shinn. But purists still contend that Live will never be Live without former lead singer Ed Kowalczyk, who exited the group about four years ago.

Taylor, Dahlheimer, Gracey and Shinn seem to be biding their time and testing the waters.

"There is no master plan," Taylor said. "We're getting a feel for what it's like to be in a band with Chris."

But they already made secret plans for an official debut before the Strand show.

Candlebox performed at Antone's March 17 during the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas. The Gracious Few also took the stage as did the new incarnation of Live - unannounced. More than 100 people liked each photo the band posted on Facebook. Fans posted requests for the band to play their towns.

So the guerilla music technique seems to be working for the group. Taylor and Shinn said that they already have a handful of new songs, but they are waiting to see how to release them.

These guys know what they're doing. They're rock stars. And they love to drop hints, as they're clearly pumped about the next chapter for the band. But we'll have to keep guessing when and where they'll pop up next.

Another York connection

York County natives and songwriters Craig Almquist and Jacob Hammill, known as Cold Fronts, toured this month with headlining act mewithoutYou of Philadelphia.Almquist and Hammill were joined by bassist Dylan Hammill, a graduate of Central York High School, and drummer Alex Smith, a graduate of York Suburban Senior High School.

Cold Fronts took the stage March 15 at the Hotel Vegas Patio during the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas. For details about the band, visit facebook.com/ColdFronts

Music.

Band breakdown

Live - Chad Taylor, Patrick Dahlheimer, Chad Gracey and Ed Kowalczyk formed the band in York in the mid-'80s. Kowalczyk exited the group in 2009. Taylor, Dahlheimer and Gracey debuted the band's new lead singer, Chris Shinn, March 12 at York's Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center.

The Gracious Few - Dahlheimer, Gracey and Taylor formed a side project in 2009 with Candlebox members Kevin Martin and Sean Hennesy.

Candlebox - Martin helped form the rock band in the early '90s in Seattle, Wash. It went through some lineup changes through the years. Current members are Martin, Hennesy, Peter Klett, Scott Mercado and Adam Kury.

Unified Theory - A band formed in the late '90s composed of Shinn; former Blind Melon members Brad Smith and Christopher Thorn, a Dover native; and former Pearl Jam drummer Dave Krusen

Live online

Read more at: www.flipsidepa.com/live

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Twitter: @Freaks4Live

PopEye is a bi-weekly column focusing on the ever-changing landscape of popular culture. To reach writer Erin McCracken, call 771-2051 or send an email to emccracken@ydr.com.