A gracious host makes sure each guest is happy.
The host in this case was The Gracious Few -- a new act made up of Live's Patrick Dahlheimer, Chad Gracey and Chad Taylor and Candlebox's Sean Hennesy and Kevin Martin -- who played their first concert May 27 at Fat Daddy's.
But before their gig, they presented an autographed drum head to Mike Aitkens of West York, who arrived at the Springettsbury Township club at noon.
For Aitkens and every other concert goer, the show was free.
A gracious guest never arrives to a party without a gift for the host.
Jeff Cerzosie of Staten Island, N.Y., lugged a cardboard box into the Fat Daddy's parking lot Thursday evening.
The contents -- a bottle of Jameson Irish Whiskey Special Reserve and five engraved shot glasses -- were for the members of The Gracious Few to celebrate their first concert.
Guests were informed about the party via Twitter. The band revealed the location May 26.
"I got . . . the announcement at work," said Jen Rissinger of Spring Grove. She immediately texted the news to her friend and fellow Live fanatic Heather Bechtel of East Berlin.
The decision for the show was "spur-of-the-moment," said Dahlheimer, who will turn 39 on Sunday.
They had gotten antsy from two weeks of rehearsals and wanted to get in front of some of their most loyal fans. Dahlheimer, Taylor and Gracey call the York scene home. In the late 1980s, they played hot spots such as The Golden Bear as Public Affection, the group that would later become Live.
Taylor said it seemed fitting that The Gracious Few would have a similar beginning.
"It connects you back to a great base of people -- hardworking people," Taylor said.
The band has cycled through the stages of fame to become hard-working again, too. Live and Candlebox, originally from Seattle, both had a string of hits and tours in the '90s. Taylor and Martin worked together for the first time about five years ago, and when Live went on hiatus last year, they decided to start a new project together.
"We had an idea about playing without any pretense," Taylor said. "It was instantly refreshing."
It has also been refreshing for band members to up-root, or in some cases re-root, Taylor said. Martin and Hennesy migrated from the West Coast to live with Taylor in Lancaster. Gracey moved in with Dahlheimer, who lives in York County.
The band rehearses in a York studio they've dubbed "The Spot." They often order lunch from Jim and Nena's Pizzeria. When they had a hard time finding a last-minute music venue, the members joked about opening their own.
Fat Daddy's co-owner Sean Landis was happy the group contacted him. He initially thought the band was too big for the club, which has a capacity of roughly 400 people, but he couldn't pass up the chance to let local stars throw a homecoming party.
And, despite the late notice, more than 300 guests accepted The Gracious Few's invitation.
"We had to be at their first show," Bechtel said. "This is just the beginning."
About the band
Patrick Dahlheimer, bass
Chad Gracey, drums
Sean Hennesy, guitar
Kevin Martin, vocals
Chad Taylor, guitar
The Gracious Few online
What about Live?
Public Affection, the band that would later become Live, formed in 1984 at York's Edgar Fahs Smith Middle School. After about two decades of platinum albums and world tours, Live -- Ed Kowalczyk, Patrick Dahlheimer, Chad Gracey and Chad Taylor -- announced a hiatus in July 2009.
Kowalczyk, who performed an acoustic show Oct. 22 at York's Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center, said in an interview that he was focusing on a solo tour and album. Read the interview at www.flipsidepa.com/musicdirectory.
Taylor, Gracey and Dahlheimer formed a new band, The Gracious Few, with Candlebox members Kevin Martin and Sean Hennesy. They plan to release their first album in July and are gearing up for a tour.
"It's our full-time gig," Taylor said Thursday afternoon.
He joked that Live would get back together "when hell freezes over," but he pointed out that Don Henley said the same thing about The Eagles and the group ended up getting back together.
A family affair
Thursday marked the first time Adam Taylor, an aspiring singer/songwriter, opened for his brother Chad.
Chad, who grew up in York and was part of the rock group Live, played Fat Daddy's with his new group The Gracious Few.
For details about Adam, visit www.myspace.com/adamtaylormusic.
To read an interview with Adam Taylor before his April performance at Lancaster's LAUNCH Music Festival, visit www.flipsidepa.com, and look under Pop Eye in the Going Out section.
Check out an exclusive interview here.