Ed Kowalczyk spent Halloween carrying Tinkerbell.

It was his 2-year-old daughter's first time trick-or-treating.

The rocker said he's a able to spend more time with his kids, since the family moved from southern California to Connecticut in the last year.

After 15 years in The Golden State, Kowalczyk said it's nice to experience seasons again. Commuting to gigs is easier, since several East Coast cities are just a drive away. Europe is an entire continent closer.

Kowalczyk said he'll probably just drive to York County for his concert at Penn State York's Pullo Family Performing Arts Center this weekend.

"I love coming back," he said. "You just get to see the familiar faces. You get that flow of nostalgia and memories."

Kowalczyk grew up in the area, and in the '80s, fronted the band Public Affection, which later became the multiplatinum rock group Live.

In the past few years, Kowalczyk has embarked on a solo career. His Live band mates have moved on with a new lead singer.

"I feel like the fans deserve the original band," Kowalczyk said of Live. "There were efforts made to put the band back together. It didn't manifest."

So, Kowalczyk has moved on. His second album "The Flood and The Mercy" was released in the U.S. late last month.

"I feel it's one of my finest albums," Kowalczyk said. "It really started with the energy and the challenge of doing something new."

Since different companies are handling distribution, it didn't have a universal release date. It was released in Europe and Australia in September, and the single "Seven" is charting down under.

For the album, Kowalczyk teamed back up with producer Jamie Candiloro. A few months ago, Candiloro ran into guitarist Peter Buck, formerly of R.E.M., and got him involved with the project.

Kowalczyk said he's known the guys in R.E.M. for several years. He even made a cameo performance during the band's 1995 Hersheypark Stadium concert.

"It was a real dream come true for me," he said of having Buck on his album. He added that he's planning to play Buck's charity festival in early 2014.

Then, in February, Kowalczyk is heading to Australia for a series of shows to celebrate the 20th anniversary since the release of Live's smash album "Throwing Copper."

"The idea is to do the album from front to back," he said. "I've never done that."

While Live peppered most of the album tracks into sets throughout the '90s, it never played them back-to-back. Kowalczyk said the tunes are speaking to him in new ways.

"I wrote ('Lightning Crashes') before I had kids," he said. "Now, I experience the song on a new level. I think I share that with fans (who) have really grown with (the songs) over the years."

For his show Saturday at the Pullo Center, Kowalczyk will play many new songs. He said he keeps the lineup fluid -- something he wasn't able to do while in a band.

"There is a controlled unpredictability," he added. "That's part of the fun. For the artist, that's the best thing you can have."

Contact Erin McCracken at 717-771-2051.

Details on the concert

Ed Kowalczyk returns to Penn State York's Pullo Family Performing Arts Center for a concert 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, concert. Tickets are $29 and $45. The Pullo Center is at 1031 Edgecomb Ave., Spring Garden Township. For details and tickets, call 717-505-8900 or visit For details about past and current Live members, visit

Studio session

Ed Kowalczyk will perform an intimate show 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, in the iHeartRadio Theater at WRVV-FM (The River 97.3). For details and to enter to win passes, visit

Read or Share this story: