The lights dimmed to blackness, and a single bass tone cut through the room.
It was still dark when a shadowy figure with a curious-looking haircut stepped to the microphone, opened his mouth and revealed a familiar-sounding voice.
He sang a whole song before the audience got its first look at his face.
Later in the set, after the lights had returned, Chris Shinn spoke candidly to an audience of more than 1,000 people - most of whom probably had no idea who he was.
"I love these guys," Shinn said, gesturing to the other musicians on stage. "They're my brothers."
Those guys, the audience knew.
For the first time in nearly four years, a rock band of York natives stepped on stage Monday to play the songs that
And they did it with a new lead singer, Chris Shinn, whose voice flubbed not a note of the distinctive vocals that have long made Live songs stand out from the rest. Shinn's identity had been kept under wraps until Monday's show.
He replaces Ed Kowalczyk as the band's vocalist and joins drummer Chad Gracey, bassist Patrick Dahlheimer and guitarist Chad Taylor. The four 1989 graduates of William Penn Senior High School formed Live in 1985.
Taylor also said a few words into the microphone at the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center on Monday.
First, he confessed that Live had been rehearsing for about a year in York, holed away in a secret enclave that has since been discovered by city officials. It's not so secret anymore.
"Hello, city council," Taylor joked.
And then he said thank you to Shinn, a longtime friend of the band.
"God bless him," Taylor said. "for helping us make Live music come back."
The band is officially reunited, Taylor has said, though specific plans are still up in the air. They're writing music and scheduling shows, he said.
On Monday, Live played an hourlong set of hits that threw an audience of diverse ages into a whirlwind of nostalgia.
And when the final song ended, Shinn covered his face with his hands, bowed his head and seemed to breathe a sigh of relief as he walked backstage.
The lights lifted, and the audience cheered.
- Reach Erin James at 505-5439 or email@example.com or on Twitter @ydcity.