Update from Adam -- you've gotta scroll about halfway down the post to get to what I'm talking about
How do you all feel about what Adam had to say? What the fans had to say? What do you have to say?
The third night of Counting Crows and Maroon 5's U.S. co-headlining tour continued Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre's busiest week this summer Monday. As concert goers trailed in from the parking lot Counting Crows' vocalist Adam Duritz hobbled on stage with a cane to introduce opener Sara Bareilles.
The soulful vocalist and piano-pop songwriter who attended college with a few of Maroon 5's members lit into “Bottle It Up” with Duritz watching from the side of the stage. Her single “Love Song” made the most impact as she and her band (which includes Carolina-raised drummer Josh Day) bounced to its bopping melody.
Maroon 5's performance was a bit rawer than when the five-piece headlined Cricket Arena in 2005 at the height of the band's popularity. The band still played its hits beginning with “Harder to Breathe” and “If I Never See Your Face Again.” But they dressed casually in light, scruffy summer T-shirts and infused their soulful mix of R&B, funk and rock with ample guitar.
Not since Prince has a band punctuated its infectious dance-pop with as many wailing guitar solos. Guitarist James Valentine's solos gave songs like “Kiwi” and “The Sun” added spark. He and frontman Adam Levine closed the show with metallic dual shredding during “Sweetest Goodbye.” Levine, best known for his soaring falsetto, proved he could shred with the best of them.
Yet the brightest moment was probably Chris Isaak's “Wicked Game” leading into “She Will Be Loved” and swiftly followed by “This Love.” After the climactic end of “Sweetest Goodbye,” Levine singled out a female fan a few rows back from the front of the stage and had other audience members pass his guitar to her.
Beneath streetlights and a backdrop of a building with windows and a giant door that doubled as screens, the Counting Crows hit the stage at 9:45. Duritz explained quickly before launching into “Angels of the Silences”: “I have a bruised or broken heel and definitely sprained my ankle. It's not going to make any (expletive) difference.”
He was right. Although he frequently leaned on his cane, microphone stand, and other band members, he still gave an energetic performance. He perched on top of the stage monitors during big numbers like “Omaha” and “Rain King” (both from its 1993 debut “August and Everything After”), and even jumped from the monitors twice.
Although he remained the focal point, the hard-working six-piece band charged tirelessly behind him. Like its latest album, “Saturday Nights, Sunday Mornings,” the Crows' live show found them merrily turning up the rock.
“Speedway” and “High Life” (both from 1999's “This Desert Life”) served as a testament as to why the group is held up by emo bands as an influence.
Duritz's performance was often so emotional, you weren't sure if you should look away. His spirit rose, as did the band's energy level, for upbeat new tracks “Los Angeles” and “1492.” Another new one, “On Almost Any Sunday Morning” returned to stirring darkness with a confessional if somewhat confusing introduction.
“I'm very blessed in love today,” Duritz said. Curiously adding, “I'm going to regret a lot of this tomorrow.” It was uncertain if he meant the physicality he'd waged on his bum foot, but he absolutely glowed through the next song, “Accidentally in Love.” It brought college and high school age fans dancing down the aisles where they remained for “Come Around.”
After introducing the outreach programs and local organizations that Counting Crows had invited to set up booths at the show and encouraging fans to vote in the upcoming election, a composed Duritz told the crowd that the band's goal was to play an entirely new set list. That explained the omission of early hits “Mr. Jones” and “Round Here,” which they played on opening night in Virginia Beach.
“Every song we played tonight we have not played on the tour yet,” he said. “We succeeded.”
While on vacation, I decided that I'd fit the Counting Crows concert in there (because I'm going to be away at school when they come to Michigan.) So onto the concert...
It was so great. I went to the show last night, and I felt awful because he comes out with a cane and a brace on his ankle. So he proceeds to tell us that he sprained his ankle, etc, etc, leaving us to assume that since he had been hopping on it every night of the tour (just like last night) like a crazy person (he doesn't want to disappoint, after all ;p) he was pretty doped up on pain killers. So about halfway through the show, the combination of medicine and 100 degree heat had left him a little loopy XD He got all deep and philosophical and emotional and sang all these really slow, sad songs and talked a LOT (and slurred some of his words a bit XD) but it was cool. Even with the cane he insisted on jumping on the main speaker, and then he'd basically fall over from exhaustion onto the stage, so he'd just settle for banging his cane on the stage. Hah, it was really great. And then by the end, you could tell that he felt really bad about it. He sang "Accidentally in Love" near the end; introducing it with a "I'll probably regret this tomorrow." He gave a great speech about all these programs, and getting out to vote, etc. It was really enjoyable, and even though it perhaps wasn't the same energy as the band before it (Maroon 5 and their extremely great show) all the "true" CC fans really got into it. It was nice.
They played...(not in correct order)
Up All Night (Frankie Miller Goes to Hollywood) -- which is one that I have always loved.
Accidentally in Love
Murder of One (an amazing, AMAZING version. Had to be like...gah, over ten minutes long.)
High Life (normally not my fav, but very well done)
If I Could Give All My Love (Richard Manuel is Dead)
OMAHA! THEY PLAYED OMAHA! Wonderfully, I might add.
I can't remember all the others. There were some lovely sad ones. He said that they're trying to keep it a "fresh" tour. So every concert, they play completely new songs than the ones played at the previous. So, all the songs we heard last night (probably) will not be played again.
ANYWAY, it was a great show. Just wonderful. Lots of fun (despite the god-awful heat.)