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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Things I Love Thursday: Counting Crows

I have been a fan of the Counting Crows since the first time I heard "Round Here" back in the 90's. "Anna Begins", "Sullivan Street", "Miami"--some of my favorite songs--not just favorite Counting Crows songs, but favorite songs.

I am a big lyric girl and so many of the Counting Crows songs have wonderful stories and meaning to them. And if their music wasn't enough, Adam Duritz (the lead singer) is a theatre lover, like me! Several years ago I sat behind him at a Broadway show and it made my night!

Soon after that I saw Counting Crows in concert in Raleigh. Prior to the concert I had read something about Adam Duritz blowing out his knee at a concert a few years before.

I couldn't figure out how that was possible. I mean, he's a singer/piano player. It's not like he's Madonna with some slick dance moves.

And then I saw him in Raleigh and the blown knee made sense. No, he's not Madonna. But yes, he is high energy. When he sings, he is all over the stage, jumping off of amps, running into other band mates, etc. No actual choreographed dancing, but he is rarely still!

Since that concert I have eagerly waited for a chance to see the band live again. They were at Taste of Chicago last summer, but I had a 5 week old and didn't feel like braving the crowds yet.

But lucky me, they performed a few weeks ago at Ravinia and my sweet husband knowing how much I loved them surprised me with AMAZING tickets. We're talking 6th row center amazing!

A few (of the MANY) pictures...

This concert had a different feel from most concerts. Instead of having an opening band followed by CC, this tour was more of a collaboration with Augustana and the rapper NOTAR. Most of the time almost every one was on stage--full Counting Crows band, full Augustana band (look at all of those people in that picture!)--and they performed each other's numbers together. There were a few times when half the group would leave the stage and just Counting Crows would perform or just Augustana, but for the most part this was a huge group musical extravaganza!

Ahhhh, Adam. So not my type, but once he starts to sing I don't care!

Dan Layus, lead singer of Augustana. He's adorable and has a great voice. When he and Adam would sing together the harmonies were AMAZING!

This concert really had the feel of a bunch of friends just hanging out making music. And to add to that feel, on occasion actress and Adam Duritz girlfriend, Emmy Rossum, would come on to sing back-up! (Yes, she's ridiculously beautiful and ridiculously thin!)

The concert had so many highlights for me (the all hands on deck performance of Bob Dylan's "Just Like A Woman" was stunning!), but what I loved most was the collaborative feel. These were people who obviously loved music, obviously loved performing together and the audience just soared on that great energy.

This was the last concert of a 2 year tour, so energy and emotion were especially high at this performance. The second to last number, "Hangin' Around", was accompanied by band members throwing rolls of toilet paper back and forth across the stage (you can see a little flying TP in the pic above). (Did I mention it just felt like a bunch of buddies hanging out? Love it!)

They then performed an amazing encore mash-up of "Rain King" and the Beatles "With a Little Help from My Friends". A perfect ending to what had obviously been a great 2 year ride for everyone involved.

NOTAR (who I really liked even though I'm not usually a rap fan!) tossed the play list into the crowd after the show. The lady in front of me caught it and sadly, didn't want to give it to me. She did let me take a picture though.

I am so glad that I got to see the Travelling Circus and Medicine Show and I'm especially happy I saw it on it's closing night. After watching the wonderful collaboration between bands and the obvious enjoyment in each other's music I don't know that I will ever be able to fully appreciate a traditional concert again. THIS is the way music should be made and shared!

So, tell me. Are you a Counting Crows fan? (Please say yes or I may have to rethink our friendship!) What's the best concert you've ever been to?

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