I was going to say something cheesy about Counting Crows and fireworks– it being the 5th November and all, but I am far, far better than that and thankfully so are they !
I first saw this band back in the day when they toured for the release of their second album, a time when they were riding pretty high as one of the acts to catch. I was a huge fan of their debut release “August and Everything After” and I have been a huge fan ever since. Don’t get me wrong, this review is not going to be one of those fanboy gushes that oft grace a reviewers page – for one I am no boy and although I am a fan, I do not, and I can confirm this, gush.
What I can say is that in the intervening years much has changed with both Counting Crows and myself. We both have got older, Adam Duritz and I are not the slim svelte chaps we once were (although he is significantly slimmer and indeed more svelte than me) and we both seemingly still enjoy fabulous music and a rollicking good rock n roll show ! The similarity ends there however – they are fabulous musicians who pen awesome rock tunes and I, well lets just say I am not !
The set opened with the quite wondrous “Round Here” and although this song is perhaps one of their older ones, it still has a verve and polish that exemplifies how this band craft their music and how they still have a joy in performing their older offerings.
Throughout the rest of the set they continue to mix the old with the new, all to a fabulous reception from this big Leeds crowd. “Mrs Potters Lullaby” made it into tonights set – it hasn’t at all shows as far as I know, but my overall favourite “Mr Jones” was left out – gutted ? A bit, but hey the rest made up for it and they did play “Omaha” !
Throughout the set, Adam Duritz pays homage to his heroes, (one, and they cover one of his songs, is in prison) his home, and his family and this strengthens the feeling that, given the chance, this band would rather be playing their music to you in a big pub rather than this expansive, but beautiful, venue, such is the intimacy and presence of their music.
I have to admit, that on first listen I wasn’t too sure about the new album, it sounded a bit samey and a bit like all the other Counting Crows records, and then I realised that this was the very reason I love this band….yeah they are the same, but they are always consistently good and they always provide music that is a cut above their contemporaries.
They finished off the night with three encores, one of which “Rain King” was truly awesome and with a walk around the crowd out front and a salute from the band from the stage following their last songs, Counting Crows left the stage with the crowd begging for more….just as it should be a t a rock n roll gig !
Above all Counting Crows consistently deliver their music in live performances that leave you walking out of the venue thinking you had seen something special…remember what I said about being a gushing fanboy? Have I been ? perhaps, but hell it is all true and I to be fair I wasn’t the only one…all around me as we left the venue I heard the same thing…this gig tonight was good…very, very good !
The rest of the photographs from this gig can be found at : https://www.flickr.com/photos/mark-loraine/sets/72157649177715481/