Live & Counting Crows

7 July 2019

My first Live concert also featured the Counting Crows. Iwas transformed from a casual Live listener to an avid supporter of thealternative rock group, and an even greater fan of lead singer Edward Kowalczyk.The four-hour show was an amazing success.

The opening band was The NegroProblem, whose funky music was extremely fun to dance to, even without knowingany of their songs. The addition of a flute player whose discordant melodiescombined with the almost Jamaican tone produced an altogether unusual butinteresting sound. The band got the crowd up and moving, ready to enjoy thefollowing groups.

Live came on and immediately took control of the crowd.Lead singer Kowalczyk sang with the husky resonance typical of Live’s songs. Hedanced, strutted, made jokes and connected with the audience. Joining him was PatDahlheimer on bass guitar, Chad Gracey on drums and Chad Taylor on lead guitar.Also performing were Adam Kowalczyk and Christopher Thorn on guitar and MichaelRailton on keyboard. As well as performing many older songs like “LightningCrashes,” “All Over You” and “I Alone,” there were manysongs from their new album, “The Distance To Here.”

The bandwas on fire. Their music was incredible, they were extremely fun to watch andlisten to and became, in my opinion, eminently worthy of their name.

Aftera ten-minute interval, Counting Crows came on-stage. During intermission, thecrew had placed large pictures around the stage. The images – a paper airplane, aman with a fishbowl head, a circus wheel and many others – gave the stage asurreal feeling.

A long-time fan of the Counting Crows, I was thrilledwhen they began with one of their most popular songs, “Round Here,”from the album “August and Everything After,” sung with lead singerAdam Duritz’s classic, indefinable style. Many of their older songs, however,were condensed, upsetting fans who were looking forward to hearing entire songs.

Dreadlocks flapping, Duritz kept the crowd dancing throughout the set.Counting Crows features Dan Vickery on electric and acoustic guitars, Ben Mize ondrums, Matt Malley on bass guitar, Charles Gillingham on piano and organ andDavid Bryson on guitar.

With a more mellow tone, the second set was muchcalmer than the first. Unlike Live, who had a great deal of crowd participation,Counting Crows did not try to involve the audience as much.

Undoubtedlythere were two songs that far surpassed the others. In the middle of Live’s set,Adam Duritz came out and sang along, creating a powerful effect that the crowdloved. The last song of the evening was “Hangin’ Around,” off theCounting Crows’ newest album, “This Desert Life.” They were joined byThe Negro Problem and Live, as well as family members of the bands. It wasincredibly fun to watch, and the music was amazing.

Overall, the concertwas one of the best I have ever seen. While the Counting Crows are a band I’veloved for years, it was truly Live who captured the evening and made me adedicated fan. Both bands were fantastic.

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