August 1, 2015
“It looks like darkness to me
Drifting down into Miami.”
Counting Crows are my favorite band, both to listen to and
to go see live and I take every opportunity to see them, having seen at least
one show on every tour they have had since 1994. That is a lot of shows, but I
never tire of going because they are always new and fresh, varying the
set-lists often, improvising and adding alternate takes on many of their most
popular songs. You never know what new surprises they have in store, even if
you see multiple shows on the same tour.
A number of my friends think I am crazy, they think lead
singer Adam Duritz is whiny, nasally, boring and worse. Trust me I have heard
it all, but I could not disagree more, hey to each their own, but personally I
think that he is one of the great songwriters of my generation and that the
band is consistently one of the best live acts touring. I have never been
disappointed at one of their shows and when they are really and truly on, their
shows can be transcendent.
They played at the wonderful, intimate venue at Bayfront
Park, which is ultra convenient since I can stay at the Holiday Inn Bayside and
walk back and forth to the venue. I was flying out of Ft. Lauderdale very early
the next morning, so it worked out all around. I got there early to catch the
sound check as was part of the deal with my VIP ticket. It is great because the
tickets are up front (in the first three rows) and include free admission to
the sound check and a meet and greet with the band. It is worth it just to
attend the sound check which is basically a cool private mini-concert where the
band works through three or four songs without all the lighting and production.
The sound checks often feature rarities or cover songs not
featured during the actual concert as well as songs where they are working out
variations or additions so it can be really interesting and fun. The down side
to this sound check was the weather, it was Miami in July in mid-afternoon and
it was blazing hot, I mean Africa hot both for the band as well as the small
group assembled to watch.
After the sound check and meet and greet, it was back for a
quick shower at the hotel to cool off before returning in time to catch the
brilliant opening act, Citizen Cope who played a wonderful set. I had never
seen the band and was really, really impressed. It was a great start to the
Better yet was the nice group of friends from Key West who
were also up for the concert that I hung out with during the set break. I guess
some of my friends at least agree with my assessment of the band. I was happy
to see it and happy to spend time with some friends somewhere outside of Key
Shawn & Tim
When the main act came on, they did not fail to
impress. As expected, Counting Crows delivered another awesome set of live
music. Twenty songs ranging from their first release up to selections from
their fantastic latest CD, “Somewhere Under Wonderland”. The crowd was great
and the band was on target, especially during the first third of the set list.
They leveled off during the latter portion of the set, but overall it was yet
another top notch performance by a band still performing at a peak level.