Words and Photos by Rod Snyder

Despite the rain, thousands of fans descended up Camden’s BB&T Pavilion to see the Counting Crows on their 25 Years And Counting Tour. They tapped their old friends, Live, to join them for the celebration. This tour marks the 3rd time these bands have toured together.

The evening started out with a blistering set from the locals from York, PA. Frontman Ed Kowalczyk greeted the crowd and gave thanks to the fans and for sticking with them over the years. He also said that he was glad to be back playing with his friends. Their breakout album, Throwing Copper, had the most songs played this evening. “I Alone” in particular was very memorable – the crowd, already on their feet, sang at the top of their lungs, the chorus “I alone love you, I alone tempt you…” You could feel the energy of the band and crowd, becoming one. That’s what the band feeds from, and what the audience wants. Is there such thing as the circle of music? If so, that’s it.

The main set closed with an aggressive version of “White, Discussion”. Live came back for 3 encores, which included a solo, acoustic number “Heaven” inspired by Kowalczyk’s daughter. They closed with the aptly named “Lighting Crashes”: as the song started, it started to rain again. And for the sake of the song, I had hoped for some lighting, but it never happened. In the end, it’s probably best it didn’t happen, since we were in an open amphitheater.

Counting Crows took to what was left of the stage, after Live’s set. Adam Duritz & Co greeted the crowd and wen’t right into “Mr’s Potter’s Lullabye” from their 1999 effort This Desert Life. “Omaha” would be the third in the setlist and prior to the song, featured the first of Adam’s storytelling of his childhood, moving around and band life in Berkley, CA. He told various stories throughout the show, some before the songs and others midway through the song, like during “Round Here”.

While I love the Crows, I feel a lot of the show’s energy was lost during some of the storytelling. I’m not against storytelling during shows, I just think they need to be cut down a bit. Anyone who has seen B.B. King in his later years, may know what I’m talking about. Things picked up a bit when they played the title track from of one my favorite albums, “Recovering The Satellites”. Whenever I listen to this CD, it always brings up happy memories of my road trip with my buddy Chris, up to Toronto, in October of 1996, to see another band of similar name, The Black Crowes. The band ended their show with 3 encores, the first being “Palisades Parkway” from their 2014 release, Somewhere Under Wonderland. Sticking to the weather theme, “Rain King” was next, followed by “Holiday In Spain”.

All in all, I enjoyed both band’s sets. While I do like the melancholy mood and lyrics in the songs by the Crows, it was a little difficult to follow up after the energetic set from Live. The 25 Years and Counting Tour, concludes in Toronto Canada on August 29.

Live Setlist:

All Over You
Love Lounge
Pain Lies On The Riverside
The Dolphin’s Cry
Selling The Drama
Baby What Do You Want Me To Do
The Distance
I Alone
Lakini’s Juice
White, Discussion

Turn My Head
Lightning Crashes

Counting Crows Setlist:

Mr.s Potter’s Lullaby
Daylight Fading
Good Time
Hard Candy
God Of Ocean Tides
Washington Square
Round Here
Recovering The Satellites
Goodnight L.A.
A Long December

Palisades Parkway
Rain King
Holiday In Spain

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