Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Concert Preview: Maroon 5, Counting Crows, Augustana, Cricket Amp 9.13.08

I love Counting Crows. I am not even kidding. There were two albums in high school that were transformative for me and one of those was August and Everything After. It was senior year. My parents had gone away for a few days of spring break which conveniently overlapped with Sara's parents going away for the remainder of spring break. There were 6 days straight of parties, late night talks with the girls, random people making out in bedrooms, alcohol, Scrabble, skinny dipping, and most of it happened with August and Everything After as the soundtrack.

While Mr Jones was the radio hit, we were all about Anna Begins, Omaha, and of course, Round Here, which still gets the full sing-along treatment when I'm with my girls. While my music taste changed over the years, Counting Crows were long my go-to band. Since that release in 1993, they've released several albums, some successful, some not so much. I still think there were gems on many of those albums, and I think Adam Duritz has an amazing poetic ways of stringing words together that puts him with the top brass of songwriters of our time. He's had bouts with depression, dated Hollywood starlets that did nothing more than drag him into tabloid fodder, and had a couple hiccups along the way. The songs that seem to have been overplayed (see Accidentally In Love and his cover of Joni Mitchell's Big Yellow Taxi) put him solidly into playlists on pop radio, but it's the other few songs that kept me holding on to my fandom. I have seen the band about 6 times, which would've been more except that they cancelled the show that was supposed to take place on my birthday nearly 10 years ago. I had 3rd row seats. I will say having the opportunity to meet the band at a soundcheck when they were touring on Hard Candy made up for it.

My music tastes have grown up and have gained in diversity, but there is still a place in my heart for Counting Crows. Their latest 2 CD release, Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings, is perfect for exactly what it describes, and I look forward to seeing the band again under the sky this weekend at Cricket Amphitheatre. Local boys Augustana are opening the night and Maroon 5 is sharing the headlining spot.

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