Mr. Jones and me tell each other fairy-tales

Counting Crows – E-Werk, Colgne; November 16th, 2014

It’s been a long time coming for this concert. I was originally introduced to Counting Crows about 15 years ago by my then boyfriend J. and while I immediately fell for their poetic lyrics, it took me a little longer to get used to Adam Duritz’ singing. However, once I had gotten used to that I embraced their music, bought every album and put them on my list of bands to see live. Unfortunately, they hardly ever played in Germany in all these years so when they finally announced a tour with the release of their latest album I knew I had to go. It was totally worth the wait. The very likeable and down to earth musicians played two hours of incredibly beautiful songs that didn’t leave much to wish for. I went home with tears in my eyes and a happy smile on my face, knowing I had witnessed something special I would not have wanted to miss. Having J. right there by my side and sharing our first concert of this wonderful band made it even better.

Getting there and getting in was all very relaxed. J. had a VIP ticket that included a meet & greet and soundcheck. When he came back out he knew he did not want to be at the front so we decided for the upstairs balcony directly across stage and were among the first people to arrive there. We settled in and remained seated for a while, even during the support act. That doesn’t mean they were bad though, quite the contrary. The band was called Lucy Rose after their singer and nicely introduced by Adam before they walked on stage. I cannot remember the last time I have seen a main act introducing their support before they started, I may even have never seen this before. Either way, it was a nice gesture.

Lucy Rose were good. I loved their music and especially the singer’s voice. She had her very own style of singing and the tunes had something quite recognizable. It also fit in well with what was about to come. Once in a while there are really good support acts. This was one of them. A great start to an amazing night.

Eventually we got up and watched them changing the stage. At 9 pm on the dot, the house lights went down, the music started and the Counting Crows walked on stage. From the first note to the last it was incredibly beautiful. The sound was crisp and clear, the lights were just right, the atmosphere was wonderful and the band played with all their hearts and souls. They delivered two hours of amazing music from most of their albums, taking us to faraway places and lands were you can build castles with words. Each one of them knew their stuff, but in this perfectly planned show (they played exactly 2 hours) they managed to come across very natural and just nice.

There were many lovely moments of them playing together or watching each other play and a few funny ones when Adam waited for the others to start the next song only to realize it was his turn to do it. He didn’t speak a lot that night, he mostly let the music talk, but whenever he said something it made me smile. He didn’t only sing but played the piano as well and we saw some of the others change instruments too. For the encore, they brought Lucy Rose back to the stage to sing with them, making them part of the band for a while.

They started with older song ‘Sullivan Street’ before playing the new ‘Scarecrow’ and they kept it nicely mixed from there. Overall Adam seemed to be singing a bit lower than he does on CD, but it suited the songs well. I absolutely loved it and when ‘Mr. Jones’ came up, we looked at each other smiling and J. mouthed “So we can strike that one off the list”. My first highlight, however, was ‘Colorblind’. It’s a song I have always loved and this version took the crown. It left me with my mouth hanging open in awe.

Many songs had been rearranged from their album versions with longer and different intros or at least that ‘s what it seemed like to me, not a fan, just someone who likes their music, but does not have any in-depth knowledge. Either way, I rarely recognized the songs before Adam started singing. Thus, when ‘Anna begins’, one on my all time favorites, rolled around, I didn’t realize what was happening until I heard the first line. It was absolutely gorgeous and drove tears to my eyes. Had I died then and there, I would have died happy. :’)

In the middle of the show they gave us an acoustic set with ‘Children in bloom’, ‘God of ocean tides’ and the Grateful Dead cover ‘Friend of the devil’. Before going back to the full band. At some point, somebody yelled “Round here!”, but that was never played that night. I do admit I would have loved to hear it, but with the amazing setlist they gave us, I have nothing to complain about. For ‘earthquake driver’ Adam explained that “an Earthquake Driver is a big fucker so this is a song about a big fucker!” and for ‘A long December’ he sat down at the piano. ‘Hangingaround’ was the last song in the main set and left everyone yelling for more.

‘Palisades Park’ opened the encores and was a big sing along like a few songs before. The greatest reaction, however, happened for ‘Rain King’. Absolutely everyone in the audience was waving their arms and singing along at the top of their lungs. It was a great thing to be part of. With the words “this is your lullaby” and the lovely ‘Holiday in Spain’ they finally left us. The last image on my mind is the band walking off and Adam standing there at the front of the stage, extending his arms and hugging us all. It does not get any better than this!

Setlist

Sullivan Street
Scarecrow
If I could give all my Love or Richared Manuel is dead
Cover up the sun
Mr. Jones
Colorblind
Mercy
Anna begins
Good Time
Dislocation
New Frontier
Children in Bloom
God of Ocean Tides
Friend of the Devil (Grateful Dead cover)
Possibility Days
Big Yellow Taxi (Joni Mitchell cover)
Earthquake driver
A long December (PIANO!)
Elvis went to Hollywood
Hangingaroud

Encore:
Palisades Park
Rain King
Holiday in Spain

pictures of this concert

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