On certain evenings in November when the weather bothers me

Counting Crows – Royal Parl Live, Baarn, Netherlands; July 9th 2016

Seeing the Counting Crows at Royal Park Live Festival was a spontaneous decision: I saw their concert announcement on Twitter, looked it up, thought the venue was cool and since I had no other plans for that Weekend, I bought a ticket. Twice since there was the opportunity to Exchange this concert for another Festival and twice I decided against it. Still, when the day drew Close I was so exhausted I contemplated staying home. It was a good thing I didn’t, I would have missed a beautiful concert. Everything about this Festival as nice and relaxed, the weather stayed good and needless to say the band was amazing. 🙂

Had a very early start to the day, because somehow, when buying the train tickets I had imagined I needed to be there long before the doors opened. Arrived well before noon, was lucky enough to be allowed to check in and rested. Got to the venue two hours before the doors opened, but nobody was there yes. Went for a walk, heard some of the soundcheck, got back an hour later and was the fifth person in line. Everyone was relaxed and chatting, enjoying the day. when the doors finally opened, everyone walked in. On the way, we were greeted by palace guards in uniform – a nice touch. Once inside, I got to pick my spot on front row, slightly off center. The place filled slowly, people ate, talked and rested.

Singer/Songwriter Ed Struijlaart was playing on a smaller stage. He sounded good from where I was, but I didn’t go to watch him – just hearing the music was enough. Instead I laid down and think I might have even slept for a little while. He played for about 45 minutes. A short break and next up were Moke on the main stage. Nice, listenable music with a few songs I really liked. They managed to get some of the audience going. I spent a lot of time watching a little girl in front row though. She apparently was the guitarists daughter and had a lot of fun there. Roughly one hour later they were done and the stage was changed for the main act. Meanwhile the venue had filled up, excited chatter going on all around.

Before 9 pm an announcer stepped on stage to welcome us and tell us to expect the Counting Crows now. We had to wait a few more minutes, but hen ‘Lean on me’ started playing from tape as they walked on. I had not listened to them in so long I was not sure I’d remember any of the lyrics or even the songs, but I knew I was going to enjoy it anyway. The view was great from my spot and while I could never see the full stage at once, I could see details of what everyone did. ‘Sullivan street’ and ‘Scarecrow’, then got everyone going with ‘Mr.Jones’.

Early on Adam told us how he and David had been visiting friends in France and Italy and this was the first sober day in over a week. He joked on how many words the songs have and that in the future he was gonna make music that was less wordy. 🙂 According to him the soundcheck was much needed, but it had sounded just fine to me. It was nice to hear him tell stories. I enjoyed it a lot.

The music of course was beautiful and while some of the words got lost where I stood, the sound was good overall and the performance was brilliant. ‘Colorblind’ sent shivers down my spine and ‘Omaha’ had me singing at the top of my lungs. So I did remember some songs and lyrics after all. ‘Omaha’ was a song that Adam referred to as one of the wordy ones and later, it might have been for ‘Cover up the Sun’, he mentioned a “sheet cheat” on stage that supposedly contained the lyrics, but only had keywords on it and read them to us. 😀

I was smiling the whole time though and occasionally was moved to tears as well. My happiest moment was when I heard the line “On certain evenings in November when the weather bothers me..”. ‘Hard Candy’ has always been one of my favorites and it was such a treat to hear it live. We got two “acoustic” songs too, ‘God of Ocean Tides’ and ‘Goodnight Elisabeth’, but especially the latter wasn’t really acoustic at all. Too much drums. Still awesome though. ‘A long December’ was performed by Adam on the piano. the piano was even carried to the front of the stage for him so everyone could see him well. In storyteller mode again he mentioned a concert where he had felt so proud of writing such a great song and thinking he was amazing until he realized he was playing something different than the band was. 😉

They all performed beautifully that night, it was a joy to watch them and they looked as if they were having a good time. The audience was great too, many fans singing along to every word and overall happy and respectful to each other. No pushing and shoving, just enjoyment of the music. The main set ended with ‘Hangingaround’ and we begged them to return. They did for ‘Palisades Park’, the crowd favorite ‘Rain King’ with everyone singing along and finally ‘Holiday in Spain’, originally recorded with Dutch band Bløf whom many had been hoping to see as guests that night as they were playing the festival the following day. They did not show up, but it was great nonetheless.

When it was over, Adam gestured to hug everyone and they walked off to ‘California Dreamin’ played from tape. We clapped and yelled for more, but no such luck. It was a fun concert that made me forget about time passing and had me enjoy being in the moment. Surely worth traveling for. Thank you, Counting Crows, you were amazing.


Sullivan Street
Mr. Jones
Start Again (Teenage Fanclub cover)
Cover Up the Sun
If I Could Give All My Love -or- Richard Manuel Is Dead
Hard Candy
God of Ocean Tides
Goodnight Elisabeth / Pale Blue Eyes
Big Yellow Taxi (Joni Mitchell cover)
A Long December

Palisades Park
Rain King
Holiday in Spain

pictures of this concert

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