HOME SOUNDcheck GOhear GOview GOread GOplaces DOmore


  » Contact Us
  » Advertise With Us

  » Classifieds
  » Newspaper Ads

Concert Reviews:
Counting Crows and Live light up a holiday Sunday at DTE

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

Posted: Thursday, September 6, 2018

» See more SOUND CHECK

INDEPENDENCE TOWNSHIP -- Counting Crows and Live took fans into a time capsule Sunday night, Aug. 2, at the DTE Energy Music Theatre -- or, as live frontman Ed Kowalczyk put it, "back...to the days of much larger cell phones."

The mid-90s was the time in question, a zenith period for both bands, who were touring together for a third time. Titled "25 Years and Counting," the trek is primarily celebrating the silver anniversary of Counting Crows' multi-platinum debut album, "August and Everything After." But Live's similarly successful smash "Throwing Copper" turns 25 next year, and while both groups are still fully active concerns, the focus Sunday was on those past glories, much to the delight of an enthusiastic, half-full house at DTE.

After welcoming fans "to our 25 years of doing (stuff) onstage tour," Bespectacled Counting Crows frontman Adam Duritz, sporting a vintage Teenage Fanclub T-shit and torn jeans, acknowledged early in his band's 16 song, hour-and-40-minute set that he was struggling a bit with the anniversary concept. "I wanted to find a way to express what it's like...but I have no idea how to do that," he explained." The solution was to "come up here and tell some stories," which he did before several of the songs. notably "Omaha," "Miami," "God of Ocean Tides" and "Round Here" -- with mixed results on a hot summer night in a large venue like DTE, where the crowd was in vociferously rowdy holiday weekend mood and not entirely up for in lengthy verbal discourses.

Fortunately the septet did plenty of playing, too -- and played well despite a wildly inconsistent sound mix that buried a great deal of its rich nuance under a snare drum pushed up way too loud. Rolling into the show with "Mrs. Potter," the group offered up muscular renditions of favorites such as "Mr. Jones," "Angels of the Silences," "If I Could Give All My Love -or- Richard Manuel is Dead" and the buoyant "Hanginaround" and lent a gentle, swelling expansiveness to "Round Here" and "A Long December."

The Live portion of the crowd, sadly, was long gone by Counting Crow's encores, but "Rain King" and "Holiday in Spain" were sublime send-offs, with Duritz issuing a non-partisan message for fans to get out and vote in November before the latter.

And Live -- which reunited with Kowalczyk two years ago after a seven-year split -- certainly had a substantial number of partisans for its high-octane 13-song, 80-minute set on Sunday at DTE. The quartet, plus two adjunct musicians, even had some brand new material -- "Love Lounge" and a cover of Jimmy Reed's rootsy "Baby What You Want Me To Do," recently recorded at Sun Studios in Memphis. But Live knew that nostalgia was what its crowd came for, and with Kowalczyk (in a vintage CBGB T-shirt) in limber, lithe form and guitarist Chad Taylor sharing solos with touring member Zak Loy Live pounded through anthems such as "All Over You," "The Dolphin's Cry," "Selling The Drama," "I Alone" and "Lakini's Juice."

Kowalczyk offered up a pair of encore acoustic songs, "Heaven" and "Tore My Head," with is own comparatively brief storyteller moments, an effective setup for the inevitable show-closer, "Lightning Crashes" -- which, like the entirety of both bands' repertoires, sounded as strong and fresh Sunday as it did back in those days when no mobile phone could fit in a pocket.

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


GO & DO Michigan, an Entertainment Portal
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the written permission of the copyright holder.

© Copyright MediaNews Group, Inc. | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Policy | Arbitration