Counting Crows and +LIVE+
The Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater
25 Years and Counting Tour
August 22, 2018
Counting Crows was formed in Berkeley, CA in 1991. The band consists of Adam Duritz (lead vocals, piano), David Bryson (guitar), Charlie Gillingham (keyboards, piano, accordion), Dan Vickrey (lead guitar), David Immerglück (lead guitar, pedal steel, mandolin, bass guitar), Jim Bogios (drums, percussion) and Millard Powers (bass guitar, piano, guitar).
In 1993, the band’s debut album, August and Everything After (Geffen Records) propelled them to stardom. The album featured the hit singles “Mr. Jones,” “Round Here,” “Rain King” and “A Murder of One.” The band’s second album, Recovering the Satellites (Geffen Records, 1996) featured a heavier sound than the debut. Nonetheless it yielded the his single, “A Long December.”
During the course of its career, Counting Crows has had continued chart success with songs such as “Hanginaround,” “Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby,” “American Girls,” “Big Yellow Taxi,” “You Can Count On Me” and “Come Around.” The band has sold more than 20 million albums across the world and received an Oscar nomination for “Accidentally in Love” from the animated film Shrek.
+LIVE+ is from York, PA. The band features Ed Kowalczyk (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Chad Taylor (lead guitar, backing vocals), Patrick Dahlheimer (bass), and Chad Gracey (drums). Its first release was the Four Songs EP (Radioactive, 1991). In December 1991, +LIVE+ released its debut album Mental Jewelry on Radioaactive Records. The group broke-through and achieved worldwide success with its Throwing Copper album (Radioactive, 1994).
During its career, the band has had a number of hit singles including: “Pain Lies on the Riverside.” “Operation Spirit (The Tyranny of Tradition),” “I Alone,” “All Over You,” “Lakini’s Juice,” “The Dolphin's Cry” and the #1 US Modern Rock hits “Selling the Drama” and “Lightning Crashes.”
The original band broke-up in 2009, returned in 2011, with a different singer and reunited in 2016. On tour, +LIVE+ is joined by Zak Loy on rhythm guitar and Robin Diaz who provides additional drums and percussion.
On a pleasant Wednesday evening in late August, Counting Crows and +LIVE+ rolled into Long Island’s intimate outdoor arena, The Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater. The two bands provided fans with a fantastic evening of the best of 1990’s Modern Rock. Both bands continue to deliver powerful and tight rock ‘n’ roll.
The still freshly reunited +LIVE+ was up first. Its strong 10-song main with an additional 3-song encore set was not that of your typical opening act. It featured the band’s classic hits and sounded more like a headliner’s performance than and opener.
+LIVE+ opened with “All Over You” and immediately put the pedal to the metal. Highlights of +LIVE’s+ hits-filled performance included: “Pain Lies on the Riverside,” “The Dolphin's Cry,” “Selling the Drama,” the Jimmy Reed cover “Baby What You Want Me to Do,” “The Distance,” “I Alone” (on which Kowalczyk toyed with the vocals in a way that gave the song a slightly different feel but still retained the original tone), “Lakini's Juice” and “White, Discussion.” During the set Kowalczyk was EVERYWHERE. He was all over the stage. His energy was infectious. The encores featured “Heaven” (which was written for his, now, teenage daughter when she was born), “Turn My Head” and the band’s biggest hit--the touching ballad, “Lightning Crashes.”
After a short intermission, Counting Crows hit the stage and Duritz was in a very jovial and talkative mood. The band’s set opened with “Mrs. Potter's Lullaby” and between his speeches and asides, the set featured a haunting version of “Round Here,” “Omaha” as well as the Teenage Fanclub cover “Start Again,” “Colorblind” and “Catapult.”
Talkative front-man Adam Duritz' voice was quite mellow and nostalgic, leading the audience members on a tour of Memory Lane--Counting Crows-style. During the performance, the stage lights changed from red, to blue to purple as the band members delivered an amazing performance.
The main set closed with the Top-10 single, "A Long December” and “Hanginaround.” The three encores were a bit of s surprise: “Palisades Park” from 2014’s Somewhere Under Wonderland (Capitol Records), “Rain King” from August and Everything After and “Holiday in Spain” from 2002’s Hard Candy (Geffen Records). Each encore was delivered flawlessly and sounded fantastic, but audience members seemed a bit surprised by the lack of “Mr. Jones,” “Accidently In Love” or the Grateful Dead cover, “Friend of The Devil.”
The evening was a fantastic success for both bands. +LIVE+ proved that they’re back and played with a vengeance. They rocked hard and the audience at it up. Perhaps, on its next visit to Long Island, it will be the headlining act. The seven members of Counting Crows proved that they were not only virtuoso musicians but still capable of performing the band’s classic hits with a vitality and joy that makes them sound as fresh as they day they were first released.
Photos by Christine Connallon