Counting Crows – Hammersmith Apollo | 23.04.2013

counting-crows-live-flyer-2013Where’s mr Jones?

The San Francisco rockers formed in 1991 and have sold over 20 million albums to date. This was their first UK tour in over 4 years (last time in London was in July 2009 at the O2 Academy Brixton). The current line-up features Adam Duritz (vocals), David Bryson (guitar), Charles Gillingham (keyboards), Dan Vickrey (guitar), Jim Bogios (drums), David Immergluck (guitar) and Millard Powers (bass).

A remarkable warm up from young Brit singer Lucy Rose open the event at the Apollo with her set of acoustic-folk. Sit on a chair with her guitar and a microphone, Rose sings well and she seems modest and sincere. Her songs are small masterpieces in their own rights, from ‘Shiver’ to the intense ‘Bikes’ – this is where virtue meets intelligence. The band seemed little more than a routine addition as all eyes were set on Rose’s fascinating performance.

Lights still on and Billy Whiters’s “Lean On Me”  let the Crows onto the stage.
Duritz, great story-telling singing style, throwing everything into each song and creating new and often improvised arrangements, is well known and proven during last night’s ten-minute opener, Round Here.
Following on with Untitled (Love Song) and a perfect performance of Mrs Potter’s Lullaby, it becomes apparent that the forthcoming DVD release of the show to remember.

Adam Duritz, delivers every song with passion and really gives off the idea that the band are enjoying themselves when performing, although the longer versions sometimes leave the audience incapable to sing along. These versions are all set up to have a new life in every show. The stage becomes an altar where the priest Duritz moves about the line in an almost religious way that reminds of the Stipe/Doors style.

Charlie Gillingham, Mr Piano man proves to be the most hypnotic member of the band, and give words to his talking accordion. On bass he add another dimension to the tunes as well. His excellent accordion in “Omaha” made the audience go wild.

No live show ever feels the same. Mr.Jones and Accidentally in Love were missing, but Anna Begins or A Long December were there. With the band changing set-list regularly other surprises can happen as well. Introducing other people’s songs into their own, there is something new to hear, like Look at Miss Ohio (Gillian Welch cover) or Return of the Grievous Angel (Gram Parsons cover) which brought a tangible hush to the venue as the spotlight fell on the lone singer as he gave a dramatic performance.

Six covers in total (without the intro) and fifteen greatest hits. A new live album is due for release, which has nothing too original and probably few highlights to become again a great album success like in the past. Better to be part of a great live performance.

Antonello Furione

1. Round Here (Come Outside alts.)
2. Untitled (Love Song) (The Romany Rye cover)
3. Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby
4. Hospital (Coby Brown cover)
5. Black and Blue
6. Mercy
7. Omaha
8. Miami
9. Anna Begins
10. Like Teenage Gravity (Kasey Anderson cover)
11. When I Dream of Michelangelo
12. Rain King (Someone To Watch Over Me alts.)
13. Mercury
14. I Wish I Was a Girl
15. Look at Miss Ohio (Gillian Welch cover)
16. A Long December
17. Return of the Grievous Angel (Gram Parsons cover)
18. Hanginaround

19. Blues Run the Game (Jackson C. Frank cover)
20. Hard Candy
21. Holiday in Spain

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