Counting Crows, joined by Live, make a stop at Tinley Park’s Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre as part of their 25-year anniversary celebration.
It was a busy night for some of the biggest live music shows of the summer in Chicago, but the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre looked suitably busy by the time Live took to the stage. This is the third time Live have toured with Counting Crows, and what perfect timing since they will also be celebrating 25 years since the release of Throwing Copper next year. It is, therefore, not surprising that the majority of their set was made of songs from this album.
With Ed Kowalczyk firmly back at the helm, the band put on the performance the crowd had been waiting for, as their fans sang and celebrated along with them. The band’s two-drummer combo really helping them pack a powerful punch.
It’s hard to believe that’s it’s been 25 years since Counting Crows released August And Everything After. However, this was not a celebration of their first record, but rather of their lengthy career that all too many bands these days would find it difficult to replicate. Their setlist for the evening spanned everything from “Mr. Jones” to “Palisades Park” and everything in between.
In between some of the songs, Adam Duritz took the time to set the scene and reminisce about the back stories of various tracks, helping to bring them even more to life. It’s interesting to hear Duritz talk about the inspiration for his work because many of his lyrics, whilst being poetic and evocative, can also be a little cryptic.
You never get the feeling with Counting Crows that they are just dialing in songs that they’ve played a thousand times before. Indeed, the raw emotion and excitement is still very much evident. 25 years on and “Rain King” still gets the entire audience on their feet, singing along with their arms spread out wide.
This is a band that you can tell have been playing together for a long time. The seven-piece are like a well-oiled machine. Dan Vickrey regularly looked like he was lost in his own riffs and licks, while Charlie Gillingham added that ‘something extra’ to the likes of “Omaha,” whipping out the seldom-seen (in rock music) accordion.
It’s always rather emotional and eerie when a silence falls across the crowd when the opening notes of “Colorblind” ring out, but then that is offset against the likes of “Hanginaround” that had the audience dancing as they rounded out the first part of the set.
This is the 25 Years And Counting Tour – and it ain’t over yet, thank goodness! It’s clear that this is far from being a farewell tour. As tonight proved, Counting Crows can still bring, and entertain, the crowds.
The North American leg of the tour will finish at Bourbon and Beyond on September 23, so with just a few dates left, be sure to check this one out if they come to your town.