Monday, August 20, 2007

Triple Play Of '90s Rock

OK, OK, so the Counting Crows, Live and Collective Soul show over at New Britain Stadium on Saturday was way better than it had any right to be. Not only was the sound really good for an outside concert, but the bands were better than expected.

Live sounded really crisp, which was the biggest surprise of the night. The foursome might have played a bit too many newer, less-known songs, but everything was tight and energetic.

The real star of the show was Counting Crows, of course. I've seen the San Francisco-based band about seven or eight times live, but not since about 2002, so this was different. I have to say, too, that the band has never impressed me in concert, except for at a surprise gig at Lupo's in Providence sometime around 2000. That was a good show. Big stadiums, though, always seem to swallow up the Crows.

Not Saturday. It was like a real rock band was playing, with singer Adam Duritz actually flailing all over the stage, presumably very drunk, and a three-guitar attack filling the stadium with distortion. Anyway, here's the setlist:

"When I Dream of Michelangelo"
"Have You Seen Me Lately?"
"Recovering the Satellites"
"Mr. Jones"
"Perfect Blue Buildings"
"All My Friends"
"Hard Candy"
"Come Around"
"A Long December"
"Hangingaround" (end of set)
"Washington Square"
"Time and Time Again"
"Holiday in Spain"

Notes: "Michelangelo," "Cowboys," "Come Around," "Washington Square" and "Insignificant" are new songs that will be on the band's upcoming "Saturday Nights, Sunday Mornings" double CD. "Miami" was performed very slowly, and while still good, not nearly as exciting as the original version. The only real clunker of the night was "Mercury," which went on for over 10 minutes and sucked the life out of the crowd. A major highlight was the playing of "All My Friends," a real overlooked gem from the "This Desert Life" record.

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