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Counting Crows return to the San Francisco Bay Area to play at The America's Cup Pavilion

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Counting Crows were in top form as they gave the hometown crowd a variety of hits spanning their 22-year career at San Francisco’s new America’s Cup Pavilion. Anytime a band goes back to their roots and plays to a home crowd, you know the vibe is always going to be a good one. Back in San Francisco and across the Bay from their origination in Berkeley, the Counting Crows played a set filled with songs to make every fan happy. Opening with their breakthrough hit “Mr. Jones” from August and Everything After, now 20 years old, followed by “Untitled (Love Song)” and “Hard Candy” they definitely kicked off the night at an energetic pace. As always, Duritz’s voice was in great form, supported by guitarists Dan Vickrey, David “Immy” Immerglück, and David Bryson, along with rhythm section, Millard Powers on bass and Jim Bogios on drums. They are all such brilliant musicians and they make it pretty easy for any vocalist to shine, while still showcasing their individual talents. There were many highlights throughout the night as the band played selections from all of their albums; “Omaha” from August and Everything After, “Hangin’ Around” from This Desert Life, “Catapult” and “Long December” from Recovering the Satellites, “Hanging Tree” and “Le Ballet d’Or” from Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings, and even songs from their latest cover album, “Underwater Sunshine (Or What We Did On Our Summer Vacation)”, “Hospital” and “Mercy”. Other standouts included the rarely played “Colorblind” from This Desert Life and the Cruel Intentions soundtrack (c’mon, we all liked that movie, right?), as well as “Richard Manuel Is Dead” and “Miami” from Hard Candy. Of course, I’m sure there were some songs that were missed, including “Murder of One”, “Anna Begins”, and “Angels of the Silences”, but you can’t please every fan 100% of the time. If they played their whole catalog, front to back, there’d likely be some oddball B-side that someone would miss. It would be unfair not to mention their performance of “Round Here”, where during the song break Adam is known to throw in some “ad-libbed”, poetic lyrics that only the most hardcore fan knows. And of course, one of my favorite songs, “Rain King”, where it seemed like every person in the venue was singing along to every lyric with the correct inflection. Closing out their two hour, 21 song set was “Holiday In Spain”, which I would compare to a cool-down after a hard workout; “I may take a holiday in Spain/Leave my wings behind me/Drink my worries down the drain/And fly to somewhere new”. I don’t think Adam would be Adam if he didn’t end it on a reflective note. On his exit from the stage he sent the crowd in a buzz, mentioning that they would be back in the fall to start recording a new record. All photos © Andrew Wilson /