Thursday, October 17, 2013

Counting Crows at the Bowery Electric

Singer Adam Duritz and guitarist David Bryson formed Counting Crows in 1991 in San Francisco, California, originally as an acoustic duo, playing gigs in and around the Bay Area. By 1993, Counting Crows grew to become a full band, recorded its first album and went on to sell more than 20 million records worldwide. The band presently consists of Duritz (lead vocals, piano), Bryson (guitar), Charlie Gillingham (accordion, keyboards), Dan Vickrey (lead guitar), David Immerglück (guitar, banjo, mandolin), Jim Bogios (drums) and Millard Powers (bass). The band’s most recent studio album is 2012’s Underwater Sunshine. Echoes of the Outlaw Roadshow, a collection of live tracks recorded on the band’s 2012 North American tour, will be released on November 12th.

Counting Crows performed a secret acoustic show at the Bowery Electric tonight, announced only a few hours before show time. Word got around and the venue was packed. Billed only as Sonic Cow Grunt (an anagram of the band’s true name) or as the Outlaw Roadshow and performing as a four-piece (Duritz, Vickrey, Immergluck and Gillingham), the performance brought the band back to its small club origins. Rather than leading a greatest-hits-unplugged set, the show featured a few familiar songs, as-yet-unrecorded songs, and covers. Counting Crows opened with 2008’s “When I Dream of Michelangelo” and ended with “Rain King,” which was folded into a revamped version of the traditional “Oh Susanna.” The set also included several covers that showcased the band’s inspirations, including Teenage Fanclub’s “Start Again”, the Grateful Dead’s “Friend of the Devil” and an encore of Bob Dylan’s “You Ain't Goin' Nowhere.” Throughout the set, especially in the new songs that the band introduced, Duritz sang with his eyes closed, seemingly in touch with every wrong ever done him. Without the full band thrust behind him, he seemed like the most vulnerable guy in the world. For Counting Crows fans, this was the show to see. For the majority who missed the event, homemade videos have been posted on the internet.

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