Last Saturday night at Riverbend fans prepared for the anticipated storm setting in. The weather held off for K Phillips and Rob Thomas. But even with over an hour rain delay for Counting Crows, the evening was a dream for the fans.
K Phillips opened the show with a short but solid set. If those in attendance were not aware of Phillips before, they are paying attention now. He won the audience over with his witty lyrics and stage presence. The crowd was into him and this is most likely the last time we will see him opening that stage at Riverbend. Next time, he is bound to be a headliner. Phillips is a perfect fit to blend Rob Thomas and Counting Crows.
Rob Thomas was up next. The Matchbox Twenty front man turned solo superstar is a true showman. He is a beacon of positivity and performs with his entire body. Thomas went through a set of classics as well as a few new tracks. It’s as if no time at all has passed as Thomas’ voice sounds radio perfect. Not a seat was used in the pavilion as everyone was up and singing along.
From afar, lightning could be seen as Counting Crows were set to take the stage. A half hour delay was announced asking the fans in the pavilion to sit tight and the lawn folks to go hang out in the PNC Pavilion. At about 10:30 the Crows took the stage. Lights dimmed and the stage went dark as “Stand By Me” played across the PA. Excitement was on high as the band took the stage and went into a powerful version of “Round Here.”
Adam Duritz (front man of Counting Crows) is truly a genius storyteller. However, if you were expecting a high energy performance from Durtiz, you obviously are a new fan of Counting Crows. The lyrics and melodies ARE the show. You are on a journey with Duritz and the band.
Duritz thanked the fans for sticking it out through the rain delay stating, “We seem to bring that shit wherever we go.” Being the professed Rain King, it almost seems fitting. Duritz gets wrapped up in performing, as if he is reliving whatever inspired him to write the songs in the first place. It almost seems to take the energy out of him, as in between songs he sat down or walked to the side of the stage.
Towards the end of the set, fans were delighted with the rare high energy version of “Mr. Jones” (typically, they play a slower acoustic version live). Even though it was almost midnight when “A Long December” seemed to close out the show, fans were itching for more. Lucky for us, they came out for three encores.
During the show, Duritz said how this tour has been a blast for his band and Thomas and if only they could find a way to tour together every summer. Tell you what Adam, book the tour every summer and we will be back time and time again!
Rob Thomas Setlist:
...Something to Be
Heaven Help Me
Getting Late / That's All Right
Lonely No More
Fire on the Mountain
Baby I'm A Star
This Is How a Heart Breaks
Counting Crows Setlist:
Elvis Went to Hollywood
Goodnight Elisabeth / Pale Blue Eyes
Cover Up the Sun
Recovering the Satellites
When I Dream of Michelangelo
Big Yellow Taxi
A Long December
Rain King / Lippy Kids
Holiday in Spain