McCoy Stadium- Counting Crows, Live, Collective Soul a Review

A couple months back I heard that the Counting Crows would be touring minor league ballparks over the summer to warm up the crowds prior to the reissue of their first disc 1993's "August & Everything After" along with the release of their first studio album in 5 years to be titled "Saturday Nights/Sunday Mornings". Opening acts were announced as 90's rockers Collective Soul and LIVE.

My mother is a big Counting Crows (and baseball fan) so I knew she would be very happy to go out with her son to a concert on a Friday night, so I got tickets as soon as they became available a few months back. And the weather could not have been more perfect, a day that was in the high 80's gave gave to a beautiful New England evening that was just right for standing in the middle of centerfield at McCoy Stadium.

I considered Collective Soul to be the "throwaway" band prior to the concert, but they showed their true road tested rock and roll chops by controlling the crowd with all of their 90's hits as well as a handful of new tracks before the sun had even set behind the left field wall. I was impressed with alot of the guitar work and a cool The Killers "All These Things That I've Done" cover tossed in the middle of "December" although the lead singer Ed Roland did come off a bit "David Lee Roth-ish" tossing the mic stand and catching it a few too many times.

I thought that Live's "Throwing Copper" was a great album 12 years ago, and it was great to see the band come out and rock a party. Ed Kowalczyk ripped through all the classics, including "I Alone" and "Lakini's Juice" as well as their well known cover version of "Walk The Line".

Now I stumbled upon the Counting Crows back in late 1993 when I saw them open up for Cracker at The Strand in Providence, RI. This was back before MR. Jones broke on the radio. On that night this band I had never heard of before really knocked my socks off with a killer all around show. A few months later Mr. Jones was everywhere and the Counting Crows were coming thru Providence again and I caught them at Lupo's. On that night I recall Adam Duritz stating that the crowd there that evening was largest crowd they had ever played in front of as a headlining act. I think they may have even played SNL the next weekend. But again that was one hell of a show. Electric. The place only holds about 1200 people. Come to think of it I saw some good shows at Lupo's in the mid 90's.... The Foo Fighters with Eddie Vedder and Mike Watt opening, Hole, G. Love, Blues Traveler, George Clinton, Dave Mathews Band and a bunch more.

Anyway, I haven't seen the Counting Crows live since then. The band came out and played songs that hit on all aspects of their discography, of course they left out a bunch of tracks that I would have liked to hear, but all in all they put on some nice reworkings of older tracks such as "Rain King" and "Anna Begins". All in all they put on a nice set, but the fact that it was so much more mellow than Live's blistering 50 minute set made it a bit less dramatic.

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