As Adam Duritz and the guys came to the stage at the Syracuse, NY performance, they began with the Himalayan’s song, “Round Here.” This emotional testimony of life as it unfolds and those left behind, reaches down deep and moves those who hear it each every time. Right off the bat I was transfixed. The emotion that this band puts into every song, whether it’s “Round Here,” “Mr. Jones,” “A Long December,” or “Palisades Park,” has to be exhausting to them, as it physically moves those who witness it. Seeing this band for the first time, I was beyond impressed by the dynamics these guys have on stage together. They are a well oiled machine. They silently cue each other and meld together in unison as they demonstrate their musical prowess. To say I was moved by this performance seems lame, but they definitely left it all up on that stage and left a lasting impression on this journalist.
Opening acts on this evening couldn’t have been more diverse, however surprisingly cohesive at the same time. Arriving in the nick of time to see newcomer K. Phillips, I was extremely surprised and impressed by the talent and stage presence he has. With a much loved piano, this young man’s music infuses a southern country twang into a rock and roll mix that makes you move inside and out. Welcoming us to the pit as we took photos, this young man’s stage presence captures your attention immediately and his music and bandmates reel you in like a fish on a line. Mark my words here…this is an artist on the rise.
With a quick set change out came Rob Thomas and his crew. With a full band including some dynamic back up singers, he exploded onto the stage like a firecracker. His energy infused set had the crowd up on their feet singing and dancing along immediately. With a mix of new and old music, his set expended a physical energy both on stage and off.
This three act mix brought a smorgasbord of sounds and feelings to all who witness this tour. Somewhat an unlikely pairing, their musical flavors infused perfectly. As K. Phillips got the groove going with this his southern sounds and charms, Rob Thomas then comes out and amps the crowd up physically. By the time The Counting Crows expend their emotional energy on stage, they leave the audience soulfully satisfied and spent by the end of the night.
Counting Crows Setlist: Round Here, Dislocation, Mr. Jones, Colorblind, Four White Stallions, Omaha, Cover Up the Sun, Anna Begins, Miami, Goodnight Elisabeth / Pale Blue Eyes, The Ballad of El Goodo (Big Star cover), Big Yellow Taxi (Joni Mitchell cover), Earthquake Driver, A Long December, Hanginaround, Palisades Park, and Rain King / Thunder Road
Rob Thomas Setlist: …Something to Be, Mockingbird, Her Diamonds, Give Me the Meltdown, Getting Late / That’s All Right, Lonely No More, Fire on the Mountain, Let’s Dance (David Bowie cover), 3 A.M. (Matchbox Twenty song), Someday, Bent (Matchbox Twenty song), Pieces, Streetcorner Symphony, Smooth (Santana cover), This Is How a Heart Breaks, Pieces, and Streetcorner Symphony