Sunday, 9 November 2014

Counting Crows - Manchester Apollo [7/11/14]

I knew from over a year ago during a Pixies gig how an obscure, middle-of-nowhere location the O2 Apollo is from the rest of Manchester. I knew it was about a fifteen minute walk from our hotel in Picadilly, but we walked either too far or not far enough, and so hailed a cab for the rest of the £4.50 journey.

Inside was filled to the doorways with Counting Crows fans already, more so as a queue for the bar than the merch stand, obvious in the lack of Counting Crows t-shirts around. But that didn't matter. There were plenty from our view in the hot, sweaty stalls, where at least one girl fainted and was carried away by a couple of St. John's Ambulance members.

The lights went out. Then Adam Duritz's voice sang Lean On Me into the darkened crowd. What a cool way to begin and how much did his voice match closely to Bill Withers' was beyond me. The gig got going and I think I'm safe to say was as much a classic 90s perfomance as new, bringing fresh sounds of one-too-many songs from the new album, Somewhere Under Wonderland, which one fan yelled he didn't want to hear, to which Adam on the stage brushed off nonchalantly, with a kind of retort he lost halfway through, making it still ironically funny, and carried on with the new material, as if he cared what that guy thought. John Appleseed's Lament, from the new album was a surprise gem halfway through the set.

Mr Jones and St. Robinson in His Cadillac Dream were favourites of the night and my personal favourite, Colourblind, set to a moody black and blue back-lit stage was memorable of the evening. They finished with Hanginaround which got everyone excited, a clever trick for three encores: Palisades Park, Rain King, and Holiday in Spain. The gig itself was attractive to long-time Counting Crows fans and to new ones hearing songs from the new album played, obviously a tour to promote the new material, but an instantly classic and memorable concert it is certain.

Setlist for Counting Crows at the Manchester Apollo 7th November 2014:
  1. Round Here
  2. Scarecrow
  3. St. Robinson in His Cadillac Dream
  4. Mr. Jones
  5. Colorblind
  6. Start Again
    (Teenage Fanclub cover)
  7. Omaha
  8. Possibility Days
  9. Come Around
  10. John Appleseed's Lament
  11. Miami
  12. God of Ocean Tides
  13. Goodnight L.A.
  14. Big Yellow Taxi
    (Joni Mitchell cover)
  15. Blues Run the Game
    (Jackson C. Frank cover)
  16. Earthquake Driver
  17. A Long December
  18. Hanging Tree
  19. Hanginaround
     
  20. Encore:
  21. Palisades Park
  22. Rain King
  23. Holiday In Spain 
     
      Michael Holloway

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