Volume 93, Issue 46

November 19, 1999


Weekend Pass

Rahzel doesn't forget his Roots

Canadians are getting a sweet taste of Choclair


Crows give good show, despite early flight

Crows give good show, despite early flight

By Jared Rochwerg
Gazette Staff

On a night when the Counting Crows has their audiences undivided attention, even the most diehard fans left the show with bitter tastes in their mouths and a feeling of dissatisfaction.

The Crows dazzled an enthusiastic crowd during their main set, but unexpectedly left the audience stunned when the crew started disassembling the stage and the house lights were turned on without an encore. Indeed, it seemed difficult to justify spending a large chunk of money on tickets only to miss out on what has become a traditional part of the concert experience.

All in all, it felt like the city of Toronto was disrespected by them not returning to the stage, especially considering encores are standard fare in concerts these days.

The mistake of not having an encore was an unfortunate distraction from what was otherwise a great show. The Crows opened with "Mr. Jones," the story of lead singer Adam Duritz's monumental rise to stardom. Most of the concert, however, was devoted to the promotion of their new album, This Desert Life. One of the new songs, "I Wish I Was a Girl," describes the lack of trust women commonly have for men. "Four Days," explained Duritz, is about the urge that a man has to resist calling his girlfriend when she goes away. "All My Friends" was another number the Counting Crows played flawlessly, making it easy to see why their new album is already gold in Canada.

Adding to the well composed anthology were classic Crows tunes – a fervently received and lengthy version of "Round Here" and an unforgettable redition of "Omaha" had everyone dancing, singing and clapping along. Other remarkable additions included "Rain King" and "Recovering the Satellites," where the band's playful nature truly came out. Possibly the best song of the night was their new hip and spirited single "Hangin' Around," which the band wrote one night while they were drunk.

The Counting Crows showed true camaraderie as they cohesively sprang tune after tune of inspired music to the delight of the crowd. Duritz displayed wonderful showmanship with his slick stage savvy and charming appeal. His attraction stemmed from his ability to be wrapped up in his songs, yet not be isolated from his audience.

With an encore, this concert definitely had the potential to be one of the best shows of the year. It's too bad a poor decision was made that left many fans begrudged and ruined what could have otherwise been a perfect evening.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999