Outside Lands 2019, Day 1: The Openers (Counting Crows, Masego, Still Woozy, The Neighbourhood)

Outside Lands 2019, Day 1: The Openers (Counting Crows, Masego, Still Woozy, The Neighbourhood)

Ryan Tuozzolo/Senior Staff

The first day of Outside Lands saw the most emotive, in sync, saxophone-centric and floppy sets of the festival.

Counting Crows: Most emotive

Highlights of the set: “Rain King,” “Colorblind,” “Mr. Jones”

If Adam Duritz should ever consider a change in career, Broadway may be calling his name. The frontman of the Berkeley-based 1990s soft rock outfit Counting Crows has a known knack for potent emoting through his music — and a palpable stage presence that drives these numbers home for anybody lucky enough to see this flock live.

With his distaste for falsities and overenthusiasm, Duritz would be an unlikely starring man. On Friday at the Twin Peaks stage, he blundered onstage without any fanfare, clad in a black T-shirt and a leather jacket and chewing gum nonchalantly, as if he were beginning a routine rehearsal instead of performing for one of the biggest music festivals on the West Coast. He barely peeked out from behind his clump of unruly (fake) dreadlocks before launching, with clear and careful enunciation, into the desperation of “Round Here.”

But despite his apparent composure and grumpy air, as demonstrated during this set, Duritz’s ability to channel authentic feeling is unparalleled when he finds his groove. Throughout the set, he tapped his chest, lifted his open hands to the sky and even seemed to be wiping tears from his eyes at some points.

Many of Counting Crows’ compositions can be boiled down to a few essential characteristics: nostalgia and longing for home, memories of a lost love (a girl named Maria, Amy or Andy), tragedy and a heartbreaking beauty.

“Round Here” was an apt choice for an opening number, touching on each of these key components that define most of the band’s work. The piece also showcased what the gathered crowd would come to see as some of the preeminent highlights of a Crows live performance: Duritz’s unyielding, wild earnestness with each lyric; the heated passion in each of drummer Jim Bogios’ beats; and guitarist David Bryson’s contagious grin and unyielding focus.

Ryan Tuozzolo/Staff

As the set continued, Duritz led the band seamlessly through hits, offering a sense of the different stylistic niches in which the band has dabbled. “Mr. Jones” provided even the most casual of fans the opportunity to sing along to the Crows’ 1993 pop rock hit; during “Colorblind” Duritz slumped his shoulders, hands in his pockets, as he gazed emptily into the distance; and “Miami” provided the opportunity for the band to prove its rock ‘n’ roll mettle.

“Rain King” was perhaps the most clear-cut demonstration of how the band had attracted such a wide range of viewers (young and old) for this performance. In Duritz’s appeals — “Mama, mama, why am I so alone?” — there was clear evidence of the sort of fear and longing to which anybody could relate. If everybody hadn’t already been on their feet at the beginning of the set, the performance …read more

Source:: The Daily Californian


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