Adam Duritz and his hair ruled the stage.
The Counting Crows lead singer led the close-to-sellout crowd in a nearly 2-hour-set Wednesday night at the Riverside Theater in Downtown Milwaukee.
From "Round Here" on the album "August and Everything After" to "Long December" on "Recovering the Satellites," the band's hits were sung along to with an audience that appreciates the folksy/blues sound of musical storytellers sharing experiences of life and love.
The lighting display got to be a little too much for the room, but the affects worked well to keep the stage looking engaged and active. Members of the band played multiple instruments that ranged from accordions to organs and ukuleles.
Duritz commands on the stage, as the main storyteller, the band’s leader and orchestra director of the audience itself. His hair was so impressive, it deserved its own place on the bill.
Counting Crows has been releasing a new song every couple weeks before the release of the new album, "Somewhere Under Wonderland." The band played a couple of those new songs, notably "Scarecrow" and "Palisades Park."
If you were a fan expecting to hear everything that made the 1990s cool, this wasn’t the show for you. If you wanted to be entertained by a finely-tuned band performing an interactive show, that’s what you got out of the concert on the historic stage.
Walking on the stage to "Lean on Me" performed by Bill Withers, the band was cast in blue, hitting it hard and early with "Round Here" and a great renditions of "Untitled (Love Song)," that had the crowd yelling "arms wrapped around my neck" and mumbling the rest of the words as a taxed brain was on the hook to come up with the rest of the lyrics.
Sure, we all knew the chorus to "Omaha," but the rest of the concert had me wishing I’d take the time to be familiar with some of the deeper cuts on the older albums. Maybe that was the point. Remembering Duritz with his arms soaring on into the main space of the theater, more than just a few of us will have to go back through our old CD collections.
As part of the GreyBird Foundation the band set up, three area non-profits were invited to the show and had a booth of their own in the lobby. It was their way to give something back to the people making a difference in our own community, and for Wednesday night, that was The Parks People, the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin and the Sojourner Family Peace Center.
At the end of the concert, after the three-song encore, you could tell the band had a great time performing, and if the schedule would have allowed, they would have jammed longer into the night.
Duritz mentioned that right now there is so much great music coming out of Wisconsin, he offered an unexpected mention of Field Report, Phox and others.
SPEAKING OF WISCONSIN: The band, Daniel and the Lion from Baraboo, opened the show with a six-song, 20-minute set. Their performance was a great folk and rock feel that seemed to fit nicely with the other groups on the ticket, and was organically well received by the nearly sold out crowd.
IT HAS BEEN A WHILE: Toad the Wet Sprocket, known for a sting of hit albums in the 90s took the stage for just shy of an hour. They have played in Wisconsin before as part of the first tour since coming back together last year after a 16-year break up. So, for them, it’s been a while since they were out on the road.
For the fans, it’s been a while to see them together again.
It was a little odd watching the band take their place on stage while "City of Compton" was bellowing out of the speakers. Looking at the crowd of 30- to 60-year-olds around me, I’m guessing I was maybe one of a dozen who knew what that song even was.
By the time Toad the Wet Sprocket hit "Good Intentions," there were about 10-15 people standing, including two women doing that hip sway thing just like they probably did in their dorm rooms 15-20 years ago. By the time they hit "Fall Down" and "Walk On The Ocean," we all were singing along, doing that same college girl hip sway … ah memories.
GOOD PEOPLE: A special nod goes out to the house crew at the Riverside, who went out of their way to accommodate all the guests, including those with disabilities. It’s actions like those that sets Milwaukee a part from other places, and all of you represented us very well.
Spot on shout-out to the staff at The Riverside. I sat next to a couple of gentlemen who are differently abled, and they were well taken care of by the great folks there.
Great show for sure! Nice review too, but sorry I have to do a bit of bubble bursting ...
Adam Duritz wears a wig. He admits it and seems like an all around decent dude. It's just not his hair. ;)
1 comment about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Steve Kabelowsky
Published May 25, 2015
There is nothing more noble than being the ones empowered to set the direction for the next generation. That is why I hope WLDB-FM simply changed format this year and didn't change the heart associated with this community event.
Published May 22, 2015
Numbers are what they are. They allow for a way to communicate a level of measurement of something. At its very core, mass media obsesses over the numbers related to everything.
Published May 22, 2015
At 10 p.m., WISN and WITI both recorded a 6.3 rating for the half-hour broadcast.
Published May 20, 2015
Joyce Garbaciak, the one-time anchor at WITI-TV Fox 6 and who has been working as a special correspondent at WISN since 2006, will anchor the Ch. 12 main desk with Kathy Mykleby at 6 and 10 p.m. weeknights. Patrick Paolantonio will move from mornings, re-joining Toya Washington at 5 p.m.
Published May 20, 2015
WISN-TV Ch. 12 announced Monday that evening anchor Craig McKee is headed to Cincinnati. According to Jan Wade, president and general manager, McKee's last day on the air in Milwaukee will be Friday.
Published May 18, 2015
Tim Elliott is the newest anchor at WISN-TV Ch. 12. "Being back in Milwaukee brings back a lot of memories," he says.
Published May 15, 2015
The launch of Trending Radio 93.3 this month will bring on-air changes. We'll have to wait to see if covering trends is enough to be not a flash in the pan itself.
Published May 13, 2015
"Sofia the First: The Curse of Princess Ivy" is a feature-length adventure that ultimately illustrates how unselfishly putting the needs of others before oneself can be truly magical.
Published May 11, 2015
In television, "American Idol" has enjoyed viewing successes not normal for most scripted and non-scripted shows. Earlier today Fox announced the next season of the music competition show - its 15th --would be its last.
Published May 8, 2015
Earlier this week, the Milwaukee Radio Alliance announced Van McNeil will be the new co-host of a morning show on the rebranded Trending Radio 93.3, WLDB-FM.