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 Â 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 bandâ€™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 wasnâ€™t the show for you. If you wanted to be entertained by a finely-tuned band performing an interactive show, thatâ€™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 Â (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 Iâ€™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, itâ€™s been a while since they were out on the road.
For the fans, itâ€™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, Iâ€™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 â€¦ 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. Itâ€™s actions like those that sets Milwaukee a part from other places, and all of you represented us very well.Â
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 Aug. 20, 2015
A duo of Disney DVDs - "Descendants" and "Animation Studios Shorts Collection" - find the studio satisfyingly digging up old traditions and characters, and dressing them up in some fun, new ways.
Published Aug. 20, 2015
There's plenty right with the music made before 1972, but there's a lot wrong with the rights of music from that time, as multiple court cases involving music rights have become news.
Published Aug. 3, 2015
Mark Siegrist may have found some gems among the baseball diamonds in Milwaukee, but his "Milwaukee's Diamonds in the Rough" digs into the motivation of why two leagues have been serving our neighborhoods.
Published July 20, 2015
Steve Haywood of WAUK-AM 540 ESPN knew how to stir the pot, and his passion for Milwaukee and its teams was well-known in sports circles. Haywood passed away from heart failure early Sunday morning. He was 49.
Published July 13, 2015
The picture we've come to know from movies no longer reflect the vulnerability that film has. And as technology has advanced, so too have Marcus Theatres.
Published July 10, 2015
The Silver Circle was created by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (the same academy that people thank when they get an Emmy award) to have special recognition for people in the media who have had an impact on a community. In Wisconsin, six people will be inducted this year into the circle.
Published July 6, 2015
If you watched any of the coverage leading up to the U.S. women's team victory over Japan on Sunday night, then you watched some of the finest TV journalism in the sports world courtesy of Fox Sports. A part of that team, analyst Kyndra de St. Aubin, has a Milwaukee connection.
Published July 3, 2015
On Monday, Carole Caine of "Dave and Carole" on WKLH-FM 96.5, had her last day on the air. The newly branded "Hometown Rock" station wanted to take the morning show in a new direction.
Published July 1, 2015
Kidd O'Shea knows where his roots are. And that is why he got a bit teary this morning. On the "Kidd and Elizabeth Show" on WMYX-FM, O'Shea announced that he was leaving the station.
Published June 29, 2015
A frantic day for Karen Dalessandro ended in a career milestone for the morning co-host on WMIL-FM 106.1.