movies, music and everything else

This blog is about pretty much what the title implies... movies, music and everything else.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

I like movies, music and everything esle... ; ) oh... and i can't spell, so, please, no comments

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

COUNTING CROWS

I am going to start this off by stating that I am a huge Counting Crows fan…
Last night I had the chance to see the Counting Crows perform at the Disney Concert Hall with the Hollywood Bowl orchestra. The result of this unique pairing was maybe the best concert that I have ever attended. This was the seventh time that I have seen the Crows and it was by far the best they have been.

Let me begin by describing the location. The Disney concert Hall was designed by Frank Gehry and the exterior is quite unique. The only structure that I have seen like it is the Sydney Opera House. Once you get past the initial shock of the building, it is quite breathtaking. What a place to have in down town LA. Then you step inside… I must say that I didn’t know what to expect. It was a much smaller venue than I expected, making it a surprisingly intimate place to see a show. My seat was located about fifty feet behind the orchestra and it turned out to be an amazing vantage point.

Now you might not think of the Counting Crows as a band that would play with an orchestra, but it was quite a brilliant idea. Adam Duritz (singer/song writer) was approached with the concept and he said that the only way that he would be interested is if it were with composer Vince Mendoza. As it turned out, he was available and they got to work. Adam insisted that Mendoza be the one that choose the songs so that he could have the freedom to pick based on arrangements and orchestrations. Once the songs were chosen, Mendoza was given the freedom (and difficult task) of changing the songs as he saw fit to make them work as orchestral pieces. Then, with the songs chosen and the music written, the band joined the orchestra and the rehearsals began. The result was fantastic.

The songs that were chosen were not the popular songs for the most part. As a matter of fact, I don’t think I had heard at least half of them performed before. The reorchestrations left the songs completely changed, with exception to the lyrics. Duritz, who spends most shows jumping around the stage while singing, was forced to stay relatively still. The reason for this is because he had to follow the sheet music while singing. There was no room for the improvisation that he is known for in concert. This was a well-rehearsed show, but unlike any they have ever given. I believe that Adam Duritz is one of the best lyricists out there. His songs are emotional, piercing and heart-felt. There is so much emotion in his singing and his lyrics. The ironic thing about adding a 40 piece orchestra to the mix was that it lead to the most intimate show that I have seen. Backed by the music, the Lyrics came out as more of a story and more personal than I have ever hear them before.

One of the treats as a fan was hearing a new song from the band. The name of this song is AUGUST AND EVERYTHING AFTER and while it was written years ago, the band had never included it on one of their albums before. (A side note for other fans: the lyrics to this song are what is hand written on the cover of the Crow’s debut album of the same name.) For the fans, a new song from this band was like Christmas in October. The highlight of the show for me was the song that they finished with… the encore. It was a song called CHELSEA and was only ever release to the public as the hidden track on the band’s live CD, LIVE ON A WIRE. Only Adam came out for the son, so it was just him and the orchestra. It was amazing.

This is a one time even for Counting Crows. As of now there is no plan to take this show anywhere else and there are no plans to record an album either. I feel so lucky to have been there to experience such a special event. My favorite band like I have never seen them before. This is the only time that listening to live.music has almost brought me to tears.

4 Comments:

Blogger Howie G said...

I liked their cover of the Joni Mitchell song "Big Yellow Taxi", so I wrote a spoof of it, making fun of greenies, at http://www.realcrash.com/joni-mitchell-and-a-yellow-taxi/

5:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ive got this show in mp3. would you like to have it? acade365@hotmail.com

1:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ummm. i would like the show in mp3 so i can hear it.

7:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i wanna hear all the songs on the orchestra show. if you still have it thanks.

7:44 PM  

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