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Counting CrowsE-Werk, Cologne, Germany
23rd September 2022
Counting Crows - “The Butter Miracle Tour 2022” - Support: David Keenan

It is a shame that a great and actually also tour-joyful band like the COUNTING CROWS makes itself so rare in Europe and thus also Germany. But that made one of the two dates in Germany as part of the current tour a must-see. The gig at the E-Werk in Cologne was supposed to take place in the neighbouring larger Palladium, but probably due to a lack of sold tickets it was finally moved to the beautiful E-Werk. And the E-Werk announced: sold out. It was really packed.


David Keenan

As support the COUNTING CROWS hired the Irish singer / songwriter David Keenan. For the tour the man has teamed up with Conor Cunningham as bassist/flute player. The combination of support and main act seems to be well chosen. It was Adam Duritz, head of the COUNTING CROWS, himself, who announced the support at the beginning of the half hour, which David Keenan was to perform subsequently, and spoke very praising words about the Irishman. And that this was not just empty talk could be seen later, as Adam Duritz sat behind the speakers at the edge of the stage during the whole performance of the support and visibly enjoyed the performance.

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The performance of David Keenan and his company was quite sympathetic. Nevertheless, the Irishman could not fully confirm the advance praise, too unspectacular were the presented songs of the singer / songwriter. In addition, the light show was quite monotonous, but the sound was very balanced. All in all, David Keenan earned a well-deserved applause again and again.

Rating
Music: 6
Performance: 7
Light: 5
Sound: 8
Total: 6.5 / 10

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Counting Crows

There was not much to change after the set of the support act. So, the COUNTING CROWS started their set right on time and started directly with ‘Goodnight Elisabeth’, which went into ‘Pale Blue Eyes’ without a break and allowed the septet to take a first breath after a good eight minutes. And then the first big exclamation point followed directly with the bands biggest hit ‘Mr. Jones’, followed by ‘Colorblind’, another highlight of the group. Only after this opening singer Adam Duritz turned to the audience for the first time to say a few words about the following song ‘Butterfly in Reverse’. This was to be repeated a few more times during the evening, but in general the eloquent frontman found a quite wonderful dosage, the focus was clearly on the setlist.

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And this setlist was supposed to have more highlights - ‘Mr. Jones’ was just one of several gems in the band discography. So, band classics like ‘Omaha’, ‘I Wish I Was A Girl’ were still performed in the first half of the set, all four new tracks of the ‘Butter Miracle EP’ were integrated into the setlist, and towards the end it was up to the highlights of the band’s history to close the concert. With ‘Rain King’, ‘A Long December’ and the encores ‘Round Here’, ‘Hanginaround’ as well as ‘Holiday In Spain’ jewel after jewel lined up. Wherever possible, the audience supported the band by singing along loudly. And that turned out to be difficult at times. You just have to live with the fact that Adam Duritz doesn’t sing the vocal lines live exactly the way he once sang them on record. So, the vocal lines of the audience didn’t always match the vocals of the frontman of the crows, and that sounded a bit weird, but in the end, it wasn’t a drama either.

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The lightshow, which dipped the stage in a creamy blue/red during the support, was quite good during the main act. Although it wasn’t very spectacular during the COUNTING CROWS git, at least it gave enough light to each of the seven musicians in total, thus letting each individual shine well illuminated every now and then. The sound, which was already quite good during David Keenan, was absolutely flawless during the main act. Not too quiet, not too loud, it was just spot on. The six men at the instruments left it to their frontman Adam Duritz to establish contact with the audience. He is clearly the head of the band, and it seemed as if the band is quite satisfied with this assignment of roles. Only once drummer Jim Bogios was in the focus. After all the 23rd of September is his birthday, and so Adam Duritz and Co. asked for a birthday serenade for the man at the skins.

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In the end: it was a great evening with the COUNTING CROWS. If only they could find their way to Germany more often...

Setlist
01. Goodnight Elisabeth / Pale Blue Eyes
02. Hard Candy
03. Mr. Jones
04. Colorblind
05. Butterfly in Reverse
06. Cover Up the Sun
07. Omaha
08. I Wish I Was a Girl
09. Miami
10. Washington Square
11. Big Yellow Taxi (Joni Mitchell cover)
12. Angels of the Silences (acoustic version)
13. The Tall Grass
14. Elevator Boots
15. Angel of 14th Street
16. Bobby and the Rat‐Kings
17. Rain King
18. A Long December
19. Round Here
20. Hanginaround
21. Holiday in Spain

Rating
Music: 10
Performance: 8
Light: 8
Sound: 10
Total: 9 / 10

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All pictures by André Wilms

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