I call it 'The Two Jews Named Adam Tour.'

August 18th, 2008


My sister and I headed out to Nissan on Saturday to catch Counting Crows (Adam Duritz) and Maroon 5 (Adam Levine) split the bill. We got stuck in traffic on 66 and missed all of piano-soul singer Sara Bareilles’s opening set (my coworkers had some nice things to say about her, so I was kind of disappointed that I missed her performance).

Maroon 5 played the earlier slot; with a fan pleasing set geared more toward their indistinguishable rock numbers. They’re a better pop band than a rock band (my sister, who enjoyed their set far more than I did, said lead singer Adam Levine reminded her of a Backstreet Boy).

Their catchiest — and best — tune of the evening, “Won’t Go Home Without You,” was sandwiched in the middle of the set. A mid-tempo soul number off their latest album, “Won’t Go Home Without You” showcases Levine’s songwriting chops and his ear for a hook, lost in some of the harder songs (not to mention a nice Police homage). The song was much better though, when Stevie Wonder wrote it and it was called “I Just Called To Say I Love You.”

Predictably, they saved their biggest hits such as “She Will Be Loved” and “This Love” for the end.

The Counting Crows set seemed geared toward (re)introducing them to new fans. They’ve got a longer history and deeper catalog than their tour mates but have been pretty much MIA since their contribution to Shrek 2,” “Accidentally in Love.” (Not to mention their physical set, a clock tower complete with risers, streetlamps and digital screens).

Their play list was a mix of their biggest (“Rain King,” “Mr. Jones,” “A Long December” the aforementioned Shrek song), their best (“St. Robinson and His Cadillac Dream,” “Up All Night,” “Catapult”) and new material (a few selections from this year’s “Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings”). That in itself is a pretty good mix to placate old fans and maybe win over some of Maroon 5’s audience, but the band was also in very good form.

I’d seen them a couple times before, once sharing the bill with Live, another time as the headliner. Both times I was severely disappointed. Duritz rambled on and on between songs, treating the audience to barely unrecognizable ver-sions of favorites. Both times the band barely had a pulse.

Not on Saturday. Duritz had a clear head (pretty much the point of the new album) and sang his heart out. Even the between song banter and charity pitches were passionate and well spoken.

The group of high school girls sitting next to my sister and I left a couple songs into the Crows’ set. From our seats, that seemed pretty telling of the crowd — which didn’t get to its feet until late in the show, during “A Long Decem-ber.”

The good news, then, is the show was strong enough for Counting Crows fans to find something they liked with Maroon 5 and vice versa. Hell, I’m going to download “Won’t Go Home Without You.” If you’re a Maroon 5 fan, I’d humbly suggest starting with “St. Robinson” from the Crows.

Staff writer Josh Eiserike can be reached at 703-878-8072






One comment to “I call it 'The Two Jews Named Adam Tour.'”

  1. These joint shows seem to be all the rage these days for the good ol’ 90’s bands. I got to go to a Blues Traveler/Collective Soul/Live concert for our anniversary (since I hadn’t seen Blues Traveler since I was in 10th grade). Unfortunately, Blues Traveler played first, to a still filling crowd. We stayed through Collective Soul and played “How many CS songs do I actually know?” Five, it turns out. Couldn’t manage to sit through all of Live though; weekday concert where you don’t care about the “headliner” means you leave before the crowd to avoid traffic!