With the ascension of their seventh studio album, Somewhere Under Wonderland, California-based folk-rock band Counting Crows returned to Wolf Trap last night, reunifying droves of primarily 30 to 40-something revelers and ‘90s nostalgists to maximum capacity.
The Crows, led by pianist and vocalist Adam Duritz and guitarist David Bryson, as too astutely amplified by Jim Bogios on drums, Charlie Gillingham on keyboards, Millard Powers on bass, alongside David Immergluck and Dan Vickrey on guitar, kicked off their 41-date global tour with nearly two straight hours of crowd-pleasing, emotionally-rich tunes that meticulously intermingled all of their past recording styles.
Cued up by two complementary opening acts, blues rock band Hollis Brown and hip-hop/soul/R&B group Citizen Cope, Duritz spearheaded the concert in dramatic fashion starting with a beautifully poetic revitalization of Round Here, which parlayed through a comprehensive collection of hits, deep album cuts and covers, spanning over two decades (including a standing singalong of “Omaha,” poignant piano ballad of “A Long December” and a much anticipated encore of “Rain King”). The group was an engaging, spirited mood – particularly, Duritz, who sporting a black David Bowie t-shirt and jeans, jeweled with his signature swath of dark dreads, waved to assorted members of the audience before occasionally bantering, “Hey. ‘Sup? What are you up to?” Quintessentially mellow and down-to-earth, Duritz seemed content to let the fans have their way and be comfortable, encouraging people to sit or stand, “Whatever you feel like doing,” he heartened.
Mixing the old with the new, the band oscillated to Somewhere Under Wonderland featuring brisk mid-tempo singles such as “Scarecrow” and “Earthquake Driver,”which espoused the vibe of longstanding fan favorites like “Mr. Jones” (which they delved into earlier in the night to uproarious applause) from their multi-platinum breakout 1993 album August and Everything After and “Accidentally in Love” from Shrek 2.
More than 20 years later, the Counting Crows are still composing brilliantly textured music that sounds as energized and adventurous as ever. Edgy and enigmatic with effectual peaks and valleys between their upbeat and chiller songs to an acoustic set and encore, the Crows enrapture fans with a reminiscent, fun-filled jaunt of ‘90s, mid-tempo, country-infused rock ‘n’ roll punctuated with glorious sha la la’s and nah nah nah’s.
Counting Crows played one night only on Thursday, August 13, 2015 at the Filene Center at Wolf Trap – 1551 Trap Road, in Vienna, VA. For future performances and information: call (877) 965-3872, or check out Wolf Trap’s calendar of events.