Counting Crows lead singer Adam Duritz
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Charlotte's Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre is the 43rd stop on the Goo Goo Dolls, Counting Crows 51 stop tour. In each city the band plays, it isn't just the fans who benefit from hearing their favorite music.

Front man Adam Duritz said "the crows " pride themselves in giving back where they play.

Fans, of course, are used to seeing Duritz on stage.

"I'd say I'm probably more comfortable on stage than off," Duritz said.

It is rare "the crows" front man sits down with reporters and even more rare he's asked about something other than his music. Duritz is obviously passionate about the songs he sings and also about using his voice to get fans involved.

He said, "I really do believe in the spirit of volunteerism and charity, but I believe it's a highly personal and private thing. This may be the first interview I've done about it."

Ten years ago, Duritz and his sister Nicole started the band's community outreach program.

"I just wanted to go to organizations where everything you put into them goes right into the community to help them," Duritz said.

In each place, the Counting Crows play, charities dealing with the environment, AIDS and domestic violence are highlighted. Duritz talked about what they do on stage, and volunteers man booths near entrances.

The United Family Services battered women's shelter is among the charlotte picks. Karen Parker Thompson said the chance to reach so many people at one time is rare.

"There are a lot of people who'll be at the concert who may be in a violent relationship and may not realize it. We would say thank you for using your voices...because that's really what it's going to take to stop domestic violence... is enough people saying it's wrong," said Parker Thompson.

Duritz said he hopes he gets through to people in the audience. To him, it isn't just about giving money, but also about finding ways to volunteer.

"I'm not trying to shove something down their throats. I'm just trying to show them how important it is to me, which is the same thing you're doing in a song. In a song, you're trying to express emotions to yourself. I try not to make it a lecture. I just tell them that it's something I'm proud of," said Duritz.

He said, "several women who were at a concert dealing with spousal abuse took a break and went to the bathroom. They actually ended up going to the booth and speaking to someone and got help to get out of the relationship."

Duritz said after this tour is over, he wants to talk about expanding the Counting Crows Community Outreach Program and possibly offering the model to other bands.

In the 10 years since it started, he's gotten feedback from people who've been helped.
Source: WCNC


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