Counting Crows answers call at Tweeter
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MANSFIELD-- Adam Duritz, the lead singer for Counting Crows, has polarized critics and fans for years. Many have endorsed the fireworks-haired frontman's music. Others have been turned off by his frequent sparring with fans in his blog on the band's Web site and his highly personal songs.

On Saturday night, fireworks prevailed when a barefooted Duritz with a Jerry Garcia-like grin led the five other Crows through a rollicking set at the Tweeter Center for the Performing Arts.

After opening with "Walkaways" and including a shout-out to Boston in the first lines, Duritz mentioned that he has roots in Massachusetts. "My dad trained at Mass. General," he said. "I lived in Watertown when I was small."

The Crows then let the band's musicianship loose on the crowd, tearing through exquisite new arrangements of songs including "Long December," "Miami," "Holiday in Spain" and Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi." Pianist Charles Gillingham played a Viennese-inspired accordion for a sweet beginning to "Long December." Guitarist David Immergluck could've burnt a hole through his mandolin on his solo.

All of this was against a screen that sailed smoothly from acid trip to road trip. Psychedelic swirls made smooth transitions to video of the shores of Miami and snowy pine forests, and the ride through a desert canyon during "Mrs. Potter's Lullaby" felt like a roller coaster.

Meanwhile, Duritz was a freewheeling storyteller. Although he gave explanations for the origins of songs such "Black and Blue" and folk tale-spoke his way through an interlude about Pappy and Harriet's Pioneertown Palace Saloon during "Mrs. Potter's Lullaby," his storytelling ability was best showcased when he was singing.

Duritz was so enthusiastic he seemed reluctant to leave. After the lights were on and the rest of the band had left, he conducted the crowd to the Mamas and the Papas' "California Dreamin'" as it blasted through the Tweeter Center's speakers.

Source: Worcester Telegram & Gazette

Author: By Meghan Smith

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