This summer, I saw in concert for the second time, a band that I have grown to love. Counting Crows rocked the Verizon
Wireless Amphitheater in Indianapolis, following up a dismal performance by Goo Goo Dolls
and a charming opening act, Augustana. The Crows set was marked by slow, moody ballads, and Adam Duritz shined brilliantly for his inventiveness and musical improvisation onstage.
Before seeing the show, my fiancÃ?Â© and I mapped out our Top Five Counting Crows songs of all time. He and I both chose five completely different songs, much to the band’s credit. Not many groups these days can church out ten relatively decent songs over a slew of new albums. But the Crows have birthed dozens of songs that have all, in their own right, been instrumental in establishing them as a solidly intelligent rock act.
Here are my top five:
1. “Angels of the Silences” is the second track off the Crows album of the same name. I love this song because it definitely rocks, makes a prissy girl like me want to head-bang, and has beautiful lyrical imagery.
2. “Omaha.” There must be something about second tracks, because this is that of Counting Crows debut album, August and Everything After. From it’s infectious intro to it’s “everyman” lyrics, this track is not on everyone’s top 5 list-but it’s made its way into my heart (and has become stuck in my head, on many occasions) in a big way.
3. “Round Here.” I didn’t add this track to my top 5 until after I recently saw the Crows in Indy. The performance was brilliant, and strayed far from the original while only growing in magic. Duritz sang about love in a powerful way, and that is what this song is meant to convey. Simply, in a word, love. (August and Everything After)
4. “Miller’s Angels” is, like my number one, flocked with lyrical imagery of skylight, and angelic spirits, and hope. Its musical accompaniment feels like triumph peeking through clouds of gray, and I can simply never get sick of this song (also on Angels of the Silences).
5. “Raining in Baltimore.” What can be better than Adam Duritz singing a melancholic lyric? “I need a phone call. I need a raincoat.” In a plaintive voice, the Crows frontman succeeds in creating one of those most heartfelt songs of being depressed and lonely and needing human contact that I’ve ever heard. (August and Everything After)