Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My favorite songs are always the piano songs

At the ripe old age of 30, I only like to go to concerts if I really love the band.  In high school and college, I  loved music festivals, going out to see new bands I may or may not be into, etc.  But these days?  If I'm gonna stand on my feet for 3 hours in a crowd of beer-spilling potheads, it better be for some damn good music.

Last night, I stood on my broken foot for three hours, and it was totally worth it, because it was to see my very favorite band, Counting Crows.  If asked about my favorite musician, or singer, or something I may expand my answer, but Counting Crows are definitely my favorite band.

And I hadn't seen them in TEN YEARS!  Which I realize makes me sound alarmingly old, but whatever.  It was at a music festival in New Orleans (not Jazz Fest) and my friends and I had been watching music all day.  We were sprawled out on a blanket in front of the stage where Counting Crows would play that evening, chatting away the hour, hour and a half remaining before their set.  The sky got black, the stage remained dark, and suddenly: the first few piano notes of Colorblind.  Oh, it was so beautiful.

I was so excited to see them last night with some girlfriends.  We grabbed dinner at Burma Superstar, one of the best restaurants in the Bay, and then headed over to the Oakland Fox Theater for the show.

(the best I could do with my phone)

They mostly played old stuff, for which I was grateful.  He opened with Sullivan Street, which was nice, and swayed back and forth between songs from his first and second albums, and stuff from the later few.  For the record, as much as I love watching this band evolve, I don't think any album will ever live up to their first, August and Everything After, which will remain one of my favorite albums EVER for all of posterity. 

When he played A Long December, another beautiful piano song, I immediately thought of my high school English teacher, Mrs. Gillham, who brought in the lyrics to that song for us to read as poetry.  I'll always appreciate that.

Also: there's something especially magical about seeing a band in the city they come from (well, Adam Duritz is from Berkeley . . . a couple miles up the street).  

There were some nonprofits there handing out information, etc. and Adam Duritz did a perfect job of encouraging everyone in the crowd to check them out, without pressuring anyone to give money.  He talked about the importance of being a part of the world--not just an individual--and remembering that each of us has a significant voice.  And then he urged everyone there to get off our asses and VOTE this November, which I appreciated.

So who's your favorite band?  If you could see any concert, what would it be? 


jeanette from everton terrace said...

Now, I'm old enough to be your mother but I like their music as well and I'm sure the concert was worth it - well for you.
By the time you get to my age, you want to sit while you listen to live music :)
I might stand for Adele and I know my husband would for REM.

erin elder said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE Counting Crows!!!! A Long December give me major nostalgia of my high school days! Oh man....

So jealous you got to see them (again) and I'm glad your foot didn't hinder the experience too much. :)

starnes family said...

Widespread Panic is my fave. I love JB.

Funny story - I ran Adam Duritz (Counting Crows) out of Jazz Fest one time. Saw him and totally freaked out on him......a huge crowd gathered....he was trying to be low key and not draw attention to himself. (Right)

Adam turned to me and said, "Thanks, I'm leaving."

Hee hee!

Megan said...

How bad is it that the only song I know of theirs is Mr Jones ans Big Yellow Taxi...but I love both of those songs! So glad you had a fun time.
If I could see any band it would be the Spice Girls haha I would go with all my friends and we could reminisce about our youth...oh dear. Other than that I would love to see Elton John again he is amazing.

Erin @ Sassin' Southern Style said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Erin @ Sassin' Southern Style said...

I can always count on you to either open my eyes to something I've not heard of before, or to remind me of something I've not thought about in a really long time; this post is no exception.

I mean, really, A Long December? When did I hear or think about that song last? 2000? Was I likely tooling around the county in my Honda Accord and was I dating a dangerously charming boy in Mrs. Gillham's class? YES to all of the above.

(year correction)

H. Gillham said...

Thanks for the shout out -- I had totally forgotten that I did that -- it must have been Contemporary Lit????

I love the Counting Crows -- I agree that their early stuff was the best. When I create playlists on my I-Pod, they always make it -- :-)

BTW: By the time I was 30, I was done with concerts, mostly -- but I did continue to attend them sparingly -- I saw the Eagles every time they came to town ---

Now the only person I would like to see in concert is Van Morrison, but I'd have to win the lottery to do so.

Iz proud to know you.


Deals, Steals and Heels said...

i haven't seen much music live that i didn't love...but i will say i LOVE great live music. right now, i would sell a kidney to see sugarland again, because jennifer nettles and i are the bestest of friends in my head...they can do NO. WRONG.

bananas. said...

colorblind gives me goosebumps EVERY time.

it also makes me think of ryan phillippe coming up the escalator in the movie cruel intentions. swoon!

melifaif said...

Now that is fabulous!!!!! And your question is a hard one to answer. There are soooo many I would love to see. This one is one of them....fun times.

Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird said...

Counting Crows are AMAZING, I saw them in concert a few years ago and they were fantastic.

Leeann @ Join the Gossip said...

Counting Crows is a band that I don't actually own any of their music but when they come on the radio I will not change the channel. They have so many great songs!

I am super excited that I'm going to see ...wait for it...Sugar Rey, Everclear, and Gin Blossoms this summer! LOL they're touring together and playing their 90s hits and I cannot wait!

Faiza said...

sullivan street is a favourite of mine. i love that they are so down to earth and create such an intimate space wherever they perform just be being so relatable and accessible.

Anonymous said...

I like Leftover Crack; Revolting Cocks; Millions of Dead Cops; John Cougar Concentration Camp; and the Buckethead album 'Slaughter House on the Prairie'.

Kristen said...

I don't know how to pick a favorite... I just love music. And my tastes are ALL over the board.
But I do adore Counting Crows. When I was in law school my gang and I went to see them at Summerfest... they were absolutely amazing.

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

I totally agree with you. I'm not willing to stand anymore for hours in a huge crowd unless I really love the group. Ok, don't judge too hard but I would totally stand for hours to see Nsync again! lol.

Hope your foot is starting to feel better.