Counting Crows and Rob Thomas co-headlined a show at BB&T Pavilion on Wednesday, August 10th before a healthy sized crowd in Camden, NJ.
Rob Thomas had the honor of playing first, taking the stage around 7:45 PM and instantly captivating the audience with his high energy and powerful vocals. Opening on ‘…Something To Be’, Thomas encouraged the crowd to just let go of their troubles for a little while and have a good time.
Backed by a group of talented musicians and singers, Rob Thomas rocked a 75 minute set complete with songs from his solo catalog, Matchbox 20, and even a cover of David Bowie’s ‘Let’s Dance’. Between songs he regaled the crowd with tales of his early years as a performer, how Counting Crows were a big influence on him and what a treat it was to spend the Summer touring together.
Rob Thomas’s performance was spot on and the guy definitely still has it. His set was, in our humble opinion, the highlight of the evening.
About 20 minutes after Thomas left the stage, it was time for Counting Crows to entertain the crowd. Frontman Adam Duritz and company kicked their set off with the ballad ‘Around Here’ followed by ‘Elvis Went to Hollywood’.
For their third offering, they dropped mega-hit ‘Mr. Jones’ which got the crowd up out of their seats and moving. Their sixteen song set included some of our favorites including ‘Omaha’, ‘Big Yellow Taxi’, and ‘A Long December’, but for the majority of their performance the crowd seemed restless. We even heard shouts of “Play something people know!” and booing at various parts.
Unlike Rob Thomas before him, Duritz seemed somewhat uninterested in being on stage and appeared to lack a real passion for the lyrics he was singing (at points) or for trying to really connect with the audience. We don’t need every band jumping around on stage but his body language seemed to indicate that he was just going through the motions rather than truly embracing the experience. Counting Crows ended their set on another one of our favorites, ‘Hanginaround’ before leaving the stage and returning for a two song encore of ‘Rain King’ and ‘Holiday in Spain’. We would have loved to see them play ‘Anna Begins’, ‘Have You Seen Me Lately’, or ‘Catapult’, but when a band has an extensive catalog, there will always be songs you desire to hear that don’t get played.
All in all we thought that the dual billing of Rob Thomas and Counting Crows was a strong one and while we would have liked to see a little bit more passion from Adam Duritz, we enjoyed both bands and left feeling like we had just seen a show that our high-school selves would have been ecstatic about.
[Photo credit: D. Jacob Miller Photography]
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