The first time I met Adam Duritz, lead singer of the Counting Crows, I was standing on his doorstep in New York City, soaked from a cold October rain. We had mutual friends, so when I came up from New Orleans for the Outlaw Roadshow, he immediately extended an invite to come over, because, as I later learned, that's the kind of incredible guy he is.
I remember walking in and looking around the table at people I had admired for a few years: fine artist Felipe Molina, music blogger and overall amazing writer Katie Mullins, and so many more. The entire weekend was a beautiful collaboration of artists from different genres, mediums, and places. It was the kind of experience that re-lit a dimming flame and reminded me why I love music more than nearly anything else at a time I needed it more than most.
Music like that moves you, changes you, heals you. It's the only adult form of magic I've discovered so far. (Besides Nutella.)
On Thursday night at the Greek Theatre, I felt that same kind of magic.
Outlaw alum K. Phillips kicked off the night with his Texas swagger and blues-infused rock. K is the perfect addition to this tour, with the overriding commonality between the acts being the intimate and haunting songwriting capabilities of the three lead singers. K's sets never feel long enough as you take a journey with him through beautiful lyrics and a voice that cuts right to the heart. And fellow bandmate Hannah Cook also sets the stage on fire with raspy vocals that take you to another place entirely.
Matchbox Twenty's Rob Thomas was up next.
Watching Rob Thomas, it's hard to believe he's been making music for over 25 years. He has the same energy and passion for his craft as he did when it all began, which proved to be highly infectious. The entire crowd were immediately on their feet, singing every word to his impressive array of hits. As someone who grew up on songs like "Bent" and "If You're Gone," it felt like a homecoming of sorts for me. And looking around at a crowd that was completely engaged and in the moment, I knew I wasn't alone in that thought.
There is no moment quite as gratifying as dancing in the summer air next to thousands of other people as Rob Thomas belts out the Latin-infused "Smooth."
Lastly, the Counting Crows closed the night with one of their best sets I've ever had the pleasure of seeing from them. They've been long-known for their live show, but it seemed like Adam just took it to another level last night, singing a mixture of crowd favorites like "Colorblind" and mega-hit "Mr. Jones" as well as hidden album gems like "Good Time" and "Goodnight L.A." Whether you were a new fan, old fan, true fan, fair-weather fan-- you were pleased. And that's hard to do when your catalogue spans 20+ years.
(Oh, and let's just call it like it is: Immy and Dan shred on guitars last night. You want to see masters at their craft? They brought down the house with their solos.)
Don't miss all of these guys on their final dates this month as they wrap up the 2016 tour. You'll want to see this one in person.