Review of Counting Crows and Gin Blossoms performances at Innings Festival in Tempe AZ

Counting Crows and Gin Blossoms both played in Tempe AZ last weekend at Innings Festival.  Here are reviews of both their performances thanks to AZCentral:

Counting Crows

 

“It wasn’t all country or country-ish Sunday.

Counting Crows drew a large, attentive crowd for a mainstage performance that opened with an epic rendition of “Round Here,” a radio staple that clearly did its share to help “August and Everything After,” their 1993 debut, go seven-times-platinum.

All the hits: “Round Here” to “Mr Jones”

And they kept that crowd’s attention through lesser-known tracka before bringing the set to a user-friendly finish with their version of “Big Yellow Taxi,” “A Long December” and the breakthrough single Adam Duritz only plays when he’s feeling it, “Mr. Jones.”

It even felt like he was feeling it. 

Then, Duritz – who, it should be noted, was wearing a really cool Iron Fist T-shirt – joked about how they could go offstage and come back for an encore or just play another song.

They did not leave the stage, bringing their set to a crowd-pleasing finish with another track that made their breakthrough album such a big deal in the ‘90s, “Rain King.””

Setlist:

 

  • (Joni Mitchell cover)
  • Encore:
  • Gin Blossoms

    “So where was everybody?

    Apparently staking their claim on a spot near the front of the second stage for a homecoming set for Tempe’s own conquering heroes Gin Blossoms.

    The formerly local sensations seemed touched to be given the hometown heroes welcome down the street from where a number of their greatest hits had been composed. 

    I shared something on Facebook at the time about how suddenly the crowd at Innings Fest quadrupled when they hit the stage, but I think maybe I just like the word quadrupled. There were six or seven times more watching them.

    And they delivered.

    They opened with one of their biggest hits, “Follow You Down,” which featured Robin Wilson on harmonica and encouraging the crowd to sing the chorus hook.

    “We’ve returned to our hometown to kick ass and chew bubblegum,” Wilson announced. “And we are all out of bubblegum.”

    “Allison Road”

    In addition to crowd-pleasing staples like “Allison Road,” they dusted off a country-rocking ballad from a forthcoming release recorded with Mitch Easter and Don Dixon. And it effortlessly held its own in the company of those fan favorites, ending with a future singalong of “Close your eyes / Hold me tight / Everything is gonna be all right.

    Then, they finished the set with their other big singles, “Found Out About You,” “Hey Jealousy” and “Til I Hear It From You.””

 

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