Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Counting Crows still ‘Hangin Around’

MILWAUKEE, Wis. — What do you get when you have a lineup that
includes up-and-comer Graham Colton, the Counting Crows and John
Mayer? A great night of entertaining music.

“It’s my birthday, so we’re starting with this one,” Counting
Crows lead man Adam Duritz told the crowd at the Marcus
Amphitheater in Milwaukee as the band broke out with its song “Rain
King.” Counting Crows opened the evening with a slower and stronger
version than the studio recording familiar to most listeners.
Perhaps Duritz’s birthday helped to motivate the band, which
performed much better Friday night in Milwaukee than it did in its
October visit to Madison.

Although the Crows preceded John Mayer in the concert lineup,
they did not sound as though they deserved to be anything but a
headliner. In the shortened set (due to the co-headlined show) the
Crows managed to fit in many of their most popular songs, including
“Mr. Jones” and “Hard Candy.”


Duritz managed to entertain the crowd not only with his crisp
vocals, but also with stories of what his songs were about. Before
“Goodnight Elizabeth,” for example, he told the crowd the song was
written about an ex-girlfriend after she had dumped him.

More entertaining was when Duritz told the crowd that “American
Girls” was not written about having fun in the summer and meeting
girls, but actually about him “being a dick.”This made an otherwise
mediocre song amusing, if nothing else.

The lead singer for the opening act of the night, Graham Colton,
reappeared during the Crows’ set and helped sing a verse of
“Hanging Around,” which was certainly a crowd favorite with its
exciting sound and the display of flashy stage lights.

The encore featured Duritz soloing on the piano, singing
“Goodnight L.A.,” followed by the rest of the band joining him for
“Long December.” Before the Counting Crows left the stage, Duritz
made sure to have the crowd and the band sing “Happy Birthday” to
him, which capped off an exciting performance from the band. The
biggest disappointment was that the Crows had to leave the stage so
early — there is no question that they left the crowd wanting

Headliner John Mayer was greeted with loud shrieks from the many
teenage girls in the audience, many of whom were clad in shirts
with messages to John, including at least one saying, “John, your
body is a wonderland.” However, there is more to John Mayer than
his boyish good looks and his somewhat uninteresting studio

Mayer’s guitar-playing abilities do not come through in the
studio tracks. Throughout the performance, he featured several new,
unreleased songs that showed off these magnificent skills to good
effect. During the yet-to-be-released “Come Back To Bed,” Mayer
played a string of electric guitar solos that were the highlight of
the show. When the song was over, he told the audience that he had
“never had that much fun playing the guitar.” (Followed by
high-pitched screams.)

Mayer followed up with a stirring rendition of his top-40 hit
“Your Body is a Wonderland.” His singing abilities, combined with
his skill as a guitarist, gave others in the audience something to
scream about as well: musical talent.

Overall, Graham Colton, the Counting Crows and John Mayer put on
a solid show in Milwaukee. The acoustics in the ampitheater were
clear, creating a great sound for both the instrumentals and
vocals. There was excitement in the audience, and it seemed
Counting Crows fans were pleasantly surprised with John Mayer’s
performance. Likewise, Mayer fans seemed to love the Crows.

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