The Counting Crows delivered an outstanding performance at the Hitchcock Arena in Grantham, Pennsylvania, at Messiah College on Sunday, April 27, 2003. Sixpence None The Richer appeared as their opening act and was equally entertaining on stage.

     The immediate team roster of the Counting Crows featured two new faces on stage. Vocalist Adam Duritz, keyboardist Charles Gillingham, and guitarists Dave Bryson, David Immergluck, and Dan Vickery were joined by new band drummer Jim Bogios and Sixpence bassist Justin Cary, filling in for an absent Matt Malley.

     Launching the concert with a mellow mood, the Crows performed "Have You Seen Me Lately?" with acoustic guitar, mandolin, banjo, and piano. The amazing level of musicianship of the band members is unmistakably impresive live on stage.

     Duritz bent over, picking up a setlist and commented, "I was experimenting with the setlist and I think I completely f*ck*d up". The band was limited to performing an abbreviated repertoire in the absence of CC bassist Matt Malley. The arrangement of "Omaha" included accordion, mandolin, and piano, which created a richer depth

     Duritz told a tale about a recent tour bus stop in the mountains of West Virginia. Some on the bus had been watching a video about White Supremacists in America's heartland. He warned, "If you just finished watching "Dead-Bang", stay the f*ck out of West Virginia".

     Seated behind a grand piano, Duritz sang and played the melodic "Goodnight L.A." solo on stage with heartfelt vocals, which was not on the official setlist for Messiah College. With Vickery back on stage, Duritz remained on the ivory keys for the power ballad "Long December", enriched by Gillingham's fluid accordion passages.

     The group played "Hard Candy", the title track of their latest studio effort. With Cary on bass, the tune was driven by harmony vocals, acoustic guitar, and two electric guitars that built up the tempo.

     The Crows returned for their encore, and Duritz thanked Justin Cary for his support on bass. The mellow country-flavored "Rain King" featured an electric guitar solo by Vickery, a paino solo by Gillingham, and a mandolin solo by Immergluck.

     The crowd clapped in-time during the easy-beat intro for "Hangin' Around". The audience became animated as the tempo increased and sang along on the chorus. Duritz stood upon a center-stage monitor as the band climaxed in a crescendo crash.

     Sixpence None The Richer performed an engaging opening set. The five piece band backed vocalist Leigh Nash, who wore a lime green dress. Their 11 song set began with the popular single "There She Goes". The mini-set included a cover of "Don't Dream It's Over".

     An accordion on the romantic "Kiss Me" added style to their performance. Closing out the set was "Pieces of Reeses", which evoked a musical flashback to the psychedelic era. Sixpence None The Richer was a perfect compliment to appear with the Counting Crows.

Grantham setlist: Have You Seen Me Lately? * Richard Manuel Is Dead * Sullivan Street * Omaha * Mr. Jones * Daylight Fading * American Girls * Goodnight Elisabeth * Big Yellow Taxi * Goodnight LA * Long December * Anna Begins * Hard Candy * Miami * Round Here * Encore: Rain King * Hangin' Around

RockonTour   Issue #20
Concert Fan - the Single Source for the Concertphile © 2003 RoT
                  the Single Source for the Concertphile

Masterful musicianship
The Counting Crows soar at cruising altitude

by Timothy Tilghman