Counting Crows: August and Everything After: Live at Town Hall

Counting Crows
August and Everything After: Live at Town Hall
(Eagle Rock)

When you have a huge hit on your hands with your debut album it’s hard to shake that stigma as Counting Crows has with their song “Mr. Jones.” What’s worse is their hit single didn’t even personify the band, it was “’Round Here” which summed up who the San Francisco band was.

Despite releasing albums regularly since their debut August and Everything After, the Counting Crows are still known as the “Mr. Jones” band with the dreadlocked lead singer.

The band’s latest live release celebrates their debut when the band plays the album top to bottom on “August and Everything After: Live at Town Hall.” Before you roll your eyes thinking another 90’s band trying to regain their popularity, well, okay maybe they might be, but it’s been known that the Counting Crows are a much better live band than people give them credit for.

This stunning show opens with the one two punch of “Round Here/Raining in Baltimore” and from the onset, it is clear the Crows are better than ever. Like they are known to do, the band breaks down songs, improvises, even adding in other songs in the middle of their songs making the originals sound like brand new numbers. “Perfect Blue Buildings,” “Anna Begins” and Sullivan Street” are prime examples of their beauty of improv.

The band is tight as they feed off front man’s Adam Duritz commanding presence. He owns the stage as he walks along the monitors in his baggy faded jeans and vintage KISS concert shirt. Not really the stereotypical front man, Duritz gets lost in the music more like telling stories than singing the songs. He is powerful and emotional to the point you might think he will break down and cry or jump off the edge of the stage like it was a perfect blue building.

The sold-out crowd sang along, even taking the lead on a few songs as they were treated to a great rock show. The band left flexing some music muscle as they closed the show with “Ghost Train” and a blistering version of “A Murder of One.”

“August and Everything After: Live at Town Hall,” which is also a CD sold separately, is a great live collection for Counting Crows fans who want to travel back to 1993 and remember when…