Niagara Gazette

Night & Day

June 27, 2013

Counting Crows' Adam Duritz talks live shows, past regrets

Night & Day — When I received the email confirming my interview with Counting Crows lead singer Adam Duritz, I noticed something unusual, a 30-minute time slot. Most artists allot 10 or maybe 15 minutes, but within a few minutes I realized that Duritz takes his interviews as serious as he does his music.

Duritz and his band have garnered a well-deserved reputation as a great live band. One reason for that is that no two Counting Crows shows are the same. They’ll be playing a show Friday at Buffalo’s Outer Harbor with The Wallflowers.

“I think you owe an audience your absolute commitment to the show. You need to be up on stage bringing something to them that is unique in that moment. I send a text to the band, crew and opening bands and ask if there is anything, they want to hear or play that night and then I sit down and try to make up a setlist,” Duritz said.

In an era where many bands play the same set of songs night after night, and some are even contractually required to play their radio hits, Counting Crows approach to live music is unusual, and may upset the casual fan hoping to hear “Mr. Jones.”

“We are very proud of our records. The songs that you think of as singles are actually just one song on an album; it was just a song that someone at a record company, who thought knew what they were doing but more often than not did not, picked out to try to sell to you on the radio but it has no more value than another song. We have so many songs that there is always going to be some song that someone wants to hear that we may not play some night, but you have to pick the songs you want to do and play them well.”

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