Editor’s note: This article was originally published July 31, 2014
During a two-hour set at ACL Live at the Moody Theater on Wednesday night, Counting Crows performed a hodgepodge of songs spanning 20 years for a sold-out crowd. While the first part of the show felt somewhat disjointed thanks to song choices such as show-opener “Sullivan Street” (too mellow), Tender Mercies-cover “Mercy” (too unknown) and even megahit “Mr. Jones” (too early in the evening), the band settled into a groove that pulled from each of its albums as well as its upcoming Sept. 2 release, “Somewhere Under Wonderland.”
Among pleasant surprises for the audience: The handful of songs played from the new album channeled early Counting Crows with that energetic-yet-meandering spirit the band is famous for. Lead singer Adam Duritz was endearing and self-deprecating as always, changing up songs (and maybe dropping the microphone once) as he saw fit. The highlight of the night? The raucous set-ending rendition of “Murder of One.” It’s my favorite Counting Crows song, and this live version was the best I’ve ever heard.
Daniel and the Lion opened, followed by Toad the Wet Sprocket, who used ‘90s hits such as “Something’s Always Wrong,” “Fall Down” and “Walk on the Ocean” to remind everyone in the audience just how much we used to love them.