“Seven for a secret never to be told…”
I have liked the Counting Crows since 1993 when August and Everything After was released. That was a pretty tough time for me. I had just begun my freshmen year of high school with the knowledge that at the end of Fall semester, I would be moving away from the only home I had ever known, all my friends, and the safety of stability. In December, my dad had been living in Orlando for two months and my mother, sister and I joined him in a one bedroom apartment until the specifics of the house my parents bought all went through. I was friendless, thrown into an entirely different culture. We moved into a house in a very affluent neighbourhood where the kids all dressed like surfers and I saw so many of my peers skateboarding and smoking cigarettes. Coming from South Florida, where this sort of behaviour somehow should have been the norm, it wasn’t and I was shocked… and scared.
When this album came out, even my naieve 15 year old self identified with Adam Duritz’s hauntingly lonely lyrics, the underlying tones of self-hate and the emptiness we all feel. I listened to that entire album (both sides – cassette tape!) over and over. This kind of music was slowly replacing my love for Guns and Roses – my anger replaced by despair.
I believe it was early in January when the Crows came to perform at a now defunct little place called the Edge in downtown Orlando. I hadn’t made any friends yet nor started the Spring semester so somehow it worked out that my father would accompany me. I don’t suppose it’s dorky to attend a concert with your dad if you don’t know anyone in the entire city. The show was amazing; I don’t think they opened with “Mr. Jones” but I remember the crazed shouts when it finally began, the guitar opener that all fans knew so well. That was my first real concert. It was amazing. I wore the shirt to school soon after.
I think the Counting Crows are still a strong band, even though not quite as “popular” as they once were. Their newest album and first single, You Can’t Count On me” are growing on me. I don’t think I’d go to another one of their concerts but they still know how to make decent music. And that’s saying something because there’s not a lot of good new stuff. (Amy Winehouse, I’m looking at you!)
Tell me, what band have you always liked, no matter how many years pass and how old they get?