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Concert Review - F*cking with Clusters

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Goo Goo Dolls and Counting Crows played tonight at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountainview, and they were opened for by Augustana.

The Short Version: The Goo Goo Dolls played an amazing show, the Counting Crows were disappointing, and the opener showed a lot of potential.

Augustana played to a mostly empty theatre, but played with heart. The lead singer did everything right: he talked to the audience a little, played his music, and asked, just once, for someone to go out there and buy his record. Classy. Apparently, it was their MySpace profile that caused Counting Crows to cherry pick them out for the tour (http://www.myspace.com/augustana). Their sound is much like CC was back in 1995, when they weren't worried about movie tie-ins and marketing for their music.

By 8:00. Augustana had finished their set and Johnny Rzeznick led the Goo Goo Dolls on stage. They opened with a song off of their new album, which the audience was ambivalent to. They followed that up with "Slide", however, garnering one of the best crowd reactions of the night. After that, they mainly stuck to singles from Dizzy Up the Girl: "Iris", "Black Balloon" (where the audience members started tossing smuggled balloons), "Broadway", and 'January Friend" among them. "Broadway" was particularly spectacular; they let the saxophone run solo, and he went wild with it. It gave the piece a lot of character, which is what it takes to pull off a piece about a tiny bar in a mega-complex such as Shoreline. They also threw in "Name", and Johnny commented about how happy he was that people remembered it.

To add a bit of a fangirl note: Johnny Rzeznick, arguably the world's hottest 41 year old, looked and pointed at me! I hope someone got a shot of him when the LCDs on the stage were all displaying flames behind him during "January Friend". I can think of no one who would make as good of an actor to play pretty anime guys... the hair type, the eyes: its perfect.

Counting Crows had a hard act to follow, especially as it became clear that many people weren't there to see them. They opened with "Recovering the Satellites", after which several people, unhappy with the flavor of the piece, left the theatre. The crowd died then, and Adam Duritz's enthusiasm waned with it. The one song that he did well was "Rain King", where he threw in a few lines and riffs from "Scarborough Fair" to great effect. Their set went RtS, "Hard Candy", "Rain King", "Mrs. Robinson", "Long December", "Mr. Jones", "Colorblind", "Hanging Around", "Holiday in Spain", and finally "California Dreaming", though not neccessarily in that order. I expected too much, maybe, but by the end, the audience was clearly bored, and the lights came on during "California Dreaming".

I still had a lovely night. I need to find out if the bands playing the show at Shoreline are responsible for the intermission music or not. If they are, I have a whole new level of respect for these people: the intermission playlist was TMBG - "Ana Ng", Dead Milkmen - "Punk Rock Girl", and Voilent Femmes - "Blister in the Sun".

I picked up the new Goo Goo Dolls record and a live Counting Crows show from Holland. For some reason, their European recordings are always much better than the local ones. For example, the most famous rendition of "Round Here" is an 11 minute version played in Paris in 1997, and nothing in the US has come close to matching the energy and length of that piece.

For now, bed. My entire body hurts from balancing on the armrests of stadium seats while shaking my hands in the air. Its a good pain, and tonight I will sleep happy.
Current Mood: happyhappy
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Date:June 28th, 2006 02:05 pm (UTC)
Man, I wish I'd gotten a chance to go to that one. There was an NVIDIA intern group assembling to go, but the call went out to the email list after lunch on Friday and tickets were bought by 4 or something.
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Date:June 28th, 2006 04:36 pm (UTC)
Doh.. I wish I'd known: I had to drag "I hate music" pabw to it because I couldn't find anyone else willing to go with me.
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Date:June 29th, 2006 04:22 am (UTC)
I saw them up near Seattle last week and got a wholly different impression. Maybe it's just my unfamiliarity with the Goo Goo Dolls, but I wasn't impressed with them at all, especially when the bassist decided to sing. And I'd also say that many more people came to see Counting Crows. I'd guess |people present for Counting Crows| = 1.5 * |people present for the Goo Goo Dolls|.

The setlist was actually a bit different than at the one you went to. RtS, Hard Candy, Mrs. Potter, Rain King (Raining in Baltimore alts), High Life, St. Robinson, RMID, Mr. Jones, Long December, Hanginaround, Round Here. I keep hoping that one of these days they'll throw out a Miller's Angels or Perfect Blue Buildings, but it at least looks like they're mixing it up a little. And holy crap do people like Mr. Jones.

If you can tell Adam's psyche by his choices of "we are not alone/we are all alone", "it means everything/it means nothing at all", etc., he's not entirely in a good way. It could be a good thing for the music. One one hand, I've never heard RtS sung more emotively, but on the other that plaintive line-repetition he sometimes does got a little out of control.

I'll have to give Augustana a listen. Counting Crows could stand to recall some of that pre-Desert Life sound.

They played the same music at the intermission up here, too. I was also wicked impressed.

Yay music!
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Date:June 29th, 2006 04:23 am (UTC)
And oh yeah, the show was teh awesome. Such a good band...
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Date:June 30th, 2006 02:59 am (UTC)
Yea.. I'm somewhat familiar with both of them, but I'm a bigger fan of the Crows, which might be why the concert disappointed me: I've seen them do *much* better 5-8 years ago, and am bummed that even their old songs don't have the energy they used to.. (I haven't liked much of the new stuff at all: The only really good new stuff imho is the old unreleased stuff like Colorblind and Holiday in Spain that they stuck on newer albums.. )

That, and Adam Duritz has really let himself go over the years :-p
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