Counting Crows @ O2 Academy, Glasgow

It’s a rare treat to find a band at the peak of their powers, especially one whose debut album is twenty years old, but Counting Crows sounded like a group in prime form as they brought their first UK tour in four years to an end in Glasgow last night.

Backed by the considerable talents of, amongst others, Dan Vickery on lead guitar and Charlie Gillingham on accordion, Adam Duritz has one of the quirkiest voices in music, and a passion about his songs that few can match.  He ventures off on winding detours midway through songs, such as the dalliance with Oh Susanna during main set closer Rain King, before bringing it back for a rousing final chorus which had the crowd in the palm of his hand.

Duritz’s only instrumental duty is a brief flirtation on the piano, but he is a frontman with boundless enthusiasm and an emotional connection with his audience.

Such is the wealth of material produced by Counting Crows their setlists have varied wildly from night-to-night on this tour.  Staples such as Round Here, Hard Candy and Omaha featured at the O2 Academy, but there were also tour debuts for Daylight Fading and Good Time and a 2013 resurrection of the brilliant Ghost Town.

At least four covers included a flawless Return of the Grevious Angel and a crowd pleasing version of local favourites Teenage Fanclub’s Start Again, however it is with their own material where the band excel and the lyrical marvel that is Mrs Potters Lullaby was a real standout in a set packed with hits.

The crowd was sent off into the night with The Mamas and The Papas’ California Dreamin’ playing over the PA and Adam Duritz leading a singalong from the stage.  It was typical of his energy and the feelgood factor created by a band who know how to put on a show.

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