The Wallflowers and Counting Crows

The Wallflowers Live

It seems that no matter how rainy the day, there’s always a beautiful sunset in the seaport area by the Bank of America Pavilion. This was no different for The Wallflowers’ and Counting Crows’ show there earlier this week. The sea breeze floated through the air as Jakob Dylan and The Wallflowers took the stage on the almost-summer evening.

They opened the show with Marvin Gaye’s 1964 song “Baby Don’t You Do It”, which has also been famously covered by The Band, The Who, and the Black Crowes. The band stands within the smoke that fills the stage as they get ready for the next song, “Three Marlenas”. Blue light illuminates through the smoke as Dylan sings, “Alone tonight in somebody’s bed/She gone and dyed her hair red/She only went and did what she did/’Cause he would drive her home then.”

The band plays a couple more songs, including “Everything I Need” from their 2002 album, Red Letter Days, before Dylan addresses the crowd for the first time. His banter remains reserved throughout the night, but all that means is that there’s more time for their music. Following this, they bounce into a saucy cover of The Box Tops 1967 #1 hit, “The Letter”. The keyboardist jumps between piano and organ, sprinkling notes while Dylan sings “I don’t care how much money I gotta spend/Got to get back to my baby again/Lonely days are gone, I’m a-goin’ home/’Cause my baby just wrote me a letter.” After the song, Dylan quickly confirms that “she”, whoever that may be, did in fact write him a letter.

Gold lights punched through the smoke during their performance of “6th Avenue Heartache”, almost mirroring the album art of gold stars on dark background from 1996’s Bringing Down The Horse. After “Closer To You”, Dylan took another chance to talk to the crowd. He noted, “We were here not too long ago; were you? You guys went crazy when we played this last time, too.” Next thing he was rolling into “One Headlight”, the band’s most loved and popular song.

They finished the set off with “Misfits and Lovers” followed by “Beautiful Side of Nowhere”, leaving the crowd on their feet as they said their thank you’s and goodbye’s.

The Counting Crows started their set before they even walked on the stage. They blasted Bill Withers’ “Lean On Me” through the system while still off stage. The crowd swayed and sang, and Adam Duritz joined in the from behind the stage before they walked out as the song faded out. They open with an extended version of “Round Here”. Duritz ad-libbed and improvised through the middle section, causing the crowd to listen closely to every word. He finished the song by singing “Come outside,” over and over again while backing further and further away from the microphone. Even when a few feet away, Duritz’s powerful voice consumed the Pavilion.

They followed that with their latest single, “Untitled (Love Song)”, off of last year’s cover album, Underwater Sunshine (Or What We Did On Our Summer Vacation). This provided choruses of “Throw your arms around my neck/I won’t be soon to forget.” “Catapult” and “Daylight Fading” came next, as Duritz’s thick messy dreadlocks bounced across his shoulders. He preluded the next song, Coby Brown’s “Hospital”, by saying “I think it’s about being nuts.” The lyrics confirmed as he sang “And I said honest to God, I got to get it off my chest/ I don’t want to stick around, cause I don’t need this sufferin’.”

They continued with “Black and Blue”, and a great performance of “Omaha” where Duritz’ loose unbuttoned shirt swayed to and fro, revealing a Cars shirt underneath. They played their cover of Teenage Fanclub’s “Start Again” next. Before starting, Duritz told the crowd, “I f–king love this song. Favorite song to play.” The soft and touching “Colorblind” came later in the set, as well as a sing-a-long for fan-favorite “A Long December”. They knocked down another cover, this time playing Bob Dylan’s “You Ain’t Goin Nowhere” before finishing the set with “Rain King”.

They came back for the encore to play “Washington Square” and the always fun “Hanginaround” before taking a moment to speak seriously to the crowd about their charity, the Grey Bird Foundation. The piano that played in the background while Duritz talked eventually turned into “Holiday In Spain.” He finished the night with a special something for Boston: “Walkaways,” which they have barely played since 2000. He sang, “Gotta rush away she said/I’ve been to Boston before/Anyway, this change I’ve been feeling/Doesn’t make the rain fall.” As the band walked off the stage, Duritz asked the crowd to sing along with him one more time; he jumped on top of a speaker as “California Dreaming” blasted through the Bank of America Pavilion, everyone singing and everyone smiling.

By Anthony Cantone Heinze

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Mikal Cronin at Great Scott
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