Echoes of the Outlaw Roadshow

Echoes of the Outlaw Roadshow

Counting Crows initially saw themselves as a group that would make studio records that were mere blueprints for the live experience. Like Van Morrison, Bruce Springsteen, or The Grateful Dead (whose “Friend of the Devil” is presented here), Counting Crows aimed to be a classic rock band that transcended the genre. But the music world in the late '90s and early '00s was a harder era for an established band to try out iconoclastic moves with a mainstream audience. Devoted fans appreciated the unusual moves; casual fans wanted the hits. Thus, Counting Crows never surpassed their early fame, and audiences still cheer wildly for “Round Here” (here in a 10-minute version) and “Rain King” (here in seven). But the Crows’ fourth official live album leaves off the other hits and opens with an austere take of Bob Dylan’s “Girl from the North Country” and ends with a joyous version of Dylan’s “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere.” In between, the group plays through their favorites from This Desert Life, Underwater Sunshine, Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings, and Hard Candy, giving the people exactly what the hardcore fans need. 

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