Mon, May 19, 1997
Mark Wein is a guitar player and blogger based out of L.A. This post finds Mark giving props to a band he loves while challenging conventional “jamming” wisdom. Look for more from Mark and other guest bloggers soon!
This isn’t a typical “jam band” sort of thing. To me, “jamming” has always meant playing the music I love with people I dig making music with. It was usually instrumental, but always intense on some level. A decade ago I went to see a show at the Greek Theater in L.A. and had my definition of “jamming” forever redefined.
Counting Crows has always been one of my favorite bands. They are the only band that is still releasing albums where I wait three years for the next album in anticipation of an experience that is transcendental…something that takes me to another place, different from the last trip yet strangely familiar. I look forward to their tours stopping in southern California like an addict waiting for a fix.
Many artists regurgitate their music verbatim in concert. Live shows are experiences to be celebrated.
Many artists that write music that is playable on pop radio tend to regurgitate their music verbatim in concert… afraid that challenging the listener will alienate the listener. My experience that night at the Greek Theater seeing Counting Crows for the first time was that you can take familiar songs and use them as a launching pad for a new musical experience. It was a revelation that would inform me as songwriter and a musician hugely… live shows are experiences to be celebrated and there needs to be both an energy and a reason to be performing this music… this needs to be a vital experience for both the artist and the fan.
The live version feels somewhat improvisational, with additional lyrics that I have heard in other versions and some that I have never heard before. It is long and hugely dynamic, working towards a climax like a great instrumental improvisation.
In it's originally recorded form the song tells a story with a tight structure that is radio friendly if not typically “pop.”
Thanks to thoeneu for posting this video.
Round Here and other Counting Crows tunes can be found on the album August and Everything After.
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