Rob Thomas and Counting Crows: Opposites Attract

Rob Thomas and Counting Crows teamed up for a co-headline show at the Sands Event Center Thursday night. While both artists have a completely different sound and persona, the friendship and talent of the two groups brought a well rounded show to Bethlehem. 

Rob Thomas brings his tour across the States sharing a taste of his new album, The Great Unknown with the crowd. As a crafted singer songwriter, his new album goes above and beyond as far as writing goes.

Thomas opens with “Something to Be” the title track to his debut solo album and goes into the pop-rock song “Mockingbird”. Quickly going into “Her Diamonds” Thomas’s signature dancing and on stage antics have the crowd loving every second of it.

A showman in his own right, Thomas jumped around, danced and amped up the crowd as he went into a cover of David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance”. Effortlessly swinging and twirling his microphone stand around, he captivated and interacted with the audience on all levels.

He explained that over 20 years ago when he wrote “3 AM” he was out playing clubs doing sets of originals and covers. Excitingly enough more than half of those covers were Counting Crows songs which inspired Thomas and Matchbox Twenty’s works. It came full circle with this dual headline tour.

Thomas takes it down a notch and picks up an acoustic guitar to perform a different, stripped-down rendition of “3AM,” with fancy guitar licks and rhythmic backing. He dedicated “3AM” to Counting Crows as they celebrated 20 years of friendship.

“I think it’s about love and I think it’s about acceptance—and how these two things must go together so the world can go round,” Thomas told the crowd before starting a pitch perfect, moving performance of “Someday”.

The new single off the latest record “Pieces” was greeted with an audience, cellphone in hands lighting up the venue. As a singer-songwriter, this is an unbelievably well written song telling a dark, yet inspiring story.

“We’re gonna do a song that is kinda like a cover, but it’s not because I wrote it,” Rob Thomas joked as the drums kick off the song and the band jams into “Smooth.”

Thomas ends the show with the same positive message that he has always stood for:

“Be good to each other.”

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Adam Duritz the mastermind behind Counting Crows played a lengthy set full of songs from their entire career. The band hasn’t released anything since their seventh album, Echoes of the Outlaw Roadshow but the show works and flows because Counting Crows songs are timeless and intimate.

The band is full of skilled musicians who pay such attention to detail in regard to instruments. A full sized grand piano, banjo, accordion and vintage guitars were all played during their set.

The presence of Duritz is quite different than Rob Thomas as far as interaction and energy. Duritz was more reserved and slower yet brought a introspective, storytelling vibe to the crowd.

Their set was made for the diehards with a little bit of everything: newer songs, old songs, classics, obscure b-sides and of course hits.

“It’s nearly impossible to not have fun with Rob,” Duritz laughed as he told stories to the crowd about their relationship. He explained that just backstage Rob was kidding around with ‘Things I think is funny” which made sense after his latest instagram post.

Things I think are funny.

A video posted by Rob T (@thisisrobthomas) on Aug 18, 2016 at 3:30pm PDT

The band moved on to their biggest hit “Mr. Jones” which will never lose it’s appeal with the anthemic song allowing the crowd let loose.

The contrasting performances of Counting Crows and Rob Thomas worked for an extremely dynamic show encompassing all aspects of music. From strong vocal performance to deep, poetic songwriting, this lineup has it all.

The show can be best summed up by Adam Duritz himself:

“Me and Rob, genius. Me and Rob, crazy.”

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