Saturday, July 26, 2003

A Dream Realized

Although it seems frivolous, considering my Piper-filled previous post, I'm about to gush for a while, so brace yourself.

Tonight, a musical dream of mine came true. I just came back from the Counting Crows/(johnmayer) concert at the Pavilion tonight. Wow. I'm glowing, seriously. Too rad.

And as I am the person who finds the cloud in every silver lining, the experience was tainted by a few elements, briefly enumerated here:
--The Mayer fans: you know how you can spot a Mayer fan? First clue: 18 and under, or 21, beer in hand and saying things during the warm-up act like, "who cares, bring on Johnny." Second clue: TALKING DURING THE ENTIRE CROWS SET. Third clue: STILL TALKING THROUGH THE ACOUSTIC PORTION OF THE CROWS SET, IN A REALLY LOUD TONE. Grrr.
--Instead of being a Crows "with special guest, Mayer" concert, it was a double bill show. Do we make that punk Mayer pay his dues? No, we let him sit at the adult table already, even though he's put out, um, one studio project. Way to go pal, play every song on your album tonight, okay?

Anyway... now to goodness.

I'm on my blanket on the Pavilion's expansive lawn. About halfway back, on the left side, a bit far, but still a clear line of sight of the stage. The first act is pretty good--the Graham Colton group. Or Colman. I don't know. But they're not bad. I read while they played (no one to talk to, that's right kids, I was flying solo tonight). Then, after the set break, some people were apparently coming on stage, cuz the girlies started screaming. I rolled my eyes, thought "Let's get this Mayer business over with" and kept reading intently. Until... I heard the voice of, not the scruffy kid, but Adam Duritz. I nearly did a double-take. The Crows...playing...first?!? Egad.

Yes, they did the front end of the bill, which turned out to be okay.

So the Crows set. Uber-rad. Opened with "Rain King", including a few extra verses that I wish i could remember but just can't. They played several tracks off the new album, including the quasi-title track, as well as "Miami", "Richard Manuel is Dead", and "Good Time". OH, one of Adam's anecdotes was about the creation of "Good Time." He finished it on the bus, as they were pulling into San Antonio for a gig a couple years back. For those who don't know/remember, the final lines of the song are "I really love those red-haired girls, just like all the boys in Texas." Turns out that he wrote that partly because he spent part of his childhood in our fair city of Houston. Life of a military brat. He said his dad also taught at UH. SO that's fun, right?

Um...flashback goodness. They pulled out "Omaha" and "Mr. Jones" (of course) off the first album, and "St. Robinson and His Cadillac Dream" off of This Desert Life. Ended the first part of the set with "HanginAround," my Houston-in-August anthem. I always would get that song stuck in my head two weeks before my return to OBU.

Then, Adam came back and sat at the piano, and played "Goodnight L.A." by himself, which was so great. Then the band returned for "A Long December." Then, after the set, Adam cued the PA guy, who played "California Dreamin" by the Mamas and the Papas, over the PA system. While the band was getting all their equipment off stage, Adam led the audience in an unofficial singalong for about half the song before bowing and leaving.

Too cool. Had a fun conversation with two other hard core fans (one paid over three hundred bucks on ebay for second row seats. If I had it, I would too.)

Then I stayed for about three songs of the Mayer set, before leaving. I didn't pay to see him. The Crows played for over an hour and a half. I got my money's worth.

One thing I noticed that surprised me. I always thought Mayer was the clean-cut, take-home-to-momma type. No, Virginia, not the case. His songs are actually more sexually charged than expected. The Crows seemed almost tame.

But no, the screaming of little girls drove me away, destroying my resolve to stick through the set in the hopes that Adam would join Mayer on stage for an encore. (He probably did, but I'll never know.)

But, gripes aside, what a great show. I can't say enough.

Okay, I'll stop now.

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