Photos and Review by: Daniel Merlino
Author’s Instagram: merlinofotografia
Lineup: Counting Crows
Date: August 25, 2023
Location: Riverwind Casino, Norman, OK
THERE ARE ONLY a few situations where I feel compelled to listen to specific music based upon my current whereabouts. Listening to Primus while passing through San Pablo or blaring Snot while in southern California. Driving north along Highway 280, past Pacifica and Skyline at sunset with the windows down, and blasting Recovering the Satellites is my favorite. I have been chasing the opportunity to catch a Counting Crows concert for years, until now. I was a bit nervous while waiting in the photo pit, unsure of what to expect. At first strum of the guitars and belted note, everything just lifted away; no more worries, no concerns, and no sense of nervousness. And in between the shutter clicks of my camera, I started singing every lyric with the crowd and with Adam.
Every note, tone, and string bend expertly crafted and delivered. They were, hands-down, one of the best bands I have seen live in years. They played exactly the songs that the crowd wanted to hear, and what seemed to be specific versions the band may prefer playing after so many years; as well as some surprises. As I walked throughout the venue taking photos, every single person was engaged. Lost in the arms of a loved one, sharing a laugh and singing with a group of friends, and just living in the moment.
I’m ecstatic Counting Crows are touring, creating music, and creating new memories. From cheesy-smiling with Accidentally In Love, eyes welling during Colorblind, to being intrigued by the VH1 Storytellers version of Daylight Fading, I’m fortunate to have finally caught them on the road.
It’s been years since I have been back to California.
“It’s been so long since I’ve seen the ocean, I guess I should.” (Counting Crows – A Long December, Recovering the Satellites, 1996)
Catch them on tour through 09/25/2023 ending at the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado. As always, please support local music and artists!