Proving herself to be a versatile musician, Londoner Lucy Rose opens the show with a set which sees her play on both the guitar and the keyboard. She’s rather energetic, and her music is catchy, though far from anything unique, but that doesn’t stop the ever-growing crowd responding well to each number as it ends. It’s disheartening to see her almost completely uncommunicative with her audience, only pausing to say “thank you” and to promote her own tea, but despite that, she walks off stage with a beaming smile.
As the lights go up and Counting Crows are illuminated, an almighty cheer echoes around the venue as they open with ‘Round Here’, front-man Adam showing off his impressively clear vocals. From there, he moves confidently and excitedly around the stage for ‘Scarecrow’ and when it comes to ‘St Robinson In His Cadillac Dream’ he hits the end high notes with ease. ‘Mr Jones’ follows this moments later, next, but it’s ‘Colour-Blind’, from the film Cruel Intentions, that offers up the first slower moment of the evening so far – Adam is sat at a piano, a blue soft light illuminates him as he plays and, as the last note rings out, the band are rewarded with the strongest cheer so far while a cover of ‘Start Again’ by Teenage Fanclub is well received, despite sounding rather country and completely different from everything they’ve played so far.
Taking a few minutes to converse with the sold out crowd before him, Adam muses that “there’s something really cool about being in a group with your friends and singing on stage night after night” which earns the group a rapturous round of applause, before he holds out the microphone to let the masses sing along during ‘Come Around’ as he sits down and watches on. The new album’s material gets a good outing during the show with ‘John Appleseed’s Lament’ proving very popular indeed, but when this is closely followed by their rendition of ‘Big Yellow Taxi’, judging from the huge sing-along it results in, there’s a clear stand out performance.
With Adam busy leading the crowd, walking from one end of the stage to the other, his band-mates, almost in turn, instigate hand-claps and hand-waves during a selection of later pieces. ‘Earthquake Driver’ sounds rather humorous and injects a little fun into the evening. As they round out the night by getting Lucy Rose and her band back on stage to sing with them, prior to the encore where they perform ‘Holiday In Spain’, it’s unsurprising to see the entire venue, even those in the seats, on their feet whistling and applauding.