Counting Crows and Cracker
Live at the Thunderdome

By Berkeley Harrington, Jr.

Cracker was about five songs into their set when the lights went out. Literally. I'm talking the BIG fuse blew and left something like 1500 people in the dark. The drummer kept playing though, God bless 'im. It wasn't long before some handyman stuck a nickel or something behind the fuse, and the show went on. It was definitely the high point of the evening.

The more I think about this show, the more I like Counting Crows. Adam Duritz, the Crows' vocalist, is just about the longest-winded singer I have yet run across. He must have six pages of lyrics for every verse of every song they do, and though there really isn't any kind of cadence to what he sings (in relation to what the rest of the band is playing), it somehow all kinda fits together and works. Neat trick.

I guess somebody had leaked that the blond guy in Cracker (David Lowery) used to be in Camper Van Beethoven, 'cuz the place was flat-out jam-packed, a total sellout. I'm sure the show's promoter was quite happy with the turnout. The only problem with events like this is that I am far too short to see the action . . . but the nice people at the Thunderdome had foreseen my predicament and very thoughtfully provided great big color monitors just over the bar with which to observe the action on stage. Now if I can just get 'em to give me a direct feed to my apartment, I'll never have to leave.

Seriously. It did kinda smack of watching MTV in a bar or something, but there was a tiny thrill knowing that somewhere over in that area, the band was actually playing.

Cracker did a good set. The hits were there, of course. Songs like "Low," "Teen Angst" (my favorite) and "Movie Star." I didn't hear anybody yell out "Take The Skinheads Bowling," but I know I sure wanted to.

All in all, the music seemed a little canned and what with the crowd, it was difficult to really get a feel of what either of the bands was all about. The lights going out kinda helped stir up the crowd, but it seemed to me that it was more important to the majority of the audience just to be seen at a hip show like this one than to actually watch the bands play. However, if turnouts like this one bring more and more good music to the area, then I'm all for it, regardless of the attitude of the ticket-buyers.