Counting Crows At The Palace

By Katie and Joe Elder

The Counting Crows appeared at Louisville's historic Palace Theater on Wednesday, February 19, to a sell out crowd. Newcomer Fiona Apple opened.

The Palace was a perfect setting for the Counting Crows. Freedom Hall would have swallowed the band and the crowd and destroyed the intimacy that lead singer Adam Duritz created between himself and the audience. The Palace is perfect for smaller concerts, and has been the site for shows from such diverse acts as Bob Dylan, Peter Paul and Mary, and The Temptations. A heavy metal band such as Metallica would probably have caused the demise of this art deco institution. The Metallica fire and light show might have resulted in falling plaster problems.

Fiona Apple opened and bravely attempted to quiet a somewhat restless crowd who repeatedly interrupted her performance with cries for the Counting Crows. She had a lot of spirit and was a fair performer but she was soon eclipsed by the main act.

The Palace, with its myriad of plaster busts, alabaster blue ceiling, blinking lights and fluttering doves, creates a magical space.

The Counting Crows and Adam Duritz completed the magic. Duritz has what can best be described as a plaintive voice which lends itself perfectly to a certain kind of song and evening. The Counting Crows opened the set with "Recovering The Satellites" (from the album of the same name) and closed the first of three curtain calls with "Ghost Train" and the second with "A Long December."

The Crows played most of their signature tunes including "A Murder Of One," "Rain King," and "Mr. Jones," all from their debut album, August And Everything After, as well as "Angels Of The Silences" and "Catapult" from their latest album, Recovering The Satellites. "Time and Time Again," a personal favorite, was also played.

The highlight of the concert and one of the highlights of this year's music season was the Counting Crows rendition of one of their more popular songs, "Round Here." Twice during the lengthy performance of the tune Duritz performed falsetto, repeating the refrain 'leave the light on.' The song, the music and the setting created one of those rare magical moments in music. Duritz really connected with the audience and the time and the place.

It is to be hoped that the recent change in ownership will give the Palace a strong financial base so that it can continue to bring to Louisville smaller concerts.