Before we get into the review of Saturday night's Counting Crows concert, I'd just like to make a few remarks about the venue itself. I love the fact the Rail Event Center offers all-ages shows with plenty of opportunity to get a drink and even have it on the ground floor. The acoustics are better than expected, and it's definitely the best place I've seen Counting Crows play (I've seen them at USANA and what was once the E-Center in the past to name a few). Basically, it's the venue I wish Salt Air was…

And it was definitely the place to see the Outlaw Roadshow tour, featuring the Crows and three of their favorite opening acts.

Crows frontman Adam Duritz played MC throughout the show, introducing each band and hyping up the crowd. This gave the show an intimate touch and brought the attention of the crowd to the well-deserving groups.

Kasey Anderson and the Honkies were the first up.

They're a five piece group that played songs from their newer album "Heart of a Dog." The band's music is fresh, fun and at times  contemplative but definitely with a grassroots kick to it, which really came out on stage. 

My favorite song from the group was definitely the one with the fastest tempo, "Two More Bottles of Wine." With a pianist and plenty of room for guitar solos, they're definitely a band to catch again if they come to town.

Here they are playing Two More Bottles of Wine at Seattle station KEXP:

Next up was Field Report.

When you're reviewing a concert, you have to put away your musical bias and check out the band as if you were a big fan of the genre. And even though their more subdued songs didn't appeal to me so much at first, they got the crowd pretty excited.

And actually, the more they played, the more I liked them and they offered some great harmonizing and instrumentation.

Sure, they're more tone-downed than the Honkies, but definitely got more powerful as the set went on and the crowd adjusted. Songs to check out from this band that were played at the show are "I Am Not Waiting Anymore" and "Fergus Falls."

The latter last song actually sent chills down my spine. Field Report was at Kilby Court recently as well, and they promise to return again.

The third band of the show was Tender Mercies, who were filling in for We Are Augustines and felt like they fit the name of the tour better than the rest. 

Along with playing to the crowd with a few songs the Crows have also done, I enjoyed "Ball and Chain," a song that the crowd really got into and hyped everyone up for the Crows after the more subdued sounds of Field Report. 

The band featured two vocalists and ended with their song Scarecrow.

And the headliner...


Duritz on stage from the crowd perspective.

Up until Counting Crows took the stage, each band played for about half and hour. The headliner went on about an hour and forty-five minutes.

As they trudged to the stage to the Flaming Lips song "Vaseline," front man Adam Duritz rocked a Kiss T-shirt and the band opened with "Rain King." Of course, this version felt a little more folky, and probably had some new lyrics, which is their MO. 

Every time you see Counting Crows, you know you're going to get a completely different show. The adds elements like lyrics and throws in solos to songs that were never there before. So its' always something you CAN'T just hear on the CD.

The band did a good job of mixing fan favorites from their albums, and everyone went nuts over "High Life." That's about the time I tweeted "I bet this place is going to blow up when they play "Mr. Jones." Jokes on me. They didn't play it. They didn't play "Accidently In Love" either. But nobody cared.

The crowd danced a bit during "Four Days" and the Crows did throw in hits like "Around Here" and "Long December." The latter had a long pause do to some technical errors, but the crowd was forgiving, even when Durtiz again had to stop a song on account of eating too many Gobstoppers at once before he started singing. 

Things slowed down with "Black and Blue," and the crowd got to see an awesome dual guitar solo during "Children in Bloom."

Encores included Le Ballet D, followed up by every band from the night joining the Crows on stage for Bob Dillon's "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" and Counting Crows' hit "Hanging Around." 

All in all—very cool show from the headliners and three buzzworthy openers.