For the first time in nearly two decades the Counting Crows are going across Canada, bringing an original and exciting live show to 15 Canadian cities, including Kelowna on Wednesday night, as part of its 2015 worldwide tour.
It will be the band’s first appearance in Kelowna and in many of the Canadian cities the tour will touch down in.
Lead singer Adam Duritz says the band has always wanted to come to Canada but there was never enough offers from promoters to put together a tour, until now.
“One of the best things about being in a band is going to places we’ve never been,” said Duritz in an interview with the Kelowna Capital News. “We’ve never been to most of these places in Canada which is really cool. It was frustrating for us going around the world over and over again and never getting to Canada. We’ve been to Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto but we’ve never been across the country.”
The tour began Tuesday night at the Orpheum in Vancouver before stopping in Kelowna at Prosera Place on Wednesday, as the band tours behind their seventh studio album, the critically acclaimed Somewhere Under Wonderland.
Known for creating innovative concerts and consistently ranked as one of the top live bands performing today, the Counting Crows arrived on the music scene with a huge splash thanks to their 1993 debut album August and Everything After. Even before that album went multi-platinum and made the Counting Crows a household name, Duritz and his band were a sought after group in the music industry. They had offers from every major music label but at the time signed with Geffen Records for much less money than was on the table, keeping creative control of their music and allowing for long term success, according to Duritz.
“We put together a demo with about 13 songs, a lot of them were from August and Everything Before,” he said. “People flipped out when they heard it and the next thing you knew everyone was trying to sign us. Geffen gave us complete creative control even before the first album and that’s what made our career work out. We were able to do what we wanted, like it or not. That’s one of the things that has kept us together and made us the kind of band we are. We have taken ownership over our music.”
When it comes to their music, the Counting Crows most recognizable song has to be Mr. Jones, the catchy tune about wanting to be famous. Duritz says while it may be well-remembered and oft played, Mr, Jones didn’t key the success of their first album and instead points to a 1994 performance on Saturday Night Live of the song Round Here that shot the album through the roof and announced their arrival on the music scene.
“I love Mr. Jones and I think it’s a great song but it’s not any more important than any of our other songs,” said Duritz. “I think a lot of our fans now weren’t even born when it came out. It was a pretty big radio hit and the record wasn’t even in the top 200. But then we went on Saturday Night Live and played Round Here and then played David Letterman a month later. I think people were ready for us and we were really good on Saturday Night Live and that just blew it up.”
Duritz says they still play many of those songs from August and Everything After but adds the band has an ever-changing setlist, built with input from the band, the crew and even the supporting act, this time a band called Twin Forks, a project put together by former Dashboard Confessional lead singer Chris Carrabba, who Duritz urged fans to get to the show early to take in.
“I think of a concert as a way to play all of your work so we play stuff from every record,” he said. “We’re careful about making sure we play a lot of the new record because it’s the one everyone (in the band) wants to play and it’s the freshest. We just get lost in the songs and try and play like it is happening for the first time.”
The Counting Crows will perform their songs for the first time ever in Kelowna on Wednesday. Tickets are available through Select Your Tickets.