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Dolls, Crows share the stage

Counting Crows and The Goo Goo Dolls team up at Nissan Pavilion

Date published: 8/31/2006

By CLAY JONES

BRISTOW--One way to get the crowd on its feet before your band hits the stage is to pipe in a tune from a band much bigger than yours. That's exactly the tack The Goo Goo Dolls used Saturday night at Nissan Pavilion when they started the show with a recording of Pink Floyd's "Run Like Hell."

Immediately afterward, the Dolls hit the stage playing "Stay With You" from their new CD, "Let Love In."

The Dolls' faithful were in attendance with black balloons and large signs professing their love for pretty-boy frontman Johnny Rzeznick.

The band from Buffalo, N.Y., played most of its hits, as well as new songs, which left scant room for B-side material.

It was a mixed affair, going from acoustic to electric numbers, and with bass player Robby Takac taking lead vocals on a couple of songs.

Takac provided much of the energy the rest of the band was lacking--he didn't just pluck his bass strings, he pounded on them. He seemed to be enjoying himself much more than the rest of the band.

While the Dolls played hit after hit, Counting Crows spent much of the evening playing songs radio would avoid like the bubonic plague, which isn't a bad thing.

The band resembled a hippie jam band at times, maintaining a full rapport with their audience while sprinkling in hits among lesser-known rockers.

Lead singer Adam Duritz spent parts of the evening plugging local charities without delving into politics.

He also broke one tune down to sing "Happy Birthday" to a fellow band member, then restarted the song, broke back into "Happy Birthday," and finished the song after threatening to sing "Happy Birthday" again.

At times, Duritz was lost on the stage, even sitting at the piano and starting a different song than the band was going into. He laughed off the miscues and mistakes and kept the onstage party rolling while teasing himself.

The Crows swayed from funk to blues to pop-rock, to finish out the evening with a slow version of the band's debut hit, "Mr. Jones."

The highlight of the evening was when the band invited dozens of friends to take the stage with them during a rollicking version of "Hangin' Around."

Based upon radio play and hits, you might wonder why The Goo Goo Dolls opened. But based upon the performance and sheer energy, you could see why the Crows were up to the task of headlining.

Source: http://fredericksburg.com/News/FLS/2006/082006/08312006/217891
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