Counting Crows
New Amsterdam: Live at Heineken Music Hall 2003



by El_Goodo USER (19 Reviews)
September 9th, 2006 | 3 replies

Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

A decade is a long time for anyone; so many things can happen to a person’s life in 10 years. The most obvious is that you become ten years older, which for someone turning 18 could mean the beginning of a whole new world, while those turning 40 begin to look back on their lives. And as you grow older everything starts to change. Maybe your friends don’t come around as much as they used to, maybe you’ve lost a loved one, maybe gained a loved one. The bottom line is that there’s very little that stays the same throughout a decade.

Taking this into account it’s an extraordinary thing to see artists that have managed to overcome all kinds of changes that come with the passing of time, and continue making music. Not only do they have to face the individual changes that everyone goes through, but they also have to endure the ever-changing music industry. Some artists are able to survive by using their glory days as a crutch, while entertaining young and old crowds with their live shows, much like the Rolling Stones . While other artists end up struggling for years before finding there place again, an example of this would be Bob Dylan. Then there are bands that although they never recreate the glory of the big hit that brought them into the spotlight, continue to grow, adapt, and continue making great music. They may lose old fans, but they are replaced with new ones. These are bands like Pearl Jam, Radiohead, and The Counting Crows.

Following in the footstep of some of their greatest influences like Bob Dylan, The Band, and The Grateful Dead. The Crows are constantly re-inventing there songs on the road. If you listened to the songs on August and Everything After and Recovering The Sattelites you would barely recognize the same tracks on the Crows first live album Across A Wire. This time around the songs are not as drastically changed, but there are still enough suprises to keep fans entertained.

Musically the album is phenominal, the band is vastly underrated and comparisons to the Band are definitley not far off. In fact they are basically a soft rock version of The Band. Most of the song features sounds coming at you from every direction. A Steady drum beat usually holds the band together, while guitars, piano, and other instruments such as the accordion (Omaha) create a wall of sound. The vocals are fantastic Duritz's sounds like he's singing his heart out on every song, and it's truly fascinating listening to him improvise lyrics during the song's breakdowns. It's during those moments that you can almost feel what it was like to be at the concert.

The set-list takes songs from each of the bands four studio albums, and features one new track "Hazy," a simple but effective piano ballad in the vein of "Raining In Baltimore." The selected tracks slightly favour the newer albums with eight of the tracks being from their last two albums, and six being from there first two. Any casual fans searching for their big hits will be let down as Mr. Jones, Round Here, and A Long December are all absent. But those looking for a little more should find exactly what there looking for. The audience can be heard most prominitley in between songs while they are applauding but they can be heard faintly singing along with alot of the songs. And on Goodnight Elizabeth the crowd sings out the entire chorus, providing one the albums most spine-tingling moments.

One of the other highlights of the album include the opening track Rain King which is reminscent of the version heard on Across A Wire only extended by about two minutes clocking in at 7:22. The extra minutes are mostly the result of a breakdown about 3:30 with the band where Duritz begins improvising lyrics, adding in a great chant of La, La, La, La where he invites the crowd to join in.

Although the album is directed more for loyal-fans of the band (as most live albums are), because of the great production and flawless performances any one could enjoy this album. I think it represents the live Crows better than Across The Wire, mainly due to the fact that this album was recorded in an actual concert setting rather than the VH1 Storytellers venue. I might even go as far to recommend it to anyone who is not familiar with the band, as I and many other fans believe that the Crows work is better than there already great studio work. All in all it's a fine album that should tide fans over while waiting for there next album "Saturday Nights, and Sunday Mornings" due out early 2007.

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user ratings (19)

Comments:Add a Comment 
September 9th 2006


hmmm sounds cool. I was going to buy this until I saw the track listing. I seem to love their popular songs a lot.

September 9th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

So glad that someone did a review.

I'm more excited about this than for the studio one coming out.

November 1st 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah the crows are truly amazing live, but I'm still extremley excited for the new material!

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