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Counting Crows proves that they’re still “Hanginaround” with their impressive Banshee Season Tour

Rihanna Samples
On the evening of Sept. 6, 2023, Counting Crows performed the 46th show in their Banshee Season Tour at the Youtube Theater. The audience was full of people both young and old — the original fans and newer ones — with the shared love of the iconic ’90s band. Voices sang along as the band put together the perfect set list with some of their well-known songs and a few hidden gems, along with mixing in covers of other artists such as Taylor Swift.

On Sept. 6, 2023, with excitement buzzing in the air, fans eagerly sang their hearts out while Counting Crows performed the 46th show of their Banshee Season Tour. Featuring Dashboard Confessional as their opener, the two 1990s bands put together an incredible performance at the Youtube Theater in Inglewood, Calif. 

Riding off of the success of their Butter Miracle Tour, Counting Crows announced their return to the United States with yet another tour celebrating the 30th anniversary of the release of their first album “August and Everything After.” The Banshee Season Tour kicked off in Omaha, Neb. on June 16, 2023 and has been making its way across the country all throughout the summer. 

Opening for Counting Crows, Dashboard Confessional played many of their most popular songs including “Vindicated,” “Stolen” and “Screaming Infidelities.” They captivated the audience and had everyone singing along, even people who didn’t know the lyrics. Their rock and roll music transported the crowd right back to the 1990s and was a perfect setup for Counting Crows to take the stage. (Rihanna Samples)

Dashboard Confessional took to the stage promptly at 7:30 p.m. to kick off the evening with their hit song “Don’t Wait.” Albeit a slower song, it allowed the band to segway into more energetic songs such as “Screaming Infidelities” and “Saints and Sailors.” By far the best song Dashboard Confessional performed was “Vindicated.” It perfectly encapsulated the feeling of angst and rebellion that the band channeled in the height of their career. The way the band played the song felt like an anthem for any high school movie, making it the perfect addition to any ‘90s rock playlist.

After a 20 minute break, Counting Crows took to the stage. Starting their set off slow, the band played “Catapult,” but quickly picked up the pace by playing, one of their most popular songs, “Mr. Jones.” Rather than singing it in the traditional way, Adam Duritz, the lead singer of the band, decided to change the tempo of the song, causing the crowd to go wild. 

In between songs, Duritz kept the audience entertained with his hilarious commentary and occasional cussing, causing the mood in the theater to remain lighthearted. He also made a touching tribute to Robbie Robertson, the musician who helped kick start Counting Crows by letting them play at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony in 1993. Duritz described how instrumental Robeston — who recently passed away on Aug. 9, 2023 — was to the band and dedicated “Richard Manuel is Dead” to the late musician. 

The excitement of the crowd got noticeably higher as the band played some of their more popular songs including, “Round Here” and “Palisades Park.” In between the songs, Duritz took the time to explain the inspiration behind “Palisades Park” and how it’s the story of two kids growing up in New York, attempting to find the meaning of life. The backstory added anticipation to the song, giving it a deeper meaning and making it easily one of the best songs of the night. 

The complete set list of the night featured 21 songs, a mixture of original and cover versions. It was the perfect combination of slow songs such as “Colorblind” and faster, more upbeat songs such as “Mr. Jones” or “Omaha.” (Rihanna Samples)

Keeping up the energy, the band played “Rain King” next, which was a huge hit. Throughout the entire theater, people’s voices were heard screaming along. During many of the choruses, Duritz pointed his microphone at the audience, giving his vocals a much needed rest, along with letting the audience lead the song. 

Surprising the audience, Duritz brought out a piano and began to sing Taylor Swift’s “the 1,” which was also an instant success. There were audible gasps from many in the audience, most likely Swifties who sang along. To end the night, while still playing the piano, Duritz and the band played “A Long December”—a catchy tune to leave the audience wanting more.

As the band left the stage, everyone started to pack up and get ready to head home for the night. But before anyone could leave, barely five minutes after leaving the stage, Counting Crows came back to play another four songs as an encore, inviting Dashboard Confessional to take the stage alongside them. Together the bands offered new renditions to their many songs, the most notable being “Hanginaround.”

All in all, the Counting Crows Banshee Season Tour was the perfect addition to the band’s long-standing legacy. With outstanding performances of “Palisades Park,” “Rain King” and “Mr. Jones,” the band proved that they are still just as talented as they were back when they were first founded. Although they started as a ‘90s band, the timelessness of Counting Crows’ music makes it perfect for any rock and roll fan, including students of Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech), looking for something alternative and slightly more soulful than the typical ‘90s rock music. 

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About the Contributor
Rihanna Samples
Rihanna Samples, Multimedia Editor
A junior who is constantly looking at the world through the lens of a camera.

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