Have You Seen Me Lately?
McGaw Hall - Evanston, IL
October 20, 1997
First Appeared in The Music Box, December 1997, Volume 4, #13
Written by John Metzger
Since the release of Recovering the Satellites, the Counting Crows has been on a non-stop tour of the United States and Europe. On October 20, the band returned to Chicago for the third time this year, and amazingly, even its most often played songs sounded fresh and vibrant. Perhaps this is because the band is constantly reinventing its material. This summer, at the New World Music Theatre, for example, the band recast Angels of the Silences as a stripped-down folk song as part of its preparation for a recording session for VH-1's Storytellers. The resulting program provided an outstanding glimpse into how well the band is able to mold its music, though this is more about keeping the songs interesting to the performers than it its to appear on a television show.
Opening with the power-packed trio of Catapult, Angels of the Silences, and Daylight Fading, the Counting Crows quickly found its groove and settled in for the best of the three performances that it has given in Chicago this year. In the intimate confines of Northwestern's McGaw Hall, the intensity of the band carried the audience through the muddiest sonic blasts from the inferior sound system.
As good as Sullivan Street was performed, Anna Begins was even better. Singer Adam Duritz is amazing in his ability to carry a song through a wide range of emotions, and these tunes were only the beginning of the outpouring of emotions Duritz would put forth this evening.
Have You Seen Me Lately? appeared in two drastically different versions. The first rendition was performed, not unlike the recorded version, as an angry rock song. The Counting Crows raged as Duritz screamed, Get away from me. This isn't gonna be easy, but I don't need you. Believe me. Yet the second version, which concluded the acoustic portion of the show, carried a quiet, despairing sadness. Opening with an acoustic guitar rhythm from David Bryson, it was an amazing transformation. This time Duritz yearned, I guess I thought that someone would notice. I guess I thought somebody would say something if I was missing.
In addition, the Counting Crows has again reinvented Mr. Jones and provided it with a new introduction while also retaining the opening lines from The Byrds' So You Want to Be a Rock ‘n' Roll Star. Matt Malley was incredible as he tackled his upright bass with ease, adding a fluid undercurrent to the song. It's amazing this tune can sound so fresh, given how many times the band must have performed it.
This summer, the Counting Crows pulled off a captivating Round Here, and against all odds, it improved the song even further at McGaw Hall. As the opening notes rang out, the band embarked upon another emotional rendition of this classic number, as Duritz playfully altered the lyrics and even included a reprise of Have You Seen Me Lately? The 95-minute show concluded with a torrential run-through of Wise Blood and the short, but fitting, Walkaways.
Dog's Eye View opened the show with a solid 45-minute set. Its songs are very infectious and, at times, they were reminiscent of the Counting Crows' own material, as well as that of Cracker (Homecoming Parade) and the Rolling Stones (Goodbye to Grace).
Counting Crows' Recovering the Satellites is available from
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Copyright © 1997 The Music Box