But the heat — and a power outage — didn’t ruffle the Counting Crows’ feathers.
They never missed a beat.
The band, which will perform in Cedar Rapids for thousands of cyclists during the RAGBRAI overnight stop on July 26, gave an intimate preview for about 700 people on July 4 as the headliners for the sold-out Barn on the 4th concert at Codfish Hollow just outside of Maquoketa.
The concert streamed live online at Daytrotter.com, where it also is available for download. Counting Crows lead singer Adam Duritz told the Quad City Times that he wanted to perform at the barn after listening to past concerts at the barn via Daytrotter. He was so impressed that he wanted to perform there himself.
The barn and its surrounding property provided an intimate and relaxing yet festive setting for the seven-hour festival. Speakers were set up outside the barn for concert goers who didn’t want to deal with the sweltering heat inside. To help performers and audience alike stay cool, fans were set up to keep the air circulating, and free water as well as a misting area were available.
As the four other acts on the bill — Dave Godowsky, Field Report, Foreign Fields and Filligar — performed earlier in the day, Duritz walked around the barn and mingled with those in the crowd, taking pictures with fans while taking in the barn concert fan experience himself.
The Cedar Rapids concert includes opening performances by the Field Report as well as We Are Augustines and Kasey Anderson and The Honkies. Duritz may not be wandering among the crowds in Cedar Rapids, but he seems like the kind of guy who would jump on a bicycle and cruise around on a whim, if he could.
You might also be interested in:
- Counting Crows to perform at barn in Maquoketa on July 4
- Opening bands announced for Counting Crows concert
- Counting Crows tickets on sale now
The Crows played a 27-song set. Anyone who got close enough to the stage could see the set lists taped to the stage floor; several in the front row leaned over to take pictures of the list.
The band demonstrated why it has become an international success, playing as a tight group of musicians that know each other so well. And the band knew how to feed off Duritz, who also served as storyteller during and between songs. Duritz displayed a heartfelt demeanor onstage, delivering passion with each lyric.
Most in the audience were unaware of technical challenges prior to the Crows coming onstage. Power to the entire area was lost while crew members were preparing the stage. At one point, only four stage lights were on in an otherwise pitch-black setting until the crew rerouted power for the concert to a generator. To many in the audience, however, it simply appeared as if the house lights were turned off in advance of the Crows taking the stage.
Eventually a power utility truck arrived and got all the electricity back on, bringing back the barn’s decorative lights to complement the concert lighting. (The restored power also meant the food vendors could go back to work.)
Throughout all this, the Crows played on, never missing a beat. They may not have even noticed the house lights turning back on, they were so wrapped up in their performance.
– David Lee