The news that Berkley-band Counting Crows would be coming to Bend’s Les Schwab Amphitheater took me back to a time in my life when I wasn’t so happy.
It’s not that I was fully depressed in 1993; I think it’s just that I knew there was the potential ahead of me for a life better than I was living. Basically, I didn’t like the high school I was going to and was having a hard time dealing with my fractured family. That is probably why Counting Crows’ debut album August and Everything After ended up in my bookshelf stereo on repeat.It wasn’t even the album’s first hit single, “Mr. Jones,” that drew me in. It was songs like “’Round Here,” “Anna Begins” and “Rain King” that, at 16, helped me reflect on my short past and had me ready to leave my current surroundings.
Still uncomfortable with who I was and where I was in life, is largely why, years later, Counting Crows’ follow up albums Recovering the Satellites and This Desert Life still resonated with me. But, it was the first disc of the double live release Across a Wire that really touched a nerve.
Songs on that set of acoustic tracks were more than just rearranged—they were reimagined. The originally upbeat “Mr. Jones” became a sorrowful song that got me thinking that I could either keep hoping for a better future or get off my ass and go make one.
After experimenting with some borderline-fruity music in the early 2000s, Counting Crows’ latest album Underwater Sunshine returns to a bit of the roots that made lead singer Adam Duritz one of the important voices from my adolescence. And even though I am now completely content with my life, it’s always nice to spin a Counting Crows record and remind myself just how far I’ve come.
Counting Crows Outlaw Roadshow
Aug. 7, 6 p.m.
Les Schwab Amphitheater
344 SW Shevlin Hixon Dr.
$39-$75, tickets at