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Concert review

Counting Crows’ Adam Duritz vows to return after 1st-ever Israel show

‘We gotta go, we will be back,’ says lead singer after nearly two-hour performance to full crowd

Jessica Steinberg

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

  • Counting Crows lead singer Adam Duritz at the band's September 14 show in Ra'anana, Israel (Courtesy Shlomi Pinto)
    Counting Crows lead singer Adam Duritz at the band's September 14 show in Ra'anana, Israel (Courtesy Shlomi Pinto)
  • Counting Crows lead singer Adam Duritz at the band's September 14 show in Ra'anana, Israel (Courtesy Shlomi Pinto)
    Counting Crows lead singer Adam Duritz at the band's September 14 show in Ra'anana, Israel (Courtesy Shlomi Pinto)
  • Counting Crows lead singer Adam Duritz at the band's September 14 show in Ra'anana, Israel (Courtesy Shlomi Pinto)
    Counting Crows lead singer Adam Duritz at the band's September 14 show in Ra'anana, Israel (Courtesy Shlomi Pinto)
  • Counting Crows lead singer Adam Duritz at the band's September 14 show in Ra'anana, Israel (Courtesy Shlomi Pinto)
    Counting Crows lead singer Adam Duritz at the band's September 14 show in Ra'anana, Israel (Courtesy Shlomi Pinto)
  • Counting Crows lead singer Adam Duritz at the band's September 14 show in Ra'anana, Israel (Courtesy Shlomi Pinto)
    Counting Crows lead singer Adam Duritz at the band's September 14 show in Ra'anana, Israel (Courtesy Shlomi Pinto)
  • Counting Crows lead singer Adam Duritz at the band's September 14 show in Ra'anana, Israel (Courtesy Shlomi Pinto)
    Counting Crows lead singer Adam Duritz at the band's September 14 show in Ra'anana, Israel (Courtesy Shlomi Pinto)
  • Counting Crows lead singer Adam Duritz at the band's September 14 show in Ra'anana, Israel (Courtesy Shlomi Pinto)
    Counting Crows lead singer Adam Duritz at the band's September 14 show in Ra'anana, Israel (Courtesy Shlomi Pinto)

Rock band Counting Crows and its frontman Adam Duritz kicked off the European leg of their Butter Miracle tour with an outdoor show Wednesday night in the Ra’anana Amphitheater, to an appreciative crowd of thousands.

“It’s so great there are so many of you, thank you so much,” said Duritz. “We’ve had the best week hanging out here, it’s so f-ing beautiful.”

Throughout the hour and a half show, Duritz, sweating in a denim jacket and T-shirt, his trademark dreadlocks shorn, marched back and forth across the stage, singing his way through the playlist of at least a dozen songs, including “Round Here,” “Hard Candy,” “Mr. Jones,” and “Big Yellow Taxi.”

Duritz isn’t a high-energy performer, and veered into more of a singsong, spoken word vibe in certain songs, including “Mr. Jones” and “Colorblind.”

But his voice, sound, and attention to the crowd were all wholly present, and Counting Crows are still working smoothly in sync, 30 years on as bandmates.

The audience, mostly middle-aged, a mix of American-born and native Israelis, were clearly pleased to be there, ready to finally greet Duritz and the Counting Crows in person, after the coronavirus pushed their planned April 2022 show to September.

Counting Crows lead singer Adam Duritz at the band’s September 14 show in Ra’anana, Israel (Courtesy Shlomi Pinto)

Audience members stood for most of the show, singing and swaying, mouthing the words to many of the well-known songs and responding with alacrity whenever Duritz would point the microphone their way.

Duritz led the encore with “Holiday in Spain,” playing an upright piano that was rolled out for him.

He thanked the crowd again for their enthusiasm, telling them how unusual it was to “have a show like this” in a place where they had never performed before.

“We gotta go, we will be back,” said Duritz.

Counting Crows drummer Jim Bogios onstage in Ra’anana, Israel Wednesday night, September 14, at the band’s first performance in Israel (Courtesy Shlomi Pinto)

And as a footnote to the emotional warmth of the September night, drummer Jim Bogios posted on Facebook: “That was an epic, emotional night for our first gig ever in Israel. So much love and energy from those people.

“You can’t just go to bed after all that, so we had a meal and drinks to celebrate, then finished it off with a band swim in the Mediterranean.”

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