Live/Counting Crows Tour Was A Long Time Coming

Bands have sought to hit road together since sharing stage in Holland three years ago.

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.Adam Duritz and Ed Kowalczyk have been hoping to stage a co-headlining tour for their bands since the Counting Crows and Live played on the same bill in Holland three years ago.

This summer, it will finally happen. The two rock bands will hit the road together for three months, starting July 28 at Sandstone Amphitheatre outside Kansas City, Mo.

But while the bands will be sharing a stage, fans won't be cheated out of the full experience of each group, Duritz said.

"We're trying to make it as much as possible like you're at a Live concert and you're at a Counting Crows concert," Duritz said. "You're going to see two headlining shows each night. They have a really cool show with their lights that's entirely different from the kind of thing we do, and we want to preserve that."

Duritz and Kowalczyk discussed the tour while lounging on a sofa in the living room of Duritz's Beverly Hills, Calif., home Tuesday. Kowalczyk wore a black suit, while Duritz was dressed casually in a blue button-down shirt and black jeans.

Longtime fans of each other's music, they've checked out each other's shows on numerous occasions, with Duritz even filming one of Live's gigs on his digital camera. In watching them, Duritz said he saw commonalties that make them a good touring partner for Counting Crows.

"They're both really passionate shows," Duritz said. "We're both really in the moment wherever we are in one of our songs."

"The fans of both bands, I think, are really locked into the lyrics instead of some other production element or something [showy]," Kowalczyk said.

Live will be supporting their fourth album, The Distance to Here (1999), which features the hit single "The Dolphin's Cry" (RealAudio excerpt).

The album is certified platinum, as is the Counting Crows' latest LP, This Desert Life (1999).

On tour, fans will hear the full version of the Crows' current single, the seven-and-a-half-minute "Mrs. Potter's Lullaby" (RealAudio excerpt). The song was split in half and serviced to radio as two tracks to comply with radio's unwillingness to play songs beyond a certain length. Duritz said he wasn't thrilled about breaking "Lullaby" into two parts, calling it his favorite song on the album. "I didn't love the idea," he said. "But when you hear it live, you'll get the full thing."

Counting Crows and Live broke big in 1994, though Live previously had stirred a buzz with Mental Jewelry, their 1991 debut.

Their joint outing will face a crowded summer-tour landscape dominated by such teen acts as Britney Spears, 'N Sync and Christina Aguilera.

"I think the message of the Live/Counting Crows tour is that, aside from what's going on trendwise, if you dig a little, you can always find something to inspire you," Kowalczyk said.

The groups have announced the first 22 dates of the outing, taking them through to a Sept. 3 show in Washington, D.C. Shows running through Halloween are expected to be announced soon.

Counting Crows/Live tour dates:

July 28; Bonner Springs, Kan.; Sandstone Amphitheatre

July 29; Maryland Heights, Mo.; Riverport Amphitheatre

July 31; Noblesville, Ind.; Deer Creek Music Center

Aug. 2–3; Clarkston, Mich.; Pine Knob Music Theatre

Aug. 5; Tinley Park, Ill.; New World Music Theatre

Aug. 6; Cincinnati, Ohio; Riverbend Music Center

Aug. 8; Columbus, Ohio; Polaris Amphitheater

Aug. 9; Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio; Blossom Music Center

Aug. 11; Philadelphia, Pa.; E Center

Aug. 12; Scranton, Pa.; Montage Mountain

Aug. 14; Saratoga, N.Y.; Saratoga Performing Arts Center

Aug. 16; Mansfield, Mass.; Tweeter Center For The Performing Arts

Aug. 18; Wantagh, N.Y.; Jones Beach Amphitheatre

Aug. 22; Holmdel, N.Y.; PNC Bank Arts Center

Aug. 23; Hartford, Conn.; Meadows Theatre

Aug. 26; Hershey, Pa.; Hershey Stadium

Aug. 28; Toronto, Ontario; Molson Center

Aug. 29; Montreal, Quebec; Molson Center

Aug. 31; Buffalo, N.Y.; Darien Lake

Sept. 2; Burgettstown, Pa.; Post-Gazette Pavilion @ Star Lake

Sept. 3; Columbia, Md.; Merriweather Post