The Counting Crows Traveling Circus and Medicine Show featuring Augustana and new rap sensation NOTAR performed to a packed and exuberant crowd at Koka Booth Amphitheatre on Thursday, July 15. The show kicked off with all of the performers onstage rocking out to “Caravan.” Throughout the night, all of the acts continually came together to perform such hits as “Just Like a Woman,” and “Hanging Around.” While the collaborations seemed odd at first, the singers’ different styles melded surprisingly well together. This, combined with the seemingly random order of the acts, gave the show a relaxed and comfortable vibe.
Adding to this feeling was the delightful outdoor atmosphere of Koka Booth Amphitheatre. There really is no better place to see a show in the Triangle. No matter what seat an audience member had chosen, he or she was sure to have a good view of the stage, and the sound quality was excellent. From anywhere inside the amphitheatre, it was easy to hear the performers clearly.
Performer NOTAR captivated his audience with his high energy and powerful, lyrical imagery. While many of his songs were markedly those of a new artist, “Reach,” which he dedicated to a recently deceased aunt, was quite impressive. He really got into the act, working the stage and even ripping off his t-shirt at an intense moment of his performance. Notar was also one of the few performers to come out after the show and take the time to greet and take photos with his fans. “I have to say hello to my people” said NOTAR. http://www.myspace.com/notarmusic
It must also be noted that singer, Jason Gallagher, who harmonized with NOTAR on many of his performances, was a real show stealer. Gallagher, who is the singer for a band called Leroy Justice, (http://www.leroyjustice.com) had an amazing voice that had many concertgoers stopping and asking, “Wow, who is that guy?”
Augustana performed well for the most part. They were soulful and melodic without coming off as melancholy, and the whole crowd really appreciated their performance of the popular song “Boston.” While the band itself was on point for the duration of the show, lead singer Dan Layus appeared quite intoxicated toward the end. While this did not affect his performance greatly, it was noticeable and seemed to be a disappointment to many concertgoers.
The headlining act, Counting Crows, was amazing as usual. Lead singer, Adam Duritz, proved that he has not lost the fantastic stage presence that won him notoriety in the early 90s. Though the band did skip over their popular “Mr. Jones,” much to the chagrin of many audience members, they did play a fun encore of fan favorite “Rain King.” The encore also included “This Land is Your Land,” and both songs were sung by all of the performers as a nice wrap-up.
The tour will continue until August 2010. For more information about the tour and obtaining tickets for future dates visit http://www.countingcrows.com