Last night we went to the arch to see Counting Crows perform. As a rule, we cannot stand outdoor concerts. The crowds, the heat, the obnoxious drunks–I need my own space. Tracy refers to The Verizon Wireless Amphitheater as “The Amphitheater of Death” because we have such disdain for it. But we had family in from out of town who wanted to see the show, so to the arch we went.
The weather was actually pretty nice for St. Louis in July. It was very crowded, so we settled for a spot behind the sound equipment. We couldn’t see the stage, but we could see the screens.
And there’s something awesome about sitting below this thing.
The show started at 8pm and they led off with Mr. Jones. Of course it was not the normal played a million times version of Mr. Jones, it was a slowed down open mic night version of the song. This is the same thing they did when I saw them in the 90s at The Amphitheater of Death. It was artsy and nice sounding, but not the version that made them famous. I get that they’re probably completely sick of playing that version but it’s still a little disappointing to not hear it the way we’re used to.
Also, Adam Duritz has completed his transition to Sideshow Bob.
The whole show felt like a spoken word performance, and Adam was clearly going for a thoughtful, here are all my feelings you can see them by the way I’m looking wistfully into the distance kinda thing. But the effect was a bit ruined by the fact he was chewing gum while doing this. Hipsters.
The one positive about festival crowds is the people watching. In this distance we could see a woman flailing around with scarves and pom poms and a man doing interpretive dancing with a hula hoop. America, y’all.
The show only lasted a little over an hour and then it was time for fireworks. This is something St. Louis does really well and we almost never see because of our hot crowd avoidance.
You can’t really get the full effect from a camera phone, but here’s a sampling of what we saw:
Then it was over and everyone in St. Louis exited through a limited number of narrow exits. A very relaxing experience, as you can imagine. We had a good time, but we should be set for Fair St. Louis visits for another five years.