Oh Well, As Long As This is Love

09.14.07 | Filed Under Music

I’ll admit it. I loved Counting Crows. I suppose I still do. It’s a strained relationship … like ex-lovers who know each other too well. But they were absolutely integral to my high school and college experience. They lead me to plenty of musical discoveries by checking out bands they mentioned, covered, idolized, etc. … through which I found a slew of bands that I now listen to with more passion than the Crows inspire in me these days.Denying the Crows would be like denying my hometown … I’d love to do it (and I will mock both mercilessly given half a chance), but in the end its influence is sewn into me. In the end, the Crows win.And let’s be honest, there are some incredible lyrics in their songs. I’m not sure that anyone has ever matched the plain-spoken beauty of :

“I want to be the last thing you hear when you’re falling asleep”– from “Catapult” on 1997’s Recovering the Satellites   

So, I was shocked to discover last night that they’re playing a gig at Town Hall next week … and I had no idea. In fact, they are performing their first album (August and Everything After … the one you owned) in its entirety. I, of course, scoured the nets in search of tickets, but I’m not paying ticket brokers $350+ to sit in the back of the balcony, let alone over a grand for orchestra seats.It’s okay. I’ve only seen them live 11 times (sadly, I don’t think that’s an exaggeration – perhaps I’ll list them out for y’all someday). Point is – I can do without. But man, how times have changed. I would have sold my ass on Freemont Street to get those tickets 5 years ago.Something I think about a lot lately … as I just recently reached the 10 year anniversary of arriving in our fair city. Man, that kid was different. Don’t get me wrong, I like the current me a lot better (warts and all … I have a lot more faith in the latest release of Matt Urban). However, I often wonder what previous Matt Urbans would think if they met me.Perhaps not coincidentally, almost every Counting Crows song focuses on memory and its influence on your current place, time and actions. If you’re feeling somewhat nostalgic and need a warm blanket to cover you, you could do worse than Counting Crows. Worst case scenario, it’ll remind you how far you’ve come (or gone).Here’s a performance from Storytellers of the song that first stabbed me in the gut when I was 15, “Anna Begins” – off the aforementioned “August” record. My heart was henceforth permanently broken – and I’ve never been able to sleep in a quiet room since. All this, over a girl I never met.