Pairs Well With… “Mr. Jones” by Counting Crows
Rolling on only four hours of sleep after a long (and winning) evening of football the night before, I boarded an early ass flight to Denver to see my favorite band: Counting Crows. Choosing between two loves of my life, the Vikings (first home game at the new stadium) and Counting Crows (outdoor concert at Red Rocks) didn’t seem fair and I decided I needed to make both events work, despite how exhausting those 48 hours of fun could be. Somehow, I managed to a) land an entire row to myself on the sold out flight to Denver, sprawl out and nap and b) be recognized as “the girl with the shoe boots on from the Vikings game” the night prior. I guess that’s what happens when your shoe game is on point. Anyway…
Anyone who knows me well knows the passion I have for music. Music is a beautiful artistry that brings people together and creates bonds. Music is able to touch us deeply, help us relate, provide us relief when we’re coping and bring joy into our lives. It is personal and emotional and allows us to create memorable associations that we carry with us for a lifetime.
I have spent a good portion of my career in Entertainment Marketing working with artists whom I admire and hearing their stories of musical influence and performance. It’s been a privilege to work with some of the best in the business. Even more exciting is when you get to see your favorites in their element: on stage.
Red Rocks in Morrison, Colorado is one of the best venues to see a show and I absolutely couldn’t wait for the evening ahead. I first experienced Red Rocks two years ago when I was working with one of today’s biggest country artists. We were filming a commercial that would later run on the Country Music Awards. While a fun experience, I knew I wanted to come back at some point to see one of my favorite artists or bands.
See, Counting Crows and I have a long history together and our relationship has continued to blossom over the years. At age 11, I fell in love with Mr. Jones, his music and of course, his hair. I would sit in my living room with my neighborhood cronies with Mr. Jones on replay, that is after you waited for it to come on the radio so you could tape it.
Shortly after college, I had a calling to go to Nashville. As it turns out, the band was touring, so it was the perfect excuse to take a vacation, see a new city and catch a show. What happened next was quite epic.
The night before the show, my girlfriend and I ventured out in NashVegas for a couple drinks at a place called Second Fiddle where we met a couple of guys who were entertaining conversationalists. After a couple hour exchange, we decided we were going to hang it up for the evening. We knew we had the show the following day. Show day arrives, lawn seats locked and loaded, and we’re ready to rock. We’re heading to the entrance of the venue when all of a sudden I hear my name being called. I didn’t know anyone in Nashville, but then again, I’ve run into people in the Bahamas before, so…
Turns out the two guys we had met the evening prior at Second Fiddle worked for the band. I couldn’t even believe it. We had made such an impression as nice, fun ladies and they wanted to thank us for joining them last evening by giving us backstage passes. I nearly died.
Roadie: You guys want a beer?
Me: Sure, why not.
Roadie: Take your pic. There’s beer in Duritz’s cooler, and then mixed stuff in Rzeznik’s cooler.
This was really happening. Next thing you know, we’re touring the tour bus and I’m thinking about life on the road as a beer drinking roadie. Why did I even waste my time going to college? All my dreams coming true. But, I still hadn’t seen Mr. Jones. I had a lot to tell him and at this point, I was pretty sure we were destined to cross paths.
Showtime neared and we thanked the crew for allowing us to hang around but needed to start heading to our lawn seats.
Roadie: What? No, we’re taking care of you guys. Lawn seats. Get outta here. You guys can watch the show from on stage.
(On. Stage. Say whaaa???)
Meanwhile, as we’re heading to the stage, I get stopped and asked for my credentials.
Me: Umm…I’m with the band… (duh).
So, the crew (probably not their best move when you really think about it) put us, two semi-tipsy chicks, between the soundboard and at least 15-20 hanging instruments. Hanging. Instruments. It was amazing to be able to look out into the audience and see the excitement of the fans, the bustle of the crew (those guys bust ass) and the Goo Goo Dolls a shuffle step away.
Sadly, the weather turned and it began to rain, therefore the instruments would need to be covered and we needed to be moved – to 8th-row seating, where we watched the Crows show. Duritz and I never crossed paths that night. I guess we just weren’t meant to meet.
Fast forward a few years and I find myself in Chicago for a work trip. Our Territory Manager had gotten us courtside seats for the Chicago Bulls game. Cha-ching! Baller status. I’m watching the Jumbotron and they show Duritz. He’s here! He was also sitting courtside and about 500 feet away from me. I’d say hi as we were leaving the game and that would be that – except he exited the opposite way. I certainly wasn’t going to chase him out of there, but c’mon! Give a girl a break.
Bummed and not ready to head to bed yet, we decided to catch a nightcap at some quaint and quiet little Sinatra feeling bar buried in the middle of Chicago. You definitely had to be a local to know about it, put it that way. After my drink, my energy levels started to fade and I had an early and important meeting. I said my goodnights, opened the door and looked to my right when the door of the neighboring establishment opened – and out walks Mr. Jones. He looks over and smiles and that was my cue to move in for the kill.
I went over and introduced myself, and complimented this man’s many musical talents. We proceeded to have a solid five-minute conversation about life, the basketball game, and meaningful music. Adam (because now we’re on a first-name basis) offered up a picture before parting ways. Actually, I think he wanted a picture with me more than I wanted one with him….kidding!
Counting Crows have never lost their touch and continue to evolve their sound and deliver deep, yet eloquent lyrics. It all just works. Last night’s show was the best, great in so many ways. So, with this, I leave you one of my favorite highlights from the evening…
PS – Rob Thomas was amazing, too!