Food & Drink

Pain's no crutch for limping singer

The third night of Counting Crows and Maroon 5's U.S. co-tour continued Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre's busiest week this summer on Monday. As concertgoers trailed in from the parking lot, Counting Crows vocalist Adam Duritz hobbled onstage with a cane to introduce opener Sara Bareilles.

Following a Maroon 5 set full of infectious dance-pop and wailing guitar solos (which closed with “Sweetest Goodbye”), Counting Crows hit the stage at 9:45 p.m. Duritz explained quickly before launching into “Angels of the Silences”: “I have a bruised or broken heel and definitely sprained my ankle. It's not going to make any (expletive) difference.”

He was right. Although he seemed unsteady for the first half of the show, leaning on his cane, mike stand, and at times other band members, he still gave an energetic performance. He perched on top of the stage monitors during big numbers like “Omaha” and “Rain King” (both from the group's 1993 debut, “August and Everything After”), and even jumped from the monitors twice.

The hardworking six-piece band charged tirelessly behind him. Like its latest album, “Saturday Nights, Sunday Mornings,” the Crows' live show found them merrily turning up the rock.

“Speedway” and “High Life” (both from 1999's “This Desert Life”) served as a testament to why the group is held up by emo bands as an influence. Duritz's performance was often so emotional, you weren't sure if you should look away. His spirit rose, as did the band's energy level, for upbeat new tracks “Los Angeles” and “1492.”

Another new one, “On Almost Any Sunday Morning,” returned to stirring darkness with a confessional if somewhat confusing introduction. “I'm very blessed in love today,” Duritz said – curiously adding, “I'm going to regret a lot of this tomorrow.”

It was uncertain if he meant the physicality he waged on his bum foot, but he absolutely glowed through the next song, “Accidentally in Love.” It brought college- and high school-age fans dancing down the aisles, where they remained for “Come Around.”

At the close of the show, a composed Duritz told the crowd that the band's goal was to play an entirely new set list. That explained the omission of early hits “Mr. Jones” and “Round Here,” which they played on opening night in Virginia Beach.