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Concert Reviews:
fun., Counting Crows bring a good time to Cars.com Auto Show party
 

By GARY GRAFF
For Journal Register Newspapers

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DETROIT -- The annual North American Auto Show Charity Preview has the glitz. But during the past few years it's been Cars.com's invitation-only bash that's really rocked the press preview week.

That was certainly the case Tuesday night (Jan. 15), when six-time Grammy Award nominees fun. and Counting Crows played for the industry-heavy crowd at the Fillmore Detroit. Sure, there were Best of 2013 awards winners -- including the Scion FR-S and the Subaru BRZ, which sat on the theaters main floor -- but it was the tunes (and maybe the well-stocked buffet tables and open bar) that really caught the crowd's attention.

Though it was ostensibly the opening act, fun. had the notoriety and commercial momentum coming into Tuesday's show. Playing its first show of the year, in fact, the group sounded strong and refreshed after a month-long break, with frontman Nate Ruess jokingly thanking Cars.com "for pulling us out of retirement." Ruess also made note that Detroit (actually Royal Oak) was fun. member Andrew Dost's home town, and the group -- which returns to the Fillmore on Jan. 26 -- ran through an energetic 40-minute set that featured hits such as "We Are Young," "Some Nights" and "Carry On" and closed with a cover of the Rolling Stones' "You Can't Always Get What You Want."

Ruess also gushed about his love of Counting Crows, and the headliner proved worthy of the praise with its typically strong 90-minute set, which focused on fan favorites such as the opening "Round Here" as well as "Mr. Jones," "Rain King," "A Long December" and "Hanginaround." But the septet dug deep into its catalog, too, with fare like "Mrs. Potter's Lullaby," "Washington Square" and the title tracks to the albums "Recovering the Satellites" and "Hard Candy," as well as a cover of Gram Parson's "Return of the Grievous Angel."

Crows frontman Adam Duritz didn't have a lot to say during his band's performance, but that wasn't necessary. The music spoke just fine, and those lucky enough to be there had plenty of fun. And fun.



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