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Mutual admiration

Maroon 5, Counting Crows share more than stage

Most musicians know better than to badmouth a band they’re sharing a tour with. Especially when someone from the other band is on the phone line.

Still, Counting Crows frontman Adam Duritz and his Maroon 5 counterpart Adam Levine heaped so much praise on each other’s bands during a recent teleconference that it’s safe to say there is a mutual respect — and fandom — between the two.

“There’s so few bands that are touring bands and are for real. There’s a lot of smoke and mirrors,” Levine said. “We both go out there and hit the road and do it the old-fashioned way. I like the fact that that’s a shared ideology.”

Counting Crows and Maroon 5 will co-headline a Saturday, July 26 show at Toyota Pavilion at Montage Mountain.

Even though Maroon 5 has less albums under its belt — two studio releases — it is in that same exclusive class as Counting Crows: bands that consistently reach platinum status, have earned reputations as hard-touring live acts and have attracted diehard fans as well as casual mainstream followers that generally don’t buy music or go to concerts.

“Over the years, [Counting Crows] have been no-nonsense,” Levine said. “That’s inspiring for a band like us because we straddle this strange world of pop music and I don’t even know what. …,” Levine said. “We’re very much in this in-between place, and [Counting Crows] have always been so about music. And so are we, but sometimes it’s hard to be in the MTV world and go into real rock and roll music. But I think they’ve maintained a great amount of success and are an awesome touring band and make great records. That’s kind of all we ever wanted to do.”

Counting Crows released its breakthrough debut album “August And Everything After,” which included “Mr. Jones” and “Round Here” in 1993. This spring, the band put out “Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings,” an ambitious double-disc record, the band’s fifth studio effort.

When Counting Crows began work on “Saturday Nights…,” Duritz made it clear to his bandmates that coasting on past successes would not be an option.

“You get good at being who you are and you don’t challenge yourself,” Duritz said. “I was sort of warning everyone there wasn’t going to be any free rides. You were either going to step up to the plate or get hit in the head with the ball. … But I’m a very nice dictator. It’s just music. It’s not personal. No one would quit our band.”

Maroon 5 formed as Kara’s Flowers only two years after Counting Crows’ inception. The California band changed its name to Maroon 5, and its first album, “Songs About Jane,” was released in 2002 and slowly climbed the charts, making a household name of the band by 2004 thanks to infectious hits “This Love” and “She Will Be Loved.”

Last year, Maroon 5 put out the follow-up “It Won’t Be Soon Before Long,” which debuted at No. 1. The album features big-name guests like Alicia Keys and Kanye West, and Rihanna appears on the remix of the track “If I Never See Your Face Again.”

The tour — which kicks off Friday in Virginia Beach — is not the first joint outing between the two acts; Counting Crows, Maroon 5 and John Mayer played together on a package tour a few years ago. Sara Bareilles will open the Montage show, and Augustana will take over those duties from the “Love Song” singer in late August.

Maroon 5 and Counting Crows will each play 75-minute sets and alternate which band closes shows, the Adams said.

“I guarantee there will be some collaboration,” Levine added.

Duritz took things a step further.

“We used to play a version of ‘Borderline’ by Madonna,” the dreadlocked vocalist said. “I was joking with Sara and said we have to do it with her. And I still don’t think we’ve heard the quintessential version of ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time.’”



Who: Counting Crows, Maroon 5, Sara Bareilles

When: Saturday, July 26, 7 p.m.

Where: Toyota Pavilion at

Montage Mountain, Scranton

Tickets: $29 (lawn), $46-$126 reserved, www.ticketmaster.com, 570.693.4100,

Toyota Pavilion box office

Info: 570.693.4100,

www.livenation.com, countingcrows.com, www.maroon5.com

“Over the years, Counting Crows have been no-nonsense. That’s inspiring for a band like us because we straddle this strange world of pop music and I don’t even know what.”

Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine
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