I've never been a big Counting Crows fan. Their first album was good and I listen to it every so often but I don't think I could even recognize a song they've released in the 15 years since their debut came out.
However I've always loved this performance of 'Round Here from the David Letterman show. You have to remember that this is the infamous Madonna show on Letterman where basically she swore throughout the interview, was difficult, wouldn't leave, said Charles Barkley was huge where it counts, etc. Like most train wrecks, it was hard to look away and clearly Dave was uncomfortable while also knowing that this was pretty compelling TV. Anyway Madonna finally leaves and The Counting Crows get to wrap up the show and they sing 'Round Here which was their second single after Mr. Jones.
The song is about a guy leaving everything behind and by doing so, that which is left behind is taken away from him. The reason I love this version is because Adam Duritz sings with such emotion it really draws you in. He's really believes in the words, has lived its sentiment. It's much more than a performance than an inhabitation of the song. Maybe it's the contrast with Madonna who is all about the performance and nothing is real. Maybe it's because the band really rocks out at the end. Maybe because it's a real good song with a real good performance. Whatever it was, it has haunted me ever since and it's one of my favorite performances of a single song I have ever witnessed.