That's why it's only natural that three of the most successful rock bands of the last 20 years -- Counting Crows, Live and Collective Soul -- are touring together this summer and playing their gigs in Minor League baseball stadiums around the country, giving their fans more personal and intimate performances in a decidedly American setting.
It's called the Rock 'N Roll Triple Play Ballpark Tour, and it's kicking off July 22 in Wilmington, Del., and continuing on a run of 23 dates in ballparks across the country. Third Eye Blind also will play at select gigs on the tour.
Instead of obvious choices for venues, the tour will wind its way through towns slightly off the beaten path and ballparks that bustle with enthusiastic crowds and homespun charm. Beautiful and historic Minor League stadiums such as Louisville (Ky.) Slugger Field, Des Moines, Iowa's Principal Park, and McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, R.I., are on the itinerary, as are dates in Buffalo, N.Y., Indianapolis, Tulsa and Fargo, N.D.
"I grew up in a college town and I've always loved those kinds of places," said lead singer Adam Duritz of Counting Crows, who surged onto the rock scene with their dazzling 1993 debut album, August and Everything After, and were nominated for a Grammy, a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for their 2004 hit, "Accidentally In Love," from the "Shrek 2" soundtrack.
"That's why Counting Crows has always done so many tours outside the big cities. I'm definitely a city boy myself. ... But this is a big country and, as much as I love a city, too many bands forget that there's a [heck] of a lot of America out there that's not New York or Chicago or L.A. We haven't forgotten that and we're never going to forget it."
Music and baseball fans shouldn't forget Live, either. The band from Pennsylvania that exploded in the early 1990s with hit after hit, including "Selling the Drama," "I Alone," "Lightning Crashes" and "Heaven," has sold over 20 million albums.
"We're excited to be on this tour because we've traveled with Counting Crows in the past and it's always been fun, and with Collective Soul it's a really great bill," Live lead singer Ed Kowalczyk said. "We just love playing for new faces and in new places."
So does Collective Soul, which also made its leap into the rock limelight in the early '90s and has sold more than 10 million records and had 19 singles reach the Billboard charts, including "Shine," "The World I Know," "December," "Where the River Flows" and "Better Now."