Sheryl Crow And Melissa Etheridge Show They Still Have It

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Sheryl Crow’s easy charisma, clear voice and sheer presence was hard to not fall in love with at the Entertainment Centre last night.
The full live sound was provided by her huge band made up of two lead and rhythm guitarists, a bassist, pianist, lapsteel player and drummer and, at times, a member or two backstage on maracas. Throughout the set, the bright guitars and deep rumbling bass helped punch out the sound, whilst the lapsteel and piano provided a rich accompaniment to Crow’s vocals which were as silky as always and perhaps even better live than on recordings. In fact, her voice sounds like its matured in a good way and her capacity to hold long notes was often on display.
Crow’s hit singles still stand the test of time. All I Wanna Do was sharp, clear with the band providing a complex professional sound throughout. Her famed cover of Cat Stevens hit, The First Cut Is The Deepest sounded rich with the sound of the lapsteel. The chords in If it makes you happy sounded sublime and as strong as the chorus is, that signature combination of guitar notes simply sang out, bringing listeners back to when it was was slammed on radio, many years prior. The newer songs don’t have the strong hooks, but still sound great with Crow’s live band. Be myself from new record was one of a few tracks which featured Crowe on bass and was punctuated by some slick guitar bends.
The high point of the show came closer to the end with Strong Enough sounding pristine, dripping with longing and emotion. There was also a special moment when Melissa Etheridge joined Crow for one of her tracks.
Although Crow’s band was much bigger, there had been a last-minute switch and Melissa Etheridge ended up playing last. Etheridge surprised many by discreetly starting on the drums, hiding under a mess of hair on a dark, stage before seamlessly handing over to her drummer.
Her gravelly, heavy rich rock voice was perhaps a bit coarse from the tour but her enthusiasm helped cover it, before she hit her straps later in the set. Etheridge has an animated theatrical style about her performance, contrasting with the relaxed, casual vibe of Sheryl Crow. It helps capture a crowd’s attention, particularly on a big stage and lifts the interest level of the punter quite a bit.

While her band had a more minimalist rock set up compared to Crow, with only three supporting members, the organ player filled out the sound, creating the sonic illusion of a bigger band. Etheridge’s use of 12 string guitars meant the guitar component of the sound was much richer, thicker and strangely ethereal in parts, suggesting the use of a sitar emulating pedal.  The long blues with the harmonica solos worked a treat with this crowd and their appetite for rock.

The hits were scattered throughout, but I Want To Come Over, Come To My Window and Gold Plated Heart were well received, with the crowd clapping along to the latter. The huge hit Bring Me Some Water was predictably very well received. Etheridge saved her hit Like The Way I Do for the encore and perhaps it was the best track of a set that got better and better as it went on.

Melissa Etheridge @ Entertainment Centre 04/04/2018

Melissa Etheridge @ Entertainment Centre 04/04/2018

Melissa Etheridge @ Entertainment Centre 04/04/2018

Sheryl Crow @ Entertainment Centre 04/04/2018

Sheryl Crow @ Entertainment Centre 04/04/2018

Sheryl Crow @ Entertainment Centre 04/04/2018

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