Music Incider reviews Melissa Etheridge live –
Music Incider Magazine
I respect the hell out of Melissa Etheridge. -I have been to the midwest and she needed to get the fuck out of Kansas, but she still seems like that small town kid you could have a drink at the bar with. -She is with the same management that she started with in the late eighties. I love loyalty in people. -On every album, she thanks her fans. There is nothing more important than somebody to love your work as much as you do. -On her new album, she covers Tom Petty’s Refugee. We all know how I feel about the Petty. -She has a rock voice that is entirely unique. She should have played Joplin-because that is the closest sound you can hear in her voice and she is the only person that could have carried it off and made it believable. -She is a truly great guitar player, and given her guitar playing at Chastain she could probably blow Bruce Springsteen off of the stage these days. If you match her new CD, The Road Less Traveled, against The Seeger Sessions-she wins. And I love Bruce. Probably the most dramatic performance I have ever seen was the time she did Thunderoad on her MTV Unplugged show. -She is not Sheryl Crow. Sheryl is a talented songwriter, but wastes herself on shit like All I Want To Do Is Have Some Fun-otherwise known as the alcoholic national anthem. In other words, Etheridge is REAL. Her performance has meaning. Her music has meaning. Being a woman in the music industry has NEVER affected her music in a way that would make it seem meaningless. -In spite of a private life that has been made very public, she has never compromised her musical integrity. Bruce, can you hear me now? So many times I miss the Bruce I first heard on Greetings from Asbury Park, but I have never missed the Melissa I first heard on her debut album. Maybe Etheridge is the NEW BOSS with her songs about the environment and breast cancer survival.
Lets talk about the show. Listen to me, you rabid Melissa fans-please do not punch me when I am trying to take her picture. I understand-she’s your girl, but when you punch the photographer the pictures get fucked up and I get pissed. This makes two shows in a row. I shouldn’t get more beat up at an Etheridge show than I do at a death metal show. If you need to beat the shit out of somebody, give me a call. I have a list for you. -The cancer thing since the last show—I have to admit that I expected her not to be able to put on a show like I saw at the Roxy last time she was in town. The show at Chastain was just as good if not better. Her voice was perfect. Her voice was perfect for her customary three hours with no opener. I walked all over Chastain and caught her performance from different spots-I do that when I am reviewing a show. No skips or stops-just a biscuit recipie in the hot Atlanta rain. The show had the piano playing, the great guitar, and the unique voice. She delivered and performed everything that anyone could hope for. The treat this time was the performance of all those hits you rabid fans love so much. -I was IMPRESSED that you all knew every word to every song-including the new shit. I wonder if the show was recorded. -My favorite songs at this concert were Letting Go, This Is Not Goodbye, I Run For Life, and Bring Me Some Water. Great performances, passionate and important. Don’t EVER miss seeing an Etheridge performance.
And why did I call this article The Rising? Because if you were at this show you witnessed the birth of a new American music icon. This performance put her in the same league as Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Neil Young, and Johnny Cash. -Her sexuality and breast cancer survival are important-just like Bruce’s sexuality is important. Nobody believes a virgin trying to sing. But this two things are second to her absolute musical integrity and her ability to tell not only her own story but the story of so many.