Last night Kevin and I went to the Opening night of Melissa Etheridge's "Fearless Love" tour.
Let me preface this post by saying that I'm not a musician. I'm just a huge fan who has some thoughts about the show.
Here in Albany, Melissa fans will ask each other, "What's the first show you went to?" If you answer, "Saratoga Winners", You are considered a true fan. I'm not saying I agree with it, but it is what it is.
And, I can proudly tell you that I was at Saratoga Winners that night in 1987! I've seen her half a dozen times since then, but have skipped her shows the last few times she's been in town.
Kevin has never been to a Melissa Show. And, in fact, hasn't been to any "rock concert" (as he endearingly referred to it) since about 1990.
Okay-the show. I love the Palace. I love that there were more men than ever at this show, and that they weren't getting vibed out by most of the women.Which is amazing, since the first show I went to, there were about 3 guys there, and one of them almost got beat up for bumping into someone.
She didn't have an opening act. Just had some really funky music playing, with video of nature scenes in the background. It didn't really cut it for me. And it didn't get any one in the balcony up and on their feet by the time she hit the stage.
She opened with Fearless Love and went to Miss California. I have to admit, that if I hadn't heard an interview with her on NPR, I would never have realized that Miss California is a political statement.
She played through most of the Fearless Love album. She completely rocked the house with "Indiana", and I'm not sure she anticipated the audience response to that song. It was one of the few times during the show that I felt she was really connected to us, and completely in the moment.
She told us a few times that she's okay. I didn't particularly believe her. She was not her usual playful self. She didn't have stories between the songs, to keep us connected and engaged. It seemed that she was just moving through the set list. On one of her older songs (going blank on which one) she actually started with the second verse. She caught herself and kind of laughed- but the Melissa I've seen in the past would have really played that up.
At the end, she did "Bring me some Water: and "Like the Way I do", along with a couple of her other older songs. That got the audience going, but she never got us up on our feet. Of course, that might have something to do with the fact that much of the audience was my age or older, and that no one wanted to stand all night in 100 degree weather. Or, that so many people were trying to "capture the moment" on their iphones, that they weren't actually enjoying the moment as it was occurring.
I'm glad I went. Her voice and talent remain an incredible force to be reckoned with. She plays that Ovation so effortlessly, it tricks you into thinking it's easy.I felt like she needed us last night, that she was drawing on us for strength and comfort. And you know what. I'm happy to give back to her. She's certainly pulled me through many heartaches over the years.