Singer-songwriter brings a gamut of emotions and a fierce rock attitude to Caesars stage
Melissa Etheridge, the emotionally raw singer-songwriter from Leavenworth, Kansas, really loves her new album, 4th Street Feeling.
And she should.
The terrific new release provided the backbone of her concert last evening at Caesars Circus Maximus as she did nine songs from this dynamic trip back to her spiritual and musical roots, which also serves as a poetic look back at her youthful hopes and dreams with the occasional angry rant about a stinging romantic disappointment.
She told the crowd, “I write these songs so I never do it again.”
Besides her fabulous new material, this was also her coming out as a more forceful guitarist. 4th Street Feeling was the first album in which she played lead guitar, and she was just as eager to show off her new confidence as an instrumentalist by blazing through multiple guitar solos and dynamic double guitar lick pairings with her longtime lead guitarist, Peter Thorn.
This was in addition to her trips to the keyboard, her harmonica licks and even a quick duet with her drummer.
The concert began with two cuts from 4th Street, the uptempo “Shout Now” and the country-tinged first single, “Falling Up.”
Next up was a classic cut, “I Want to Come Over,” followed by her on-the-road memory songs, “Kansas City” and “4th Street Feeling.” The latter is a beautiful ode to youthful yearning with lyrics about the simplicity of those early days, “When everything I had fit in my Chevrolet.” It was a 1964 Impala by the way.
Etheridge loves to tell the audience what she is feeling and thinking about in between songs and her theme this night was her astonishment at the man who jumped 24 mile to the earth (Felix Baumgartner). “You have to watch the YouTube video” she insisted. She saw her own plunges into emotional recklessness as being akin to falling from that great height – and like Baumgartner – surviving.
Etheridge provided some mad guitar licks for her hit “Chrome Plated Heart,” part of a meaty middle section of the concert that was followed by the new cut, “Shadow of a Black Crow” that sees Etheridge confessing about her dark side, then one of her earliest hits, “Come to My Window.”
The finale was the sexually charged “Rock and Roll Me” from the new album, a song with a Janis Joplin-like vibe, followed by two of her biggest rock and roll anthems, “I’m the Only One” and “Bring Me Some Water.”
Melissa Etheridge was baring her soul and we got to enjoy this amazing musical confessional.
Melissa Etheridge’s music first put her in the spotlight in the late 1980s-early 1990s with such signature songs as “Bring Me Some Water,” “Come to My Window” and “I’m the Only One.” Her fierce vocal style with its Janis Joplin-like rasp, and her self-penned songs, which were a masterful blend of blues and folk-rock, found overwhelming commercial success in 1993 with the album Yes I Am, selling six million copies.
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