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A Woman With SKILLS

Melissa Etheridge
Centennial Hall/University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ
September 8, 2013
Melissa Etheridge Melissa Etheridge Melissa Etheridge

Review and photos by Mary Andrews

What makes a rock star reach iconic status? There are plenty of performers out there with grammy awards and platinum selling albums who are not necessarily "icons." Maybe it is the achievement of being on the cover of Rolling Stone with her then partner, two children, and David Crosby in 2000. She graced the cover again in 2005 wearing gold pants and guitar much like what Elvis did over 50 years ago. Could be it's her "coming out" on the cover of Newsweek with then lesbian partner, Julie Cypher or her very public battle with breast cancer which she announced last night she is nine years out. Ultimately, I think it has more to do with her high-energy, exuberant performances that have not waned throughout the years as well as her excellent songwriting skills! Her voice is as strong as it was when I saw her the first time in the late '80s. She switched between 6 and 12 string guitar with an aggression and ease much like a seasoned prize fighter. She played a soulful harmonica and was equally comfortable playing keyboards. Toward the end of the evening she was playing drums during her "Bring Me Some Water" jam.

In between the songs, Ms. Etheridge gave personal recollections of her past in Tucson during various tours. She stopped in the middle of "All American Girl" to give a shout out to Gabby Giffords, Tucson's ex-congresswoman, who was shot in 2011. She had gotten to meet Giffords prior to the show and pointed out to the audience that Giffords was the all American girl!

I was expecting her to be promoting her latest cd, 4th Street Feeling. That was not the case since only three of the songs performed were from that album. Instead, she reached all the way back to 1986 for some of the material she dished out. She spoke of her health and pointed out that she has progressed from being a breast cancer survivor to a breast cancer "thriver." That statement was the introduction to "I Run For Life."

The powerful two hour 15 minute set seemed to fly by during her fast paced performance.

The Set List:
1. Shout Now
2. Brave & Crazy
3. All American Girl
4. I Want To Come Over
5. 4th Street Feeling
6. Chrome Plated Heart
7. Shadow Of A Black Crow
8. An Unexpected Rain
9. Come To My Window
10. Sleep While I Drive
11. The Weakness In Me
12. I Run For Life
13. Bring Me Some Water
14. I'm The Only One
15. Like the Way I Do
16. Rock And Roll Me

Related articles:

Melissa Etheridge - Concert review - Hammond, IN - June 2009
Melissa Etheridge - Concert review - Milwaukee, WI - July 2002

Melissa Etheridge Melissa Etheridge
Melissa Etheridge Melissa Etheridge Melissa Etheridge

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