Tonight, I got the opportunity to cross another venue off my list. Melissa Etheridge was in town in the midst of her One Way Out Tour and her locale of choice was the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. I had covered a previous concert that was part of their Frontyard Festival series, but I had never ventured inside. I had no idea what I was missing.
I made my way across the sprawling lawn and approached the entrance which can best be described as an upscale and eye-catching site to behold. The check-in process was a breeze, and the interior was even more impressive than the exterior. I met with Annette DuBose, head of security at the center, and she took the time to give me a mini tour of the facility and provided a history of the Steinmetz Hall which is where tonight’s performance was being held. The hall is so amazing that any attempt to describe it would probably fall short. Check out the video below for an insight into this breathtaking venue.
After storing my bag at the concierge, that’s right I said concierge, I made my way into the hall. Fans were already hitting up the merch table and Melissa Etheridge shirts were evident everywhere. As I set up in one of the reserved boxes I watched as fans lined up to take photos in front of the stage. Several others were handing out gay pride flags to all those in attendance and the excitement throughout was unmistakable.
Melissa Etheridge has a very strong and devout fanbase and it’s no surprise why. In addition to her musical genius, she is a symbol of strength and perseverance for many people. At 7:30 the house lights went out and the strumming of a guitar could be heard. Etheridge walked out and went right into 1989’s “No Souvenirs.” The stage setup was simple and dimly lit. Only a piano and guitar were present as Etheridge took her spot front and center. She kept that spot for the next 2 songs, “Angels Would Fall” and “I Take You With Me,” the latter of which was included in the 1995 movie Boys On The Side. Etheridge then traded the guitar for her piano and performed a beautiful rendition of “The Letting Go.“
Etheridge played several songs from her newest album One Way OUT including “For The Last Time” and “You Have No Idea.” Although One Way Out was released last year, all the tracks were written back in the 80s and 90s. An emotional moment came when the song “Pulse” was performed. Etheridge released the song on June 20, 2016, just 8 days after 49 innocent people were senselessly gunned down at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.
The set included “I Want To Come Over“, a song that holds a special meaning for me. I’m pretty sure I still have the Your Little Secret CD somewhere even though I no longer own a CD player. The 20-song setlist was stacked and included all the favorites. “Come To My Window,” “I’m The Only One,” and “Bring Me Some Water” had the fans singing along enthusiastically. Like the saying goes, all good things must come to an end and this great performance was no different. Etheridge chose “Like The Way I do” as her encore, a song that appropriately enough came from her 1988 self-titled album.
Melissa Etheridge is a class act, one that I’m positive is destined for a coveted spot in the illustrious Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Tonight, she looked fabulous and her voice was as pristine as ever. She proved that she did not need an opening act and could handle a 2-hour solo performance without missing a beat. There are plenty of tour dates left so don’t miss an opportunity to check out this awesome show.
Melissa Etheridge: Vocals, Guitar, Piano, Harmonica (harp), Mandolin, Drums
2.Angels Would Fall
3.I Take You With Me
4.The Letting Go
8.Don’t You Need
9.I Want To Come Over
10.The Weakness In Me
11.You Have No Idea
12.For The Last Time
13.I Want To Be In Love
14.Please Forgive Me
17.Come To My Window
18.I’m The Only One
19.Bring Me Some Water
20.Like The Way I Do
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