Photo by Joe Johnson, Crossroad Images.
On the 25th anniversary of her Grammy Award-winning album Yes I Am, Melissa Etheridge went on tour. “The Rock Show” landed at the Sheldon Concert Hall in St. Louis on a stormy, stormy night. Etheridge, a Kansas native, said that she grew up heading for the basement during tornados, and that the show must go on. As a Kansan myself who drove through that storm to see her, I’m so very glad it did.
I would wager if you played the track from Thursday night alongside Yes I Am or even from her 1988 debut album, her voice is just as—if not more—powerful as it was then. She was holding notes for so long (and so strong) that you could see her fans making eye contact to say “Damn” to each other. Her relationship with her fans can only be called flirtatious. She shared stories about her songs—about how “I Want to Come Over” was essentially a stalker song, and that she knows we’ve been there, too. She talked about going through the darkness, and finally learning that you had to bring some of the darkness into the light with you. If you can be happy with the dark, after all, the light is a piece of cake.
I worried, for a little while, that the balcony was going to collapse under the stomping feet, clapping hands and repeated standing ovations, but the Sheldon stood up just fine under the pressure. I hope she comes back to St. Louis. Whether the weather is hospitable is up in the air, but her fans are sure to make up for any storms that come our way. | Melissa Cynova
Photos by Joe Johnson, Crossroad Images. Click to enlarge.