Clocking in with a set just under two and a half hours, Erie, PA was treated to a gratifying set that mainly was a showcase for her latest effort 4th Street Feeling. Melissa elected to play ten of the albums twelve tracks, which considering how big her catalog is may have caught some by surprise. Most artists may play a few new cuts to promote whatever their latest release may be. But the diehards need not to fear as Etheridge still sprinkled in some gems and a rare song here and there to keep everyone happy.
Touring with the same band as last year, the one very noticeable thing was how much tighter as a unit they seemed. Guitarist Peter Thorn, bassist Brett Simons and Blair Sinta on drums really seemed to have come into their own as a reputable unit. With Etheridge sounding as good as she ever has, the sound of the show was top notch.
This show was originally supposed to be in Buffalo, NY but for some reason that show was cancelled and Erie was selected to host the show instead. Melissa asked “Where is Buffalo” a few times to acknowledge the fans who still made the trek to see her perform with Erie in close proximity.
One of the first standouts of the evening was “I Want To Come Over”, which was sandwiched in the middle of four new tracks. “Chrome Plated Heart” and “Come To My Window” were two other crowd pleasers which brought the crowd to their feet. However; the true standout track was “No Souvenirs”, the gem from her second release 1989s Brave And Crazy.
Of the new tracks, “A Disaster” topped the highlights from the new album as Etheridge sat behind a keyboard for her only time being off her feet throughout the night. The Erie crowd also had the distinction of hearing “A Sacred Heart” played live for the first time ever.
The most moving song of the night was the uplifting “I Run For Life”. Melissa mentioned how she was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2004 and how that it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month as well.
Guitarist Thorn really shone during “I’m The Only One” and “Bring Me Some Water” as he was given a chance to strut his stuff during an impressive solo mid-song on the latter.
As her set wound down with her traditional closer “Like The Way I Do”, one can really appreciate where this artist is right now. Numerous times throughout the night Etheridge stated how she lives off the crowd and how much she enjoys playing shows and the crowd interaction. One can only hope she plans on doing this for a long time to come.
I Want To Come Over
4th Street Feeling
Chrome Plated Heart
Shadow Of A Black Crow
Come To My Window
You Can Sleep While I Drive
A Sacred Heart
I Can Wait
I Run For Life
Rock & Roll Me
I’m The Only One
Bring Me Some Water
Like The Way I Do