Melissa Etheridge’s Debut At The Hollywood Bowl Is A Dream Come True Melissa Etheridge Digs Deep Into The Blues With Some Memphis Rock And Soul In Hollywood
HOLLYWOOD, CA- Melissa Etheridge’s music has always had some of the authentic blues sound in it. Her passionately raspy voice and her deeply personal, and sometimes autobiographic, lyrics, made her a mainstay on the top of the pop music charts throughout the late 80s and the early 90s (from 1988 through 1995, she racked up 5 platinum and multiplatinum albums).
For her most recent album, her 2016 MEmphis Rock And Soul (stet), Melissa digs deep into the some of the classic blues sounds of Memphis. It is an album that is filled with some classic compositions from the late ’60s released on the Stax imprint and has Melissa invoking the essence of Sam & Dave (“Hold On, I’m Coming”), Otis Redding (“I’ve Got Dreams To Remember”) and B.B. King (“Rock Me Baby). For her debut at the Hollywood Bowl, Melissa treated an adoring crowd to a masterclass of Southern soul with faithful renditions of a solid selection from that album.
As a whole, Memphis Rock And Soul is an inspired effort that faithfully injects all right amounts of Melissa’s soul into each of the blues classics. Melissa’s live performance on the Hollywood Bowl stage was just as stunningly soulful. It was a setlist that had a healthy selection from Memphis, and as Melissa’s rich voice smoldered with every note she belted and growled, the blues came to life.
Her performance, however, would not have been complete if she had hadn’t performed some of the biggest hits from her own repertoire, and she did in singing “I Want To Come Over”, “Come To My Window” and “I”m The Only One”.
Before singing “I Want To Come Over”, she humorously recalled the inspiration of that song and about her younger, more jealous days. She laughed with the audience as she explained that she’s now over 50, and that she no longer has the inclination to be obsessed and stalkerish with crushes.
But it’s those kind of raw and visceral emotions that artists draw upon for inspiration during performances, and Melissa seemed to be overflowing with those emotions on this night. Her excitement of having her debut on the Hollywood Bowl stage and all of her life experiences, culminated in a powerful and joy-filled performance by a woman who knows and has lived the blues.