Melissa Etheridge at Wolf Trap by Anne Tsang

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The amazing Melissa Etheridge kicked off her 2013 Summer Tour last night at The Filene Center at Wolf Trap in Vienna, VA with a rousing performance of the free-spirited, rocking and rolling “Shout Now” from her latest album—2012’s 4th Street Feeling. “Shout Now” is a song about loving who you are, what you do, where you are and just letting go. Melissa spent the rest of the night showing the packed audience what that means to her—music, rock and roll, and love.

Melissa Etheridge. Photo courtesy of Wolf Trap.
Melissa Etheridge. Photo courtesy of Wolf Trap.

The night started out with a short, toe-tapping set from DC/MD native, singer-songwriter Eric Hutchinson. He played several songs from his latest album Moving Up Living Down including one of my favorites from that album, “Watching You Watch Him.” He played a sampling of songs from his other three albums and then debuted a new song—my favorite of his set–“Goodnight, Goodbye.” Eric’s combination of rock, folk, and pop, with catchy tunes, and witty lyrics was a great way to start the night.Melissa continued the energy with songs from her older albums including “Chrome Plated Heart,” “All American Girl,” “Let Me Go” and 1995’s breakout hit “I Want to Come Over.” The 52 year-old Grammy Award winner, who also holds the distinction of having the most Grammy nominations for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance, was a ball of energy and played a long set including all of my favorites from 4th Street Feeling and a great selection from her previous albums. And what Melissa Etheridge concert would be completed without “I’m The Only One” and “Come to My Window.”

Eric Hutchinson. Photo courtesy of Wolf Trap.
Eric Hutchinson. Photo courtesy of Wolf Trap.

Her performance of “I Run For Life,” a song written for Race for the Cure, about not only her own battle with breast cancer, but everyone who has had to battle that disease, brought tears to many eyes in the audience. But it also was a rallying cry of strength and solidarity for those survivors in the audience. My two favorite moments of last night’s show was when she sang “Shadow of a Black Crow,” that low bass of the baritone guitar, and that signature raspy quality of her voice that I just love, surely did as the song says left a “scratch marks on my soul.” The lyrics of this song just speak to me especially “I would rather die fast than live slow.” The other breath taking moment of the night was when Melissa sat down at the piano and belted out, “A Disaster” from 4th Street Feeling, a song of heartbreak, full of soul, and a spectacular display of her voice, had everyone in the audience mesmerized. The audience was so quiet, you could hear a pin drop.

Melissa proved that she isn’t only a singer, or just a songwriter, or just a piano player…she is an all around extraordinary musician. On the guitar, she shredded with the best of ‘em, her fingers flying over the strings so fast, I couldn’t even see them. She plays the piano, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass, and different harmonicas. The easy working relationship she has with her band, and her admiration for their talent is evident in her bass duet with bassist Brett Simons, how she stands behind guitarist Peter Thorn and puts her arms around him and plays simultaneously with him on his electric guitar, and how she hops up on the drum platform for a drumming duet with drummer Blair Sinta. Melissa delivered a rocking and rolling great show that proves that her talent has not diminished over the course of her 20+ year career.

Melissa Etheridge with Eric Hutchinson played one night only on June 18, 2013 at the Filene Center at Wolf Trap – 1645 Trap Road, in Vienna, VA. For future performances and Information: Call (877) 965-3872, or check their calendar of events.

http://youtu.be/p_SEmcFVG-8