Melissa Etheridge (Mahaffey Theater - St. Petersburg, FL) - 12/01/16
By: Gail Gerdes
Time to spread the joy of the holiday season. According to Melissa Etheridge, on this first day of December at Mahaffey Theater in St. Pete, that meant spreading peace, brotherly love and ringing in the bells of change. Florida is the beginning of her Holiday Trio tour which will run through mid-December on the east coast, to the northeast, and over to the mid-west.
Melissa reached back into her archives to her 2008 holiday album, A New Thought for Christmas. In the notes on this CD, Etheridge states that although she has never been a religious person, Christmas has always been one of her favorite times of year. She states that the album (and her current tour) is her attempt "to bridge our old oppressive cultural ways with the enlightenment of our coming future." The album contains a mix of traditional Christmas songs and original compositions.
After coming out strong with her lighthearted “It’s Christmas Time”, she mentioned that she hadn’t played these songs for a very long time. She was delighted that she had decided to do this tour. Many songs off this album like “Merry Christmas Baby”, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, “O Night Divine”, “Light a Light” (where the audience was waving their phones throughout the song, which just tickled Melissa), and “Christmas in America (Baby Come Home)”. Even Christmas songs that have been done to death by almost every musician in the world are given a spin that decks the halls and shakes the walls thanks to Etheridge’s powerful, emotive voice.
These holiday tunes were sprinkled in between her biggest hits. It wouldn’t have been a Melissa Etheridge concert without the fan favorites; “I Wanna Come Over”, “Come to My Window” and “I’m the Only One”. She totally wowed the audience with a William Bell tunes, “Any Other Way” and “Born Under a Bad Sign”. Rock, blues, jazz, Melissa Etheridge has it all and delivers with a punch.
Melissa connects with her fans. She chats in between songs and tells personal stories that bring her fans into her life. She brings a sense of unity to each group she performs to and her audiences respond by singing along, cheering and gifting her with standing ovations.
This was a great way to kick off the holiday season and say farewell to 2016 to start a new chapter. Melissa seems pleased to say good bye to 2016 and start a new adventure with her latest CD release Memphis Rock and Soul, out this past October. The CD covers Stax RB legends like Sam and Dave, Otis Redding and Rufus Thomas.
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Melissa Etheridge's Gallery