Melissa Etheridge gives passionate performance
Rock icon and environmental activist Melissa Etheridge performed at the Turning Stone event center on Friday, Feb. 17th. She was there to lend her support to the protests happening in North Dakota surrounding the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline. Proceeds from the show will go toward the legal costs of the protests.
Before the concert started, Etheridge came out on stage with Ray Halbritter, an Oneida Nation representative, and Joe Heath, an Onondaga Nation lawyer. Halbritter and Heath spoke about the conditions at the protests and their solidarity with the Standing Rock tribe. Heath spoke about his personal visit to the protests while images from them played on the big screens. Etheridge spoke more generally about having to take care of the environment and urged people to support and donate to the cause. After the three spoke, Etheridge was presented with a specially commissioned Oneida Nation blanket as a token of thanks for her support.
With the one of a kind blanket still wrapped around her, Etheridge kicked off the show with “Giant” from her album “Lucky.” She soon doffed the blanket, though, and strapped on her guitar. Etheridge is known for bringing passionate performances to her shows and this one was no exception. She is also a solid guitar player, playing all the rhythm and solo guitar parts during the show.
While not normally associated with being a jam band type of artist, Etheridge does tend to jam out her songs with extended musical breakdowns, solos, and banter with the audience. This turned what would normally be a relatively short twelve song set list into an hour and a half concert.
That set list included several of her biggest hits such as “I Want To Come Over,” “Come To My Window,” “Bring Me Some Water” and “I’m The Only One.” She also threw in some cover songs such as The Staple Singers “Respect Yourself” and Booker T’s “Born Under A Bad Sign.”
She performed one song that had special relevance to the environmental theme of the evening. “I Need To Wake Up” is her Academy Award winning song from the climate change documentary “An Inconvenient Truth.” Before the song she related the story of how Al Gore called her and asked if she’d contribute a song to the film.
The show ended with an encore performance of one of her first hits, “Like The Way I Do” off her debut album. Throughout the show Etheridge repeated the importance of love, and the crowd at the event center showed their love for her with an enthusiastic standing ovation.
Melissa Etheridge picks up her tour again in April with dates across New England and Upstate New York.
James Suits / James Suits Photography / The Fuze Magazine
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