Melissa Etheridge thrills fans with an intimate show at Parx Casino’s Xcite Center.

Singer-Songwriter Melissa Etheridge kicked off the summer by playing to a sold-out crowd at Parx Casino. The music icon burst onto the music scene in 1988 with the release of her stellar self-titled album. Her raspy voice and style of music was a much-needed breath of fresh air as the radio airwaves at the time were filled with lots of superficial pop. People really connected to her honest self-confessional lyrics. Having paid her dues by playing tiny clubs and bars for years, she was nominated for a Grammy for her hit “Bring Me Some Water” from her debut. The album was a stunner and produced many memorable songs like “Chrome Plated Heart” and the monster “Like The Way I Do”. From there it was a fast, steady climb.

Etheridge has accomplished much over the last three decades. Besides the millions of albums she has sold, she grabbed an Oscar and a few Grammys along the way. She is one of the most respected writers of our time and was honored with the prestigious ASCAP award in 2007. Other winners have included Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, and Joni Mitchell. That’s pretty good company.  She also provided one of the most memorable Grammy performances in its 60-year history. Etheridge, bald from chemo due to her battle with breast cancer, joined Joss Stone onstage in a tribute to Janis Joplin. She played her heart out and gave an inspirational chill-inducing performance that was met with thunderous applause. Outside of music, Melissa is a passionate activist for her countless causes and an extremely generous philanthropist. It’s no wonder she is beloved by her extremely loyal fan base.  

Known for her high energy intense performances, this restless crowd seemed more than up for the challenge. She opened up the night with “No Souvenirs”  from her second release Brave and Crazy then dove right into “Similar Features” from her debut album. The setlist included songs from her earlier work such as ‘Let Me Go’, “Chrome Plated Heart’ and “Bring Me Some Water”. Etheridge has always surrounded herself with the best musicians and tonight was no different. The band on stage is pretty accomplished on their own. Bassist David Santos has played with such giants as Elton John and Billy Joel. Drummer Brian Delaney has been a fixture on the NY music scene for years (New York Dolls) and played drums for Bowie in his off-Broadway play Lazarus. Keyboardist Max Hart has played with Katy Perry and on the 2018 Grammy-winning album A Deeper Understanding by Philly band The War On Drugs. Tonight they played together like a finely tuned machine. 

There were many highlights throughout the night. “Come to My Window” got the fans, who weren’t already standing, out of their seats. Fan participation was high on this one as they danced, clapped and sang along. The band were met after with applause that seemed endless. The same for “I Want To Come Over”. Vocally, Etheridge sounded great. She had lots of guitar changes and treated the audience to extended jams on many of the songs. If you hadn’t seen her perform in a while, you were quickly reminded of what an exceptional guitarist/musician she is. That was made apparent on the song “Royal Station 4/16” where after playing a wicked harmonica, she shredded the hell out of her guitar. Her banter with the crowd during the night was entertaining. She told lots of stories during and in between songs. The fans didn’t seem to mind at all. There were also many heartfelt inspirational messages about love, strength and being true to yourself. It was really endearing. Etheridge and band ended their set with “I’m the Only One”.  They saved the best for last and encored with “Like the Way  I Do”. At 57, Melissa Etheridge can still whip a crowd into a frenzy with her impassioned performances. She is simply one of the best performers around.

Melissa Etheridge
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Parx Casino
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Event Date: 21-JUN-2018