Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the State of Michigan after a plan to kidnap her and other Michigan government officials was thwarted by state and federal law enforcement agencies. She started by saying thank you to law enforcement and FBI agents who participated in stopping this [...]
When Melissa Etheridge tells you that love can cure cancer, like she did during her “Revival Tour” on Aug. 3 to a packed Detroit Opera House, how can you argue with her? She’s lived it. And even if she’s wrong, music could very well do the job.
It was, at least, strong enough – despite being marred by a muddy sound mix and an under-amplified Etheridge – to do so last Sunday, when the rocker stood front and center on a behemoth rug in a jogging outfit and shoulder-length hair, among a mudslide of lesbians. And a few gay guys – who were likely as into Etheridge’s music as they were into her electric guitarist Philip Sayce’s quasi-queer look (do straight dudes really wear scarfs – when it’s not cold? And isn’t the whole hair-blowing fan a Mariah thing?), and irrefutable shredding skills, like on “An Unexpected Rain,” as he played his instrument much like a man who’s nearing climax (which his face often mimicked). His hand was a yo-yo, sliding up and down with more energy than a can of Red Bull, and he wasn’t hesitant to break strings.
But no matter how many times Sayce briefly stole Etheridge’s thunder (and lightning) with his wicked solos, the night’s gusto was mostly the headliner’s. She ran through extended catalog staples, like the closing “Like the Way I Do,” the epic blues-infused “I’m the Only One,” and crowd hand-clapper “Bring Me Some Water” – which made it clearer than LASIK-fixed eyes that these rowdy ladies needed some H2O to cool them off.
She was, indeed, as powerful as a fire hose (which, by the way, probably wouldn’t have lowered the temps among the beer-guzzling lesbians, one of which stood inches from Etheridge, capturing each of her pores with a camera phone). And when she merged into the defining bridge of “Come to My Window,” she would’ve easily steamed up the windows – if there were any. Ceaseless music from her four-piece all-guy band created a strong synergy as Etheridge the Storyteller time-warped to her beginnings when she moved West looking for love and a career, launching into “California” off her latest “The Awakening,” to her role as a political advocate.
It was then, during the final third of the over-two-and-a-half-hour show, that she became Etheridge the Activist, beginning with cancer-fighting anthem “I Run for Life” and the apropos union of older “2001” with Oscar-winner “I Need to Wake Up.” She closed with the darker, politically-charged final chunk of “The Awakening,” including the forward-thinking “What Happens Tomorrow” (suitably switching the lyrics about electing a future woman president to a black one).
Though it wasn’t nearly as fun seeing her beam on “Lucky” – or serenade ballad “Nowhere to Go,” or return for the encore with a finale-fitting, unreleased “Not Tonight” – Etheridge’s post-cancer return made her out to be a changed woman, as she reminded us on several occasions.
Preachy at times, but always keeping it real, the humble mom gabbed about her kids, meeting someone who’s single, nice and there-for-her (“… so I went to the bar,” she laughed), and her double-timing days. She’s definitely evolved, and if Sunday night was any indication, the Church of Etheridge is a congregation worth joining. Even if you’re not a beer-swigging lesbian.