Home > Reviews > Live Reviews > 17/02/2012 | Melissa Etheridge – Shepherds Bush Empire, London

17/02/2012 | Melissa Etheridge – Shepherds Bush Empire, London

Jo Cox


Oscar winning, Hollywood Walk of Fame honoured rock giant Melissa Etheridge may have conquered the scene State-side long before now, but eleven albums in and a British hit still seems elusive. Despite briefly joking about it, she doesn’t seem much to care. At Shepherd’s Bush Empire, near to completing four UK and Ireland dates on a second Fearless Love world tour, she is every bit the confident superstar. Transforming grown women into shrieking groupies in a way that even the likes of Mick Jagger could be proud of, her stage presence dominates the whole two hour set.

Musically she never falters either, commanding her guitars with similar authority, and at one point doubling up with guitarist Peter Thorn. In fact, the only thing that really seems to have changed since she was here two years ago is the set-list, as she delves into her back catalogue and pulls out several of the more obscure tracks.

There are of course notable omissions (Similar Features, for example), but the crowd’s rising request calls don’t last long with Etheridge firmly in the driving seat. She tells them that over 20 years of playing rock music has dulled her hearing anyway, and many submit to her better judgement as she thrashes through some of her greatest hits – I Want To Come Over seemingly giving the biggest rush until the heart pounding climax of Nervous, Bring Me Some Water and an encore performance of Like The Way I Do.

Whilst in some respects it’s hard not to acknowledge that her adoring UK fans probably  know her just as well as a queer icon as a musician, there is equally no way to fault her in this arena. Within these four walls it feels, for two hours at least, as if the rest of the country is missing out on something really rather special.


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