Paramount Theater, Seattle, WA (USA) - Oct 16th, 2005 - Review 1

INTRODUCING THE NEW SHERYL CROW

Seattle got the first look at a new Sheryl Crow Sunday night, when she opened a nine-date minitour at the Paramount Theatre.

WHERE: Paramount Theatre

WHEN: Sunday night

Backed by a four-piece band and 12-piece string section, Crow traded her leather jeans for a sheer, white evening gown. For two hours, she gave the sold-out house a taste of saloon-singing elegance that erred on the side of good taste.

Drenched in mood lighting, Crow opened her 22-song concert with "Run Baby Run," from her 1993 debut, "Tuesday Night Music Club." It was a shaky start, with the vocals sometimes overwhelmed by David Campbell's string section, but Crow found solid ground by the time the soulful coda came around.

After two songs from her self-titled sophomore album, she got down to the business at hand. Introducing "Good Is Good," the first single from her new album, "Wildflower," as a song about maintaining long-distance relationships through technology, Crow let the crowd know that she wasn't going to give them a recap of her greatest hits. The new album was a breakthrough for her, and she wasn't interested in looking back.

Although "Everyday Is a Winding Road" and "All I Wanna Do" were on the menu, the fans enjoyed hearing them more than she enjoyed singing them. Crow's new persona had little room for the casual vulgarity that had energized 1996 charts with hits such as "If It Makes You Happy."

The eight songs performed from "Wildflower" found Crow in the role of pop diva. For "Letter to God," she put down her guitar and stood against the lights while her hair was ruffled and her dress rippled by the blower at her feet. The song had such a great melody that the MTV posing was unnecessary.

Other new material included the Allman Brothers-flavored "I Know Why," "Perfect Lie," an anthemic pop tune that could well be the album's second single, and two songs on which Crow made her public debut on the piano. The main set ended as she capped the get-up-and-dance funk of "Change" with a banshee scream. Two sets of encores followed, and Crow finished the night with a cover of Elton John's "Levon."

Bill White / Seattlepi.com

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