Paramount Theater, Seattle, WA (USA) - Oct 16th, 2005 - Review 2

A WILDFLOWER IN BLOOM, ROCKING AND DIGGING DEEPER

It was evident from the moment she stepped onto the stage that Sheryl Crow was launching a new phase in her career.

Opening her first tour in years, the formerly scruffy but elegant rock star was transformed into a classy chanteuse, wearing a silky, form-fitting white dress and high heels, as she began with "Run, Baby, Run" in front of a lively string section and her four-piece band.

"I'm wearing my wedding dress tonight," she happily told the capacity crowd. Her enormous rock of an engagement ring, from Tour de France champ Lance Armstrong, sparkled in the light. Later she said it was the first time she had ever worn a dress onstage and it was also the first time she had played piano. "Mom would be so proud," she said.

The radiant Crow emphasized songs from her new "Wildflower" album, her most romantic yet most serious release, part of which deals with maturity, marriage and family (Armstrong has children). She also featured cuts from her previous CD, "The Very Best of Sheryl Crow," which gave the show a "greatest hits" feeling.

"I'm full of love these days," she gushed, between "My Favorite Mistake" and "I Know Why."

She strapped on a guitar for "How to Make A Stand" and other rock songs, including "If It Makes You Happy," "Strong Enough," "All I Wanna Do," "A Change Would Do You Good" and the rock centerpiece of the set, an extended "It Don't Hurt."

The 11-piece string section, jauntily directed by David Campbell (father of rock star Beck) in black tails over faded blue jeans, added drama and texture to songs such as her new hit single "Good Is Good"; the UFO-themed "Maybe Angels," during which she emphasized a reference to Kurt Cobain; the heartfelt "Letter to God"; and her hit cover of Cat Stevens' "The First Cut Is The Deepest," from the "Best Of" CD.

The set built in excitement. By the time she got to the encores (for which she changed into a black pantsuit) the whole house was on its feet. The first rocked with "Soak Up the Sun" and "Everyday Is a Winding Road." The second was mellower, with "Safe and Sound" and a cover of Elton John's "Levon."

 

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