Ok, this was supposed to be posted days and days ago, but then I tried to post something on the Sheryl Crow Fan Forum, and the forum ate it, and then I tried to post here and my computer crashed before I had hit post, and I lost the whole bloody thing.
Clearly, my computer is not with me on this one.
So, if you don’t know, I am a massive Sheryl Crow fan, have been since I was about thirteen. I have every word on her self-titled album and The Globe Sessions memorized, and most of Tuesday Night Music Club and C’mon C’mon, even though I wasn’t too big a fan of it when it first came out.
After listening to it a great many more times, many of the songs have grown on me, though I’ll note that all the ones I specifically mention as hating I still don’t like (except Diamond Road, which I don’t really like, but don’t actively hate as much as I did).
Anyway, I had been trying to figure out how I was going to get to her show in St. Louis since it didn’t initially look like she was coming to Chicago, but then a show was announced at the House Of Blues, which only holds 1300 people, as opposed to the 20,000 seat arenas Sheryl usually plays.
I tried to get tickets through Ticketbastard, but of course, they were sold out, so I ended up having to go through EBay and pay three times the face value. I did take some comfort in the fact that the tickets were going for five times the face value right before the show.
However, despite the fact that my wallet is still terribly angry at me for this indiscretion, the tickets were worth every fucking penny.
I got to the HOB at about 6:30pm, and was utterly startled to find no line outside. Most of the people who had been waiting all day had utilized the “Jump The Line” thing that HOB offers if you eat one of their $15 hamburgers before the show, where they let you in before the rest of the mob.
I had already eaten and was broke enough from paying for the ticket that I grabbed a Chicago Reader and was more than satisfied to be the first person in line outside.
Because of this advantageous spot, I managed to be in the second “row” of people, almost dead center with an unobstructed view of the entire stage. I was about five feet from Sheryl Crow, and it was really goddamn cool.
The show itself was really great. The setlist was (according to the official website, with revisions I made based on what she actually played) as followed, with indications of album (TNMC, SC, TGS, CC) or band that she’s covering:
Steve McQueen (CC)
Every Day Is A Winding Road (SC)
My Favorite Mistake (TGS)
C’mon C’mon (take a wild guess…)
You’re An Original (CC)
Leaving Las Vegas (TNMC), leading into-
The Joker (Steve Miller Band)
Strong Enough (TNMC)
Over You (CC)
Hole In My Pocket (CC)
A Change (SC) leading into-
I Can’t Explain (The Who, sung by Sheryl’s drummer Jim Bogios)
The Difficult Kind (SC)
All I Wanna Do (TNMC)
Soak Up The Sun (CC)
There Goes The Neighborhood (SC)
Safe And Sound (CC)
Rock And Roll (Led Zeppelin)
I was really happy with the entire set, and I was pleased to note that You’re An Original became a hell of a lot better with the removal of Lenny Kravitz. I still love Are You Gonna Go My Way?, but he just fucked up Sheryl’s song.
I was also glad to see that most of the stuff I hated from C’mon C’mon got tossed, and that almost all of the songs I really liked got played. It was the 2nd time they played Over You and the 1st they had played Hole In My Pocket, so Sheryl had the words taped to the ground.
I don’t blame her, since as I said below, I’d forget my damn name if I didn’t write it down, and I’ve seen her forget the words to All I Wanna Do (then make fun of herself for five minutes because she had sang the damn thing about 2,000 times by that point).
Her band, which she introduced about six times, is fuckin’ awesome. They’re all incredible musicians, but I have to single one out: Jim Bogios, her drummer.
I’ve seen him drum for Ben Folds as well, and every time I see him, I am further convinced that he is one of the most underrated drummers around right now. He just goes absolutely apeshit on the drums and is the anchor of that band. If I could get a drummer with a tenth of his talent, I’d be a fuckin’ rockstar.
The show was great, even though everyone in the band was obviously a little bit tired (though still clearly having a great time) from being on the road pretty much nonstop since May.
I’ll spare you all a song by song recap of the concert, which I could give if I reaaaaaaally felt like it. Suffice it to say that the entire concert was really well done and I was impressed with how well the new stuff held up live.
Anyway, the highlight of the show for me was the finale. After playing Safe And Sound, which she was cracking her voice on even worse than she did on the album, and which dissappointed me terribly, Bogios started whaling on the drums, and I noticed a familiar pattern.
I had been told about the Led Zeppelin finale by a friend who saw Sheryl back in D.C., but words cannot describe how kickass it was, though I’ll try:
As Bogios started going, she jumped up on the grand piano they had hauled out for Safe And Sound, and started dancing on it. At first, I thought the transition was more than a little weird, but then I really didn’t care, because Sheryl absolutely ripped into Rock And Roll, which is my favorite Zep song.
I can’t say exactly what it was that made it so fuckin’ cool, but I think with this type of thing, you don’t really have to. Something about it reminded me of both why I like Sheryl and why music means so much to me, the latter of which I think I had pushed towards the back of my mind recently.
I remembered what it was like to have an incredible performance just push everything away, and to just lose yourself in the moment and not worry about jobs or school or pay or survival or anything except the chord changes. It made me want to get off my ass and start recording.
And that, to me, was more than worth the price of admission.