Sheryl Crow: The Songs and the Stories livestream concert
Her first solo concert, nine-time Grammy-winner Sheryl Crow’s The Songs and the Stories is an outstanding performance that reveals her personal side. The artist’s work is better than ever, clearly having evolved and become richer via her experiences and growth.
Taking viewers inside a small chapel on her Nashville estate, Crow opens with the powerful and evocative Run, Baby, Run on piano; then, with an invitation to have a beer and relax, she follows it with an impeccable acoustic guitar rendition of her 90s classic Every Day Is a Winding Road. The singer’s ”autobiographical” Leaving Las Vegas, also on acoustic, includes a self-playing bass guitar, and folksy ballad Strong Enough echoes one of the themes of Crow’s life and art – her relationships: “Lie to me, I promise I’ll believe…”.
Crow describes herself as a Pantheist (”I find God in nature”), acknowledging having breast cancer and adopting her son as life-changers that shaped her album Detours, which is also about climate change. Dylan-esque God Bless this Mess has a revolutionary tone, referencing the housing market. Comparing today’s divisiveness to Babylon, the artist performs the spirited, breathtaking rock ballad Shine over Babylon. Crow prefaces her next song with the admission that it, and 1999’s The Globe Sessions, “revolved around some serious heartbreak”. Picking up a 12-string bass, a harmonica and foot drum, she performs a phenomenal 90s alternative rock-country It Don’t Hurt.
The gorgeous Riverwide, inspired by Joni Mitchel and Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, is a haunting, romantic folk ballad, beautifully vocalised, with classic Mitchel guitar licks. From her first and only country album Feels Like Home, Crow performs the fun Crazy Ain’t Original Anymore, exhibiting her versatility.
Also from The Globe Sessions, My Favourite Mistake alludes to a romantic relationship, followed by the popular 1993 career-launching hit All I Wanna Do. From a time when Biden was senator, she croons a rap-style, politically-tinged Na Na Na, again with self-playing bass.
Sublime dynamic funk song The Story of Everything refers to today’s social unrest and the “rich getting richer”, after which Audley Freed is invited to the stage to accompany on electric guitar, as Crow plays the intriguing, redolent Crash and Burn on acoustic. Next, uplifting alternative-sounding crowdpleaser If It Makes You Happy sounds superb.
The heart-wrenching Redemption Day – an original composition inspired by her trip to Bosnia with Hilary Clinton in 1996 and sung with the late Johnny Cash – is performed here on piano in his honour. Finally, also on piano, the gospel-sounding, poignant and heartfelt I Shall Believe is played with perfection.
The concert’s sound has a recording studio seamlessness, mostly a credit to Crow’s incredible voice and performance ability.
The experience is clearly emotional for her – “all these old songs I haven’t played in years” recall a simpler time, refined and moulded by the complexities of the past decade. An exceptional and magnetic performer onstage with a full band, Crow carries off this live solo show spectacularly, with honesty, humour, charisma and extraordinary talent.
For further information and future events visit Sheryl Crow: The Songs and the Stories livestream concert’s website here.
Watch a trailer for the show here: