Melissa Etheridge brings her solo show to San DiegoSection 4A, Entertainment News, Entertainment Feature Thursday, August 6th, 2015
Many summer concerts will come and go this year, just like they have in years past, and in years to come. It’s a summertime expectation that music venues here in San Diego and everywhere else will book some of rocks top headliners and selling their auditoriums out to excited and appreciative fans.
Two years ago San Diego audiences, those lucky ones who bought tickets, witnessed what can only be described as a coming together of forces. One on the stage, and the other, an audience filled with dancing, singing Melissa Etheridge fans.
Ms. Etheridge rocked the crowd at Humphreys by the Bay two years ago, and she is coming back to do it all over again this weekend.
Sure, you can wait, if you want, until the day of the show to get tickets, or you can wait until you finish reading this article. The question is, why wait at all?
Etheridge, touring solo this summer and with Blondie, loves her music and she loves her fans. Both of those things were completely evident two years ago, and will no doubt be the driving force behind her concert Sunday Aug. 9.
Humphrey’s has become a favorite spot of hers. Most performers and musicians play so many venues that they all seem to blend in with each other, but Etheridge remembers Humphreys quite fondly.
“Humphreys is very unique,” Etheridge said. “One, it’s outdoors and it’s beautiful, and I had such a great time a few years ago. This time it’s my solo show, which is just me, a whole bunch of guitars, a piano and all the songs. It’s definitely just as rocking, but more intimate, people get a little more of me. The other thing I love about Humphreys is that people can get a room right there and just sit on the balcony and watch the show.”
Sadly much like last her last gig here, Etheridge will have to hightail it out of here right after the show to get her kids ready to go back to school. However, she will be back in San Diego, well, sort of, when she joins Olivia Cruises Nov. 12 to send them off with a concert just before the ship takes off from San Diego to the Mexican Riviera.
“Olivia Cruises asks me to perform every now and then and they’re so sweet,” Etheridge confessed. “I do it on the first night when everybody checks in. I do the concert and then they set sail after the concert.”
One of the biggest happenings in Etheridge’s life in the last year besides her marriage to wife Linda Wallum, was her decision to start her own label. The gears started changing throughout 2013 and in September 2014, the record This is M.E. (a play on words Melissa Etheridge and me) debuted at No. 21 on the Billboard charts.
“It happened very quickly,” Etheridge confided. “It was in 2013 that I decided to change management; that was my first thing. It took a while. I’ve been with my manager for a long, long time. He was wonderful, but I just needed a change. When I changed, my new management said, ‘you can do an independent record.’ So, I went right in at the beginning of 2014 and started recording, writing and put it all together and then released a new album. The whole new way that we’ve been doing it through social media, being accessible to the fans, and sort of this new energy that I’ve put in to it was just perfect and it’s been great!”
Etheridge joined forces with the likes of Jerry Wonda (producer for Mary J. Blige, Justin Beiber) RoccStar (producer for Rihanna, J.Lo, Fergie) and Jon Levine (producer for Nelly Furtado).
The combination of this talent, all working on the same record together has created a sound that has, until now, never existed in an Etheridge record before. It’s something that Etheridge has wanted to do for some time.
“It’s something that I kind of knew would be happening,” Etheridge said. “I’ve seen the music business change and so I knew it was coming, and they convinced me that this was the time to jump. I believe in being in the now and letting it happen if it’s going to happen. And it did.”
Her recent touring has mainly been used to promote this new album so fans will get a good taste of the new material which has been receiving accolades and glowing reviews along with a few other Etheridge gems.
When Etheridge gets a break from her hectic tour life, it’s clear that family is something that always comes first. She has quite the clan to come home to and while the music gene exists in all of her kids none of them have been bitten by the music bug as of yet. Her oldest is attending Columbia this fall to study foreign service, foreign politics and journalism. Her oldest son is part of the Aspen Snowboard Team. That leaves her twins to possibly carry on the Etheridge pop legacy.
“If any of them really have the dream it’s the little girl twin, Johnny Rose,” Etheridge said. “She is pretty sparkly about my work and she wants to sing, and she has a little voice, but ask me again in another eight years when she’s 16 and the world is happening!”
Aside from loving music and family, Etheridge has a few other interests, Broadway, politics and activism. Strange bedfellows to be sure but all have been a staple in her life for a while now and it looks like they’ll be staying.
A few years back Etheridge made her Broadway debut in Greenday’s American Idiot and had the time of her life. While tour life keeps her incredibly busy, she says a return to Broadway is inevitably in the cards.
“My wife and I, Linda Wallum Etheridge, who created Nurse Jackie and who’s done a whole lot of television, we have been on the side writing something for the last few years. It, unfortunately, always takes a back seat to her television career and my music career. Every year we get a little further, but in the next few years, I hope and I really intend for there to be a project. Something creative that we bring to Broadway. I just love Broadway very much.”
Politics and gay rights are another passion that Etheridge holds near and dear to her heart and although the chance to take some kind of office hasn’t presented itself to her yet, it is something she would definitely entertain.
“Yeah,” Etheridge surmised. “Ya know, it’s so funny, but I’m probably too honest to be a politician! I have a silly dream that maybe someday that sort of thing would be right, but maybe I can do more good for the world in just staying in the private sector by being a celebrity!”
One thing is for sure though, for the time being she’ll be bringing that celebrity to an arena, or venue, near you. For San Diegans, the chance to see her is this Sunday at Humphreys by the Bay.
For tickets you can go to Humphreysconcerts.com, purchase them at Humphreys, or you can call 800-745-3000.
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