MELISSA ETHERIDGE
Published on Monday, December 23, 1996
1996 The Arizona Republic

Byline: Barry Gilbert

MELISSA'S MUSICAL FEAST IS SERVED TO HUNGRY CROWD IN 2 STAGES


Somebody bring me some water.

For a while Friday night, it looked as if Melissa Etheridge would leave an adoring crowd thirsty, but she survived her own good intentions to deliver a brimming 2-hour and 50-minute show at Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Etheridge, touring behind Your Little Secret, her fifth album, dived through 20 songs in a show that rippled with personal touches, including a verse of Nowhere to Go sung in Spanish.

Backed by an inventive, sympathetic and powerful three-piece band anchored by the great Kenny Aronoff on drums, Etheridge's only miscue was a 35-minute midshow switch to a stage at the opposite end of the Coliseum, a move that threatened to drain off the energy generated by a fast start.

It was nice for the folks on the far shore, but the tiny stage was mated to a tinny sound system, putting her racing-boat band in a backyard pool.

But back on the big stage, with its system pumping deep, rich sound - this was the Coliseum? - Etheridge reclaimed the night and pulled to the finish with Bring Me Some Water, I'm the Only One, Your Little Secret, Like the Way I Do and This War Is Over.

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