(Fox Theatre, Detroit, MI - January 26th, 2006)
Sheryl Crow's fresh, updated spin on classic roots rock made her one of the most popular mainstream rockers of the '90s. Her albums were loose and eclectic on the surface, yet were generally tied together by polished, professional songcraft. Crow's sunny, good-time rockers and world-weary ballads were radio staples for much of the '90s, and she was a perennial favorite at Grammy time.
Tonight, and to a packed house on the opening night of her new 'Wildflower' tour, Crow brought her free-associative, reference-laden poetry to the beautiful Fox Theatre in downtown Detroit. Taking to the stage in a stunningly-fitted cream-lace dress, the slim, tanned singer greeted the standing ovation with a bright, white, ultra-warm and genuine smile before taking the mic and launching into 'Run, Baby, Run' from her debut album.
Crow has got to be one of the most dependable stars of the past decade as with each passing song here tonight, there isn't a note out of place, a chord wrongly struck, or a smile faked. Her incredible vocals were taken to a whole new high though as they were impeccably backed by a stunningly excellent 11-piece string section that backed her at every swoop and height.
Alternating between acoustic and electric guitars, between strings and no strings, between harmonica and quiet moments at the piano, Crow is the true personification of musical perfection. 'Hard To Make A Stand,' 'Maybe Angels,' 'Good Is Good' and the string enhanced 'Letter To God' all come to the fore in the show's first third. But, it's as she enters the halfway point, and noticing the still-seated audience, that Crow decides to evoke some of her passion onto them. "Come on everyone. Dance if you want to. I don't mind."
Following a quite fantastic stringed-version of 'First Cut Is The Deepest,' Crow reminisces about her meeting with Bob Dylan and the song that he imparted on her for her '98 Globe Sessions album, 'Mississippi.' This, of course is then buoyantly sung, before a stool is brought front stage for her then allows a now-seated Crow to bring us both 'Strong Enough' and 'Wildflower.' Under a flash of bright, yellow lights, 'If It Makes You Happy' is next followed by the piano version of 'Always On Your Side' and the thought provoking 'Where Has All The Love Gone.'
Bringing the set to a close with the energetic twosome, 'All I Wanna Do' and 'Change Would Do You Good,' Crow and her wonderful musicians take a well-deserved bow goodnight ... before coming back for the encore songs: 'Soak Up The Sun, ' Everyday Is A Winding Road' and 'Safe And Sound.'
Review by Russell A. Trunk