Words + Photos by Frank Ralph

Sheryl Crow doesn’t come to the UK nearly as often as I would like her to, but whenever she does it’s an absolute pleasure to be in the same room listening to her and the incredible band perform some of the greatest songs of the last 25 years. She’s been one of my top 5 go-to artists for the last quarter of a century and has sound tracked some of my most favourite moments with some of my most favourite friends.

SHERYL-33

With a gap between an Eagles support slot at Wembley and a coveted main stage spot at Glastonbury to fill, this headline show at Salford’s wonderful Lowry Theatre was absolutely not to be missed.

Scottish singer songwriter Colin Macleod has been the support for the last three shows I’ve been to, across 3 tours, but this isn’t a bad thing as he is absolutely fantastic. Formerly known as The Boy Who Trapped the Sun his voice is familiar, soaring in parts, fragile in others and warming. Even with a short set he will have won many of Sheryl’s fans over with his material.

SHERYL-10

SHERYL-47

Sheryl’s 2-hour 10-minute set began relatively gently with a beautiful combination of Maybe Angels and Leaving Las Vegas leading the way before the party started properly with Everyday Is A Winding Road, All I Wanna Do and My Favourite Mistake – arguably three of her most defining moments – making early appearances.

Audley Freed and Peter Stroud produced some jaw-dropping guitar work throughout the night. With Audley being a former Black Crowes member, you know he has buckets of talent, and it shines though as the band jam out some of the numbers giving them a touch of Southern Harmony.

SHERYL-44

SHERYL-36

With her two sons acting as roadies for the night and the tight-knit band on stage it feels like a family affair and you can see Sheryl is enjoying things every bit as much as the rest of us.

Her upcoming album Threads could be her last due to how music is consumed in this day and age. As she puts it, ‘rather than write a full newspaper that is out of date when it’s released, I’d rather put out the odd tweet’ meaning anything she released could be more current, more responsive to ongoing events and more meaningful, or even more spontaneous and fun.

SHERYL-15

SHERYL-14

The two tracks that get aired from Threads sound amazing though. It is a collaborative album so we get to hear Sheryl’s best Stevie Nicks on the stomping Prove You Wrong as well as her best Mavis Staples and Bonnie Raitt for the more soulful Livewire as she fills in on their parts.

With the crowd on their feet for most of the show, the ones you can dance to, like There Goes the Neighbourhood, the stomping Best of Times with its drawn out Stones vibe and Steve McQueen are full of energy and bombast but the other, more melancholy side of her catalogue is featured with Strong Enough and show closer I Shall Believe filling the venue with emotion and pulling at the heartstrings.

SHERYL-28

SHERYL-52

It was the perfect combination of hits, anthems and spine-tinglers.

As long as Sheryl keeps visiting us we’ll turn out to see her. There’s no such thing as a disappointing Sheryl Crow show and as the chorus of What the World Needs Now (is Love Sweet Love) rang out to end the show we can only think that world simply needs more Sheryl Crow.

SHERYL

SHERYL-19

See the full photoset from tonight’s gig here.

Leave a Reply