Sheryl Crow Plays PNC Bank Arts Center: Holmdel, NJ

Sheryl Crow looked fit and confident as she took the stage of the PNC Bank Arts Center on a warm July evening.

A black curtain was illuminated with the peace symbol as lights dimmed, and Jimmy Cliff’s version of “I Can See Clearly” started playing. “It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright) sun-shiny day” began to fade, and Sheryl Crow walked to the center of the stage and delivered a heartfelt acoustic version of  “God Bless This Mess.” The curtain rose to reveal Crow’s band as they quickly transitioned into a soaring rendition of the rock-driven “Shine Over Babylon.”

Crow was joined on stage by a remarkable eight-piece backing band for the remainder of the hour and forty minute set. Dressed in white, Sheryl Crow sported three inch black heels that did not impede her dancing, as she joked with the audience,“Wait around, the dance moves get better…” Throughout the show, Crow looked comfortable in her own skin. She moved her body with up-tempo songs, even if at times it appeared awkward.

“A lot has happened since the last time I saw you,” Crow announced to the audience, “I’ve taken a few detours, but it is life’s detours that show us who we are…” (Her introduction to the title track off of her latest release Detours.)

Though she played a number of tracks from her new album, Sheryl Crow’s performance was infused with songs from each of her six studio albums. The crowd sang along as she delivered “Leaving Las Vegas,” “Everyday Is A Winding Road,” and as she flung her guitar behind her (a Crow signature look) the audience’s enthusiasm swelled during “If It Makes You Happy.”

Audience members were not only happy at the PNC Bank Arts Center, but also energized. People stood from their blankets on the lawn as Crow and company delivered an encore and the final song of the night, a cover a Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground.”

Sheryl Crow was gracious as she knelt to shake hands, and she showed no signs of slowing down fifteen years after the release of her first studio album. If anything, Sheryl Crow’s raspy, rocking voice coupled with her command of the stage showcased a performer at their peak. She sampled “I Can See Clearly” midway through her set, and for Crow it appears many bright, sun-shiny days are ahead.

Check out Sheryl Crow.

- JL for The Buzz About

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