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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Sheryl Crow

Live at the Capitol Theater - 2017 Be Myself Tour

Review by Gary Hill

This new live set from Sheryl Crow captures a very special concert from 2017. This is a double CD release with a Blu-Ray disc to round it out. The show was at the historic Capitol Theater in New York. The performance is strong, but the mix seems a bit off on the first couple songs in that the lead vocals seem too far down. That said, it is quickly corrected. The video and audio quality are both exceptional. Fans of Crow should really love this release.

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Track by Track Review
Disc 1
Every Day Is A Winding Road

Percussion brings this into being and holds it for a time. This hit comes in with style and rocking sound. The only complaint is that the lead vocals seem a bit lower in the mix than they should be. There is a cool almost funky break later in the track. The slide guitar work on this is classy.

A Change Would Do You Good
This rocker is another catchy and solid one. It's delivered with style, but again the lead vocals feel a bit lower in the mix than they should be to me. Bluesy rock with some down-home country leanings is the musical concept here.
All I Wanna Do
There is a lot of jazz and funk in the arrangement here. It also has some hints of that country music element, too. This hit from Crow is a strong tune, and this live performance is great. I'd consider this to be one of the highlights of the disc. It drops back for an audience participation section. We get some more killer slide guitar on the outro to the tune.
My Favorite Mistake
This has a lot of the same leanings as the previous cuts did, but it is more just mainstream pop rocker in a lot of ways. It is effective and entertaining, but I don't like it as much I do some of the others here. There is some killer guitar work and a good driving energy, though. There are also some solid hooks.
Be Myself
They seem to channel the Rolling Stones on the opening of this just a bit. The cut has some classy rocking textures and really works well. It's energetic and fun. I really dig the guitar soloing on this tune.
Long Way Back Home
I like this song alright, but it's a bit too samey and just doesn't really stand out much at all. That said, it has some solid hooks and a good groove.
Run Baby Run
A bluesy number, somehow there are hints of The Beatles in the arrangement here. At least that's true to my ears. This is a slow moving, but dramatic and powerful tune.
Can't Cry Anymore
They seriously channel the Stones on parts of this number. It has an old school rock and roll vibe to it. There is some country and more in the mix here. I like this one alright, but it's not at the same level as some of the rest. That said, the killer guitar soloing later in the piece manages to elevate it.
The First Cut Is The Deepest
Another of Crow's hits, this bluesy rocker is catchy and strong.
Atom Bomb
This has a tasty hard rocking edge. It is driving and potent. There is a definite 1960s garage rock vibe to it. While it's not my favorite thing here, I like the raw energy of it. I like the synthesizer break on the tune quite a bit. I'm reminded of Girlschool in some ways on this number.
Halfway There
Here we get a topical tune. It's has a cool retro rock groove with some funk and jazz in the mix. The instrumental section later in the track is on fire and has a cool rocking sound to it. This is one of my favorites of the set, really.
Disc 2
There Goes The Neighborhood
This song feels like it has a lot of the Stones built into it, too. This works out to quite a powerhouse tune, and the horns add a lot to the arrangement.
Leaving Las Vegas
This was Crow's first single. I vaguely remember hearing it way back when. It has a classic sound to it and some cool slide guitar.
Strong Enough
Intricate acoustic guitar brings this into being. This is more of a ballad than it is anything else. There is plenty of country music in the mix. While this brings some variety, it's not one of my favorites.
Heartbeat Away
Another topical cut, this is much more of a rocker. There is a bluesy element to this, and I really dig the guitar sound on the tune. I'm reminded a bit of the hard rocking side of The Beatles at times on this number.
Roller Skate
A retro tinged rocker, this has a real classic sound to it. It reminds me quite a bit of the glam rock of acts like T-Rex.
Best of Times
This is a country rocker that has a good energy and groove. There is a bluesy instrumental break later with harmonica and some choogling guitar. While this isn't one of my favorites here, it does bring some definite variety.
If It Makes You Happy
Down-home country textures open this and bring it into being. By the time it gets to the chorus this rises up more toward rocking sounds. This was a big hit, and it has some solid hooks.
Soak Up The Sun
Another hit, this has more of a mainstream pop rock sound. While it's not as meaty as the last number, it is catchy. There is an extended section of applause between this (the main show closer) and the next song (the first encore).
Midnight Rider
Covering Gregg Allman, Crow and company put in a competent rendition of this classic. The organ solo is pure class. The same can be said for the guitar soloing.
I Shall Believe
While this isn't acapella, the instrumental portion is quite dropped back. It rises up more as it continues. The cut has a bit of a soulful, gospel meets country and rock texture to it. It does represent a bit of an emotional peak, so perhaps that makes it a good choice for closer. For me, it's not one of the best tunes here, making it leave a bit to be desired for the final shot of the concert.
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