Review: ‘Sheryl Crow’

For a pop star with any ambition, headlining the Hollywood Bowl has to be the fulfillment of a fantasy, but Sheryl Crow filled fewer than half the seats Sunday night. It's not that Crow has lost commercial clout -- the recently released "Wildflower" (A&M) entered the charts in the top 10. The album features some of the most introspective music of her career and that mood bled into the live show.

For a pop star with any ambition, headlining the Hollywood Bowl has to be the fulfillment of a fantasy, but Sheryl Crow filled fewer than half the seats Sunday night. It’s not that Crow has lost commercial clout — the recently released “Wildflower” (A&M) entered the charts in the top 10. Her engagement to Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong has also put her personal life in the news. But the album features some of the most introspective music of her career and that mood bled into the live show.

“Wildflower” is studiedly gorgeous, as if every note was worried over, polished and repolished, and tweaked to within an inch of its life. It lacks a tune with the engaging, tousled sensuality of hits such as “All I Wanna Do” or “Everyday Is a Winding Road.” On top of that, Crow seemed distracted and spacey all evening.

Sunday, the music — old tunes like “Favorite Mistake” and “If It Makes You Happy,” too — settled into a midtempo gait and remained there. With her touring band augmented by a 13-piece string section (arranged and conducted by David Campbell), the sound was full but stiff and monochromatic. They were only effective on a few songs: adding some Appalachian life to “Mississippi,” Motown-styled bounciness to “Live It Up” and a chunky Paul Buckmaster surge to “Always on Your Side.” Mostly, they draped the band, adding mass but little heft and weighing down the music.

Some of the problems could perhaps be attributed to the venue. The Bowl is the biggest room she’s playing, and the show probably plays better in a more intimate space.

Sheryl Crow

Hollywood Bowl; 17,383 capacity; $125 top

Production

Presented by Hewitt/Silva and Star 98.7 FM. Reviewed Oct. 23, 2005.

Cast

Band: Sheryl Crow, Peter Straub, Mike Rowe, Jeremy Stacey, Tim Smith. Also appearing: Gavin DeGraw.
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Marketplace

    Leave a Reply

    No Comments

    Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    WordPress.com Logo

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

    Connecting to %s

    More Music News from Variety

    Loading