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Melissa Etheridge Better with age — hers and mine

November 4, 2016 - articles - ,

story and photos ©2016 Catherine L. Evans/Focus Mid-South Magazine
The first time I saw Melissa Etheridge in concert was in 2008. I was 24 years old and so excited to see her perform live for the very first time. I had grown up listening to her and had this rock star chick image of her imprinted in my head. She was one of my lesbian idols and I couldn’t wait for the show.

I envisioned her in a tight black rocker chick suit, headbanging to “Can I Come Over.” I was amped… until I actually saw her. She was dressed like a grandma and even sat down for the majority of her show. No tight black leather suit. No head banging. The show was more intimate than I had imagined it would be, and it catered to people older than me. Sure, I enjoyed her, but real life didn’t match my fantasy. Le sigh. I was crushed.

Fast forward eight years to last weekend and her concert at Minglewood Hall. I had snagged an assignment to take photos at the concert. I didn’t expect rocker chick to show up (due to my previous experience), but I was excited that I was able to take pictures.

When Melissa got on stage, though, I was blown away. Standing before me was the Melissa that existed in my head. Head banging and all. She performed quite a few Memphis hits that I didn’t pay much attention to since I didn’t know them, but other concert goers seemed to really enjoy them.

It’s when she performed her own songs that she really got my attention. Just watching her strum her guitar was a treat. She was absolutely stunning, in fact, amazing. This concert definitely made up for my 2008 disappointment. Needless to say, I was extremely pleased. Trust and believe, Melissa is no grandma.

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Catherine L. Evans is a freelance photographer specializing in concerts and events. See more of her work at www.flickr.com/cleeventphotography