Melissa Etheridge Delivers an Awesome Show at Uptown Theater in Napa

Melissa Etheridge and her band performing at the Uptown Theater in Napa, California on Wednesday, March 23, 2022. (Photo credit: Kris Comer)


Napa Valley in the springtime releases endorphins of promise and legacy. On this special spring evening, March 23, 2022, at the

 brought that same energy to her amazing performance.  The last event I went to pre-pandemic was a concert in San Francisco, and this is the first event I have been to as we approach the pandemic horizon of these past few years.  I find that these two events encapsulate these last two years. The first was a time for me professionally to grow exponentially, and this Melissa Ethridge concert proved to be the endcap to that growth and learning curve. It showed me that there was hope again in community.

A Melissa concert is energy, passion, hope, unity, and LOVE this one was no different. In the early stages of the pandemic, I would race home after my essential work to enjoy the daily Melissa live streams with my wife. It became a way we could connect and live outside of our circumstances. Melissa then later launched her groundbreaking Etheridge TV that is a testament to her creative and musical drive. It was the pandemic child of a brilliant musician reaching out to the world to give messages of peace, hope, and love in a time that was much needed.

At the start of her show, Melissa greets her concert goers with a wonderful welcoming that leads into a plug for her Ethridge TV that helped so many of us navigate the last two years. Melissa embodies joy and love and the things that make a person happy. She highlights this in her embrace of the audience and the springtime in Napa Valley. It is almost like she created her set with the mindset of we should come into a warm embrace and let her take us through the journey of this trying time.  She has been through it too and the way that she performed created a sense of let’s walk through this together in a musical voyage, and then we can begin to unite in order to see the light of community.

The concert led the audience on an introspective personal Melissa Ethridge retrospective while also cluing the attendees into a progression of time, growth, and evolution. Melissa is a true storyteller in her writing, in her music, in her performance. She takes us all on a journey, no matter what platform. She is a master at building the story of the night. The beauty of the Uptown Theater shined under her guidance.

Melissa Etheridge built a story of the night and the time. She created a one woman, whirlwind of direction and guidance for these times.  She brought her band to a higher level as the concert progressed. Her love of music and drama was highlighted with every guitar change, with each band member interaction, and her navigation of the set list. As always, Melissa played many different guitars, but she also showed her other musical talents of looping music riffs, playing drums (in tandem with the drummer), and ripping on the harmonica. As my seat mates said while she was jamming out, “She was in her vibe.” To me, Melissa IS the vibe. She is an all-powerful master of her craft.  Her craft is the unique Melissa love that she brings to the concert hall. It is in the immense love that she has for music.  It is in her ever present, almost a demand, that we as a people love each other and push each other to become better humans. Her vibe is healing and transforming through music.

The concert on April 23rd was the ideal storyteller’s night, she was in her vibe.  Melissa took us through a musical journey of uncertainty, fear, overcoming strife, and in the end provided a map for happiness and optimism.  I left Uptown Theater with a renewed sense that the world will become ok again. I often thought that Melissa was the mother to all of us attendees, telling us yes it was hard, yes it was dark, but in the end, there is always light. Melissa Ethridge was able to influence this and make us feel through her wonderful array of music, pinpointed with her compassion for our human conditions.

All images © Kris Comer
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