Melissa Etheridge says tech boom a boon to artists

For decades, Melissa Etheridge topped record and radio charts while picking up Grammys and an Oscar. Today, she isn’t the No. 1 artist on YouTube or radio. But she says she’s on top in her own way.

“The top is in the eye of the beholder,” Etheridge said. “I did a show (this summer) with Blondie and Joan Jett, and it was one of the most rockin’ shows I’ve ever been involved with. It was amazing. And there were thousands and thousands of people there. To me, that’s the top.

“If people are coming to see you, and you’re exciting them with your music, then you’re at the top.”

This Friday, Etheridge (“Come to My Window,” “Bring Me Some Water,” “I’m the Only One”) will play a solo, electric concert at the Palms’ Pearl ($50-$100).

Etheridge, 54, has radically shaken up her career. She put out an album, “This is M.E.,” on her own indie label, hired a new manager and jumped into social media to enrich her connection with fans.

She’s happy the Internet has expanded the amount of independent musicians who can be heard worldwide, from a number in the thousands, to a number in the millions.

“Corporations are panicking. But it’s a renaissance for artists,” Etheridge said. “You can reach your fans directly. I can do a tweet, and I know thousands of people are seeing it at that moment. That’s very powerful for an artist.”

I told Etheridge journalism is in a similar state as the music business, in that there used to be only a few thousand writers who were read worldwide, and now that number is quite obviously in the millions or billions, depending on your definition of writing.

Lately, I’ve been thinking it’s easy for people like Etheridge and me to cheer for the explosion of Internet rivals when, in fact, she and I already established our (much different) careers during the eras of big traditional media.

Etheridge brought up a better point:

“But still the way it works is, the cream is always going to rise to the top. If you do good work, people are going to want to hear it, and they’re going to want to talk about it, and they’re going to be drawn to you.”

She said an artist can break through to a big audience by creating just one viral thing. And if an artist never gets famous, who cares? They’re still doing what makes them happy.

“Even if you’re not known now, you can do what you love, keep on the path, and you can do it,” she said.

Unlike some musicians, Etheridge digs how connected she has become to fans through social media.

“What’s great is, I can hear immediately what people think of a concert. I used to be beholden just to the reviewer, and who knows if they even wanted to be there that night,” she said.

“I’d have this amazing experience with a show. I’d go, ‘Wow, this was one of my best shows,’ and then the review would come, and I’d think, ‘What show was he at?’ And they’d misquote my song titles.”

I confessed to her my saddest moment as a music critic in Florida years ago. I was assigned to review the band Alabama, and everybody at the Alabama show wanted to listen to Alabama except me.

“Right! Exactly,” she said.

Also unlike many musicians, Etheridge encourages fans to video her shows.

“They can take little YouTubes, and share them, and it really keeps the beautiful energy going in the whole world,” she said.

Unlike many performers, she’s cool with fans taking phone pictures of her.

“Bring it on. If people are going to watch it, the more people are going to watch it. More is more,” she said. “I got tired of seeing (security) yanking people’s cameras away.”

Etheridge has been fan-friendly since she was underage in high school, when her dad drove her to gigs.

“He would always tell me, ‘Melissa, make sure you thank your audience, because they don’t have to be there.’ “

And then, she and I talked about a few music stars who demand that people they work with can’t look them in the eye. Etheridge has heard stories from guitar techs who said stars wouldn’t let them look them in the eye even when they were handing them guitars.

“Us musicians are weird people to start with, and it’s a weird thing to be famous,” she said of such stars. “You have to know how to protect your own sense of self. And if you don’t have a real solid sense of yourself, it can be a frightening place, and you don’t trust people, so it gets weird like that.”

So on Friday, the Grammy-winning, Oscar-winning, fan-friendly, Internet-cheerleader, independent music star Melissa Etheridge will be looking for fans to take photos and videos of her on stage and off.

“It’s very intimate yet rock and roll. You’ll hear the hits that you love and know. I’ll do a couple of new songs, and some deep album cuts, and we’ll just rock into the night.”

— Contact Doug Elfman at delfman@reviewjournal.com. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman. Follow him: @VegasAnonymous

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
The Octopus On The Las Vegas Strip Predicted The Winner Of The World Cup
The Octopus On The Las Vegas Strip Predicted The Winner Of The World Cup. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
TLC by the Numbers
Watch Ruthless! at Las Vegas Little Theatre
The musical Ruthless! will be playing at Las Vegas Little Theatre from July 13-29. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
How to feel like a kid again in Las Vegas
How to feel like a kid again in Las Vegas
People Lined Up For Over 5 Hours For Build-a-bear's "Pay Your Age" Promotion At Galleria Mall
People Lined Up For Over 5 Hours For Build-a-bear's "Pay Your Age" Promotion At Galleria Mall. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Cadaver art and sword swallowing at The Dark Arts Market
Curator Erin Emrie talks about her inspiration for The Dark Arts Market at Cornish Pasty Co. in Las Vegas Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
What to expect at Station Casinos' Fourth of July celebration
Station Casinos' is hosting its annual 4th of July celebration with Fireworks by Grucci. Fireworks scheduled to go off on Wednesday, July 4 around 9 p.m. at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Red Rock Resort, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Pawn Stars' Richard Harrison honored at memorial service
A memorial service was conducted for Richard "Old Man" Harrison at Palm Mortuary in Las Vegas on Sunday, July 1, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Tourists and locals enjoy Independence Day fireworks at Caesars Palace
Hundreds of tourists and locals gaze at the Independence Day fireworks show at Caesars Palace on Saturday, June 30, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
5 must-see bands at Warped Tour 2018
Five must-see bands at Warped Tour 2018
This Banana Split In Las Vegas Is Made With Fire And Liquid Nitrogen Right At Your Table.
This Banana Split In Las Vegas Is Made With Fire And Liquid Nitrogen Right At Your Table. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pixar Pier At Disneyland Is Open With New Food And A New Roller Coaster
Pixar Pier At Disneyland Is Open With New Food And A New Roller Coaster (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Here's What It's Like To Ride The New Incredicoaster At Disneyland
Here's What It's Like To Ride The New Incredicoaster At Disneyland (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
"Pawn Stars" fans visit Richard Harrison's memorial at Gold & Silver Pawn
"Pawn Stars" fans from around the world visit the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas following the passing of Richard "Old Man" Harrison on Monday, June 25, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Get a sneak peek at Palace Station's newest renovations
Station Casinos spokesperson Lori Nelson gives a first look at what Palace Station's $192 million renovation will bring. Some areas will begin opening to the public next week according to Nelson. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
You Can Only Get The 11-pound 8-person Burger In Las Vegas
You Can Only Get The 11-pound 8-person Burger In Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Paul McCartney is worth over $1 billion
Sir Paul McCartney is one of the most celebrated and accomplished musicians in history. He just turned 76 on June 18. McCartney grew to international fame with the Beatles and went on to become a wildly successful solo musician. Paul McCartney’s net worth is estimated at $1.2 billion, according to Celebrity Net Worth. In 2017, McCartney landed the No. 13 spot on Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid musicians, earning $54 million for the year. On Thursday, June 20, McCartney will release a double A-side single featuring two new songs, "I Don't Know" and "Come On to Me." McCartney has yet to announce a title of his new album or when it will be released. Th album is expected to be released before he headlines the Austin City Limits Music fest in October.
Bellagio's New Conservatory Brings Italian Summer To Las Vegas
Bellagio's New Conservatory Brings Italian Summer To Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Kari Curletto of Las Vegas put over 500 hours into making her toilet paper wedding dress. (Courtesy Kari Curletto)
Kari Curletto of Las Vegas put over 500 hours into making her toilet paper wedding dress. (Courtesy Kari Curletto)
The Real Crepe In Las Vegas Serves Authentic Crepes In The Style Of Brittany, France
The Real Crepe In Las Vegas Serves Authentic Crepes In The Style Of Brittany, France. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
New Marilyn Musical Brings Screen Icons Life To Strip
Paris Las Vegas hosts musical bio featuring new, old tunes. (Carol Cling Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas' hottest concerts of the summer
Vegas' hottest concerts of the summer
We Taste-tested The Best Doughnut Shops In Las Vegas
We Taste-tested The Best Doughnut Shops In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 must-see bands at Punk Rock Bowling 2018
5 must-see bands at Punk Rock Bowling 2018
Gabi Coffee & Bakery Is Like A Korean Speakeasy From The 1920s
Gabi Coffee & Bakery Is Like A Korean Speakeasy From The 1920s (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five must-see acts at the Electric Daisy Carnival 2018
Five must-see acts at the Electric Daisy Carnival 2018
The "13 Reasons Why" mustang cruises down the Las Vegas Strip (Courtesy Netflix)
4 fun and fascinating museums in Las Vegas
U2 in Vegas through the years
U2 in Vegas through the years
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like