Sheryl Crow review – sublime anthems from defiant country-rocker

The Lowry, Salford
Though she may not be as zeitgeisty as she once was, the nine-time Grammy-winner just keeps getting better as a live performer

‘All I wanna do is have some fun,” sang Sheryl Crow on her breakthrough hit in 1994. Since then, she has sold more than 50m albums and picked up nine Grammys. She has become an environmental and gun law campaigner, is a single adoptive mother (to two small boys, here as her miniature roadies), a breast cancer survivor and is currently home to a brain tumour (thankfully benign).

Such traumas seem to have taken her full circle. Although she comments that America is “effed … I can’t say the word in front of children”, the smiling Californian plays a two-hour show like she is determined to enjoy every second. Unusually, the set is front-loaded with hit singles, but she seems to relish All I Wanna Do, If It Makes You Happy, Everyday Is a Winding Road and the rest as much as the whooping audience.

At 57, Crow – all tasselled trousers, gym-toned physique, gunslinger guitar stance and honeyed rasp – isn’t as zeitgeisty as she was, but she just gets better as a live performer. The mammoth setlist careers from grinding country-rock (My Favourite Mistake) to sublime vulnerability (I Shall Believe). She reels off local heroes (“New Order… not to be confused with New Edition”) and attempts to heal the Oasis rift (“life’s too short”). She is still coming up with anthems: Still the Good Old Days, co-written with Joe Walsh, is the quinquagenarian All I Wanna Do, a defiant eulogy to “having fun, at my age”. The singer reckons that forthcoming album Threads will probably be her last, because most people now stream individual songs – but you wouldn’t bet on it.

• At Glasgow Royal Concert Hall Wednesday, then touring.


Dave Simpson

The GuardianTramp

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