MELISSA ETHERIDGE to play Pikes Peak Center August 16th, 2022

Article Contributed by AEG Presents | Published on Monday, May 9, 2022

“Growing up,” Melissa Etheridge says with a sigh and then a smile. “Yeah. Sometimes growing up involves looking back and getting power from it. Not being pulled down, not regretting. There’s no regrets. There’s no doing anything differently. It’s understanding what I had to do to get where I am now, and loving where I am now and feeling the power I have now.”

Etheridge is considering her new album, One Way Out. The core of the album is seven songs she wrote in the late 1980s and early ‘90s —“One Way Out,” “As Cool As You Try,” “I’m No Angel Myself,” “For the Last Time,” “Save Myself,” “That Would Be Me” and. “Wild Wild Wild.” Rounding out the set are two other previously unreleased songs, “You Have No Idea” and “Life Goes On,” recorded at an intimate and boisterous 2002 concert at the Roxy in West Hollywood. 

These songs bristle with energy and emotion, a rock ’n’ roll edge and personal depth as sharp as anything in her canon. The first seven come from a time in which she was finding her first measures of fame with bolstered confidence and ambition. But it was also before she was ready to be fully open about herself. These songs show her finding her voice, but when it came to it she wasn’t ready yet to say it in public.


“It was an emotional space, a tender sort of place that I was reluctant to go to before I came out,” she says. “So yeah, I did hold back on that sort of thing. And now it was really fun to just step forward and fearlessly present these songs and play them. You know, really being set free.” 

In 2013, while working on a proposed box set of archival recordings, Etheridge came across these songs again and found that they spoke to her anew with fresh vantage. A lot had happened in the intervening years. Etheridge had come out, become a parent, risen to status of multi-platinum album sales and top concert headliner, was diagnosed and recovered from breast cancer, won an Academy Award (for her song “I Need to Wake Up” from Al Gore’s climate change documentary An Inconvenient Truth, gotten married, taken on activist roles on various fronts and had continued to record and tour at as fierce a pace as always. With all of that, these songs needed to be given new voice, new settings.

“I got this idea to get the band back together,” she says. “The original, very first band I ever toured with, which was Kevin McCormick on bass, Fritz Lewak on drums and John Shanks on guitar. These guys are monsters.”

“To me the arc of One Way Out is that there’s a strength in pure rock ’n’ roll, and I was made to play rock ’n’ roll,” she says. “These are things that I hadn’t grown into yet. I’ve found my power now and can now sit comfortably in the driver’s seat of these songs and present them enthusiastically. And I can’t wait to get out and play them.”