By Chris Varias
The Cincinnati Enquirer
When a rock show becomes a big-time video production, there's not much room for spontaneity. But it does make for a strange and memorable concert experience.
After all, it's not often a singer will play the same two songs at the beginning and the end of a show.
That's exactly how Sheryl Crow opened and closed her performance at the Fraze Pavilion Thursday night. The show was the first of a two-night stand in Kettering, and both Thursday and Friday were sellouts.
With all the cameras and video equipment set up throughout the venue, Fraze looked like one of MTV's Real World houses. Crow provided an explanation when she and her four-man band botched the opening of the third song, "My Favorite Mistake," and they stopped.
"We're taping a live show tonight," she told the crowd. "Are you OK with being on a DVD?
"I may have to start and stop some things, and that last part was sucking."
That would be the only false start, but there were some moments that probably won't make the disc, like the time when a roadie had to help her remove her jacket because it was too tight, and the period in the middle of the set when, for whatever reason, she left the stage for a solid minute while her band just stood there.
As for her rap during the bridge of "Leaving Las Vegas," about hanging out with her friends "Jack Daniels" and "Bud Weiser," we'll only say that if it does make the cut, at least the DVD format allows for quick skipping.
The two-hour show picked up in the second half, as she revved up the crowd with a four-song, set-closing block of "Picture" - her hit duet with Kid Rock - "All I Wanna Do," "Soak Up the Sun" and "Everyday is a Winding Road."
After a two-song encore of "Let's Get Free," a new tune, and "I Shall Believe," she immediately addressed the crowd to prevent people from going home.
Crow asked them to stay so she could tape the beginning of the show again, mentioning she was going for the dark-sky effect. People waited, and after 10 minutes she and the band returned and played the night's first two songs, "Steve McQueen" and "There Goes the Neighborhood."
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