Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

August 24, 2009

Melanie in Concert

Colonial Theatre, Pittsfield, MA
August 21, 2009
by Eric Sutter

Deja Vu... Melanie is back but she never really left. Just like a circle, she came back around to defeat the nay-saying voices of the new century. But first, a new spirit of voices spread their light. As part of the Woodstock at 40 series at the Colonial, Arlo Guthrie's daughter Sarah Lee Guthrie and her husband Johnny Irion performed a short set of singer-songwriter material. "Bright Examples" featured their acoustic guitar strumming interplay punctuated by Irion's clear harmonica solo. "Don't I Fit in My Daddy's Shoes" was inspired by their daughter Sophie. Irion conjured up the romantic Southern imagery of a fisherman's town on his bluesy guitar as they sang "Emily's". They closed with a song about their Berkshires' home, "When The Lilacs Are in Bloom."

An impassioned Melanie appeared on stage with her son Beau Jarred Schekeryk to a warm receptive audience. With Beau on viola guitar and bow and Melanie on fingerstyle acoustic, they performed her debut single "Beautiful People" from Woodstock to unanimous approval. Jess Leary on acoustic guitar joined them for the 1971 hit "Brand New Key". Melanie's songs have positive messages and unique insights from the mystique of the feminine. "Smile" written after 9/11 shined with the light hearted sing-along chorus, "I Love People Who Smile." With loveable disarming humor she belted out "I Tried to Die Young" with Beau as chorus. She sang an emotionally powerful "Love Doesn't Have to Hurt" with a tender viola guitar solo by Beau. "Ruby Tuesday" was a beautiful duet with the audience. After her Woodstock rap, a peace sign appeared on the backdrop as she sang "Summer of Love." Starting in French, Melanie sang "Look What They've Done To My Song, Ma" as she blew kisses to the audience. She rapped about being regarded as the female Bob Dylan. She introduced the song which she sang as the youngest performer at Woodstock. "Lay Down (Candles In The Rain)" was performed during a rainstorm that day and was resurrected at this concert, ironically after a storm in the Berkshires. It's a song with a timeless one another.