Bonnie Raitt’s birthday falls on Election Day, so it was no surprise that last night at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Raitt continued her hallmark activism with several progressive political statements.
“Make me happy on my birthday!” she shouted, and announced that nonpartisan HeadCount was on-site to register voters.
Raitt was in appreciative spirits and good humor, super connected to her fans. “Thanks for giving up football for us,” she said, a nod to the Denver Broncos’ rematch of Super Bowl 50 that was happening miles away during the show.
Raitt’s emotional range was as wide as her vocal range. She joked about her hair, applying lipstick for love songs and phlegm. Yet she was dead serious about fracking, the presidential campaign and heartbreak.
Now into the fifth decade of her career, Raitt is arguably the most successful woman in the music business. Since 1971, she’s sold more than 16 million records and garnered 10 Grammys. Rolling Stone included her on its lists of both best singers and best guitarists of all time (number 50 and 89, respectively).
At Red Rocks, Raitt the Great demonstrated why. The woman could make a crowd cry just by singing the ABCs. Her scalding vocals were especially bewitching on stripped-down torch songs “Angel From Montgomery,” “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” and “Dimming of the Day” — performed as a duet with opener Richard Thompson, who penned the song. And her slide guitar, as Bonnie herself once put it, sounded like bacon smells. That is, good, but with a little guilt.
Raitt’s career has traded more on covers than original songs. The set list included tunes by INXS, Los Lobos, John Hiatt and John Prine. But Raitt’s most recent record “Dig in Deep,” features songs she wrote. The band rocked “The Comin’ Round Is Going Through,” a guitar-thrashing protest song.
“Money has hijacked democracy,” Raitt said, “and I wrote this song to get it off my chest.”
- Need You Tonight
- Used To Rule the World
- No Business
- Shakin, Shakin, Shakes
- Not the Only One
- Dimming of the Day
- Round and Round
- I Feel the Same
- Hear Me Lord
- Something To Talk About
- The Comin’ Round Is Going Through
- Angel From Montgomery
- Don’t Answer the Door
- Gypsy In Me
- Good Man, Good Woman / I Believe I’m In Love With You
- What You’re Doin’ To Me
- I Can’t Make You Love Me
- Encore: Nick of Time
- Encore: You Got It / Sneakin Up On You/ Burning Down the House (mashup)
- Encore: Sweet and Shiny Eyes
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