Melissa Ferrick is a recent favorite amongst many students, and an older favorite of those who have been listening closely to the ever-growing female folk scene. She has quite a few albums out, and with the success of her recent tour on the latest CD Valentine Heartache, it was a happy surprise to be hosting her on the Tyler Campus of Temple University this past Friday night.
Before the show Melissa asked how many people were expected, when Shellie McGahan, the student who was in charge of all this ruckus, responded with, “Something like 200 people”. A little shocked, Melissa said that most college gigs turn into 20 of their closest friends. With a little bit of a sigh of relief, the numbers were proved as people piled into the small Tyler School of Art, Presidents Hall Auditorium by around 8:30 Pm.
People continued to trickle in as the night progressed. Students and friends were glad to give their donation of an art supply or cash for the Lammott Community Center, which was the benefit of the concert after all. The community center was just starting up an after school art program, in which Tyler was glad to help.
Melissa toyed with the crowd playing off audience members, and sharing her genuine wit and amusement. She chatted in between songs, and the audience intently listened. She remarked how she was happy to be playing alone. She’s had her drummer with her for most of the tour. Melissa asked for requests because she seemed too relaxed to stay with the current set list. She was fixated mostly on her newer music, slamming out tunes like “Mercy” and “Crack The Mirror”, which were both from her latest CD. She also nervously played “Breakup Song” during the set. She said that she could never justify the recreation on stage, and explained that it was a much better “record song”. Ferrick then proved herself wrong by not only making it sound in its best element, but by adding the lyrics, “this is the last day of our acquaintance” to the end, referencing a deeply emotional Sinead O’Conner tune. Melissa then added after the crowd had cheered, and whistled, “now that is a break up song!”
Wrapping things up was a little trickier because it was easy to see the struggle Melissa had without the comfort of a solid set list. Ferrick was inclined to slow things down with a quiet tune, and end on that, when the crowd was obviously waiting attentively for her to play “Drive”. Melissa humored the crowd, tuned her guitar down for the song, and just starting beating along.
“Drive” is her sexual song that she has made itself known as her show ender. She joked that this was not “the most sexual version” of this song, as she slammed on pedals, and screwed around with guitar noise. Melissa also slipped into and out of the song, going into other artists’ songs, and just making the night last. Anyone there on Friday, would attest, this was an incredible show.