Reviews: Elton John, Travis Scott, Nickelback, Melissa Etheridge & More

This week, for your reading enjoyment, we have compiled critical review of live performances from Elton John in Minneapolis; Travis Scott in Chicago; Nickelback in Singapore; Melissa Etheridge in Scotland; Sammy Hagar in San Antonio; Kelly Clarkson in Detroit; and Vince Staples in New York.

Elton John
Amy Harris / Invision / AP
– Elton John
Will be on the road until 2021 to say goodbye to his fans

Elton John @ Target Center in Minneapolis, Minn., Feb. 21 – “For the first hour on Thursday, it seemed as if Elton was trying too hard, shouting instead of singing, carrying on like a rocker in overdrive whether he was blazing through ‘All the Girls Love Alice’ (one of only two deep tracks) or crooning a ballad like the bloated ‘Someone Saved My Life Tonight.’

“The show turned around when he transformed from Elton the Rock Star to Elton the Musician.” – Jon Bream / Star Tribune

Travis Scott @ United Center in Chicago, Ill., Feb. 21 – “Without the window-dressing, the concert came up short musically. Hence, rollercoaster rides. Scott worked himself into a frenzy of strutting, pogoing motion, punctuated by screams and heavily processed vocals that became numbing in their repetition. An hour-plus of processed vocals that allowed for only two modes of expression – distorted rage or reverb-laden melancholy – added up to a dire musical diagnosis: Death by Auto-Tune.” – Greg Kot / Chicago Tribune

Nickelback @

Melissa Etheridge
M. Caulfield/WireImage for The Recording Academy
– Melissa Etheridge
Melissa Etheridge channels Janis Jopin at the Grammy Awards.

Melissa Etheridge @ Glasgow Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow, Scotland, Feb. 19 – “There was much eloquent and self-aware testifying humour in her delivery as she smartly threaded her set into a romantic (in the widest sense) narrative, coming across as a femme Springsteen, not just thematically on the celebratory ‘All American Girl’ and ‘You Used to Love to Dance’s’ portrait of invincible good times, but musically with the Hammond organ breakdown and Etheridge’s own fleet, propulsive rhythm guitar on the former and the latter’s sultry slow dance coda of tremolo twang.” – Fiona Shepherd / The Scotsman

Sammy Hagar @ San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo in San Antonio, Texas, Feb. 21 – “The legendary Red Rocker and bandmates, former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony, go-to drummer Jason Bonham and longtime lead guitarist Vic Johnson came to rock hard and party in a style familiar to his fans — from his stints in Montrose, Van Halen and Chickenfoot. Throw in some Led Zeppelin and one gets the picture of the rowdy night at Hagar’s first rodeo gig. The wall of amplifiers and speakers equaled that of an arena rock setting.” – Hector Saldana / My San Antonio

Kelly Clarkson @ Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Mich., Feb. 21 – “Clarkson still has the ability to feel the words she’s singing; darn if she didn’t sell ‘A Moment Like This’ like she was singing it for the first time. It’s easy for pop stars, especially those in tour mode, to check out and go on auto-pilot. Clarkson, however, still lives in the moment, and she brings her fans along with her.” – Adam Graham / The Detroit News

Vince Staples
AP Photo / Invision / Amy Harris
– Vince Staples

Vince Staples @ Hammerstein Ballroom in New York, N.Y., Feb. 21 – “[Staples is] an ascendant artist who has done well to lace his style with avant-garde dance and electronica to create hip-hop that is totally current yet poised to endure whatever the next genre trend is. In an oversaturated era where so many of the skittering trappy records blend together, Staples is speeding toward his prime with a heap of tunes already under his belt — he’s released at least a seven-track EP every year since 2014 — and more surely in the pipeline.” – Bobby Olivier /