Thousands of cyclists who participated in this year’s Pelotonia event–a three-day experience each August in Columbus, Ohio that includes a weekend of biking, entertainment and volunteerism to fund life-saving cancer research at Ohio State University’s James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute–were treated to a free concert from rocker Sheryl Crow whose ties to Pelotonia goes back to her own cancer diagnosis in 2006, just two years before the event began.
That year, Crow broke off a relationship with multiple Tour De France winner Lance Armstrong and discovered a short time later that she had breast cancer. She told the audience at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus, OH that the first person she called was her friend Doug Ulman who, at the time, was just laying the groundwork for Pelotonia.
“I’ve had an incredible experience the past ten years meeting the real rock stars, the angels who have dedicated their lives to finding a cure” said Crow (who toured the James Hospital earlier in the day) before launching into her popular cover of the Cat Stevens song “First Cut Is The Deepest” followed by “Strong Enough” from her 1993 Grammy award winning debut album Tuesday Night Music Club.
Crow, who lives in Nashville, said she will officially participate as a Pelotonia rider in 2016. This year, riders and volunteers raised $23.6 million dollars– a new record. In seven years, Pelotonia donations have totaled $106 million dollars with 100 percent of those donations going to cancer research.
In her twelve song, 75- minute performance Wednesday night, Crow mixed in a couple of new tunes from her latest release, the country influenced Feels Like Home, with mostly greatest hits–behind her five piece band that included a female keyboardist/backing vocalist and a slide guitar player.
Crow’s versions of her older tunes sounded much fresher and a bit more countrified than the last time I saw her in Columbus back in 2003— at the former Polaris Amphitheater. Now at age 53, she did not shy away from hitting the high notes and also played harmonica besides her trademark acoustic guitar.
“All I Wanna Do”, “A Change Will Do You Good”, “Every Day Is A Winding Road”, and a bit of “Picture” (from her duet with Kid Rock) before transitioning into “If It Makes You Happy” were highlights along with the Summer smash of 2002 “Soak Up The Sun”. Crow came back for an encore donning a Pelotonia t-shirt before launching into Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll” to finish the set.
In my opinion, Crow will likely be included in the conversation for Rock Hall Induction when she becomes eligible in 2018. (2019 Induction Ceremony) assuming she continues to record new material. There are some interesting arguments for and against her possible induction at futurerocklegends.com
Crow has been involved in a couple of Rock Hall Ceremonies. She presented Fleetwood Mac at the 1998 Ceremony in New York. And, at the 2014 ceremony she was one of several women asked to perform the hits of inductee Linda Ronstandt.