ROME, N.Y. — Sheryl Crow was one Woodstock '99 performer who would have fit right in at Woodstock '69.
Crow, whose voice alternated between a sexy growl and sultry purr for much of the set, delivered plenty of raw emotion — not unlike that of the late blues-rock belter Janis Joplin, who played the original Woodstock.
Backed by six musicians during her Friday afternoon set, the acoustic guitar-wielding Crow eschewed theatrics. Instead, she electrified the more than 200,000 people in the crowd by baring her emotions in song.
Though her type of rock differs greatly from that of such raucous bands as Korn and Limp Bizkit, Crow managed to impress fans of all ages.
"She put everything into it," 19-year-old Michelle Frye of nearby Illiom, N.Y., said. "She's one of the only acts that fits in with the [Woodstock] spirit. Not like DMX or Ice Cube."
"We're here to experience everything," her 47-year-old mother, Teresa Frye, said. "But Sheryl crosses generations."
Crow's expressive hazel eyes, more noticeable than ever because of her new short haircut, were ablaze when she sang the line "Jesus loves me I know" during "Am I Getting Through?," from her latest album, the Grammy Award-winning The Globe Sessions.
A few guys in the audience kept screaming at Crow to "show off your t--s." The singer/songwriter, dressed in a tight, white tank top and orange pants trimmed with western-style fringe, teased them a few times by making motions indicating she would lift her shirt. But she seemed to grow tired of their yelling and said, "You'd have to pay way more than you paid to get in to see my t--s."
During "Everyday Is a Winding Road," Crow tried to enliven her set by dancing around without her guitar. She even squatted at the front of the stage with her arms at her side and gave the audience a menacing glare.
That was as close to rowdy as the performance got, though Crow was cheered when she covered Guns n' Roses' "Sweet Child o' Mine." "I'm sure you can relate," she said, invoking the sex-and-drugs party attitude of mischievous Axl Rose's wild band.
Meanwhile a line of women near the front of the stage allowed males in the crowd to fondle their naked breasts.
"I like a good beer buzz early in the morning," Crow crooned in "All I Wanna Do," the big hit from her breakthrough album Tuesday Night Music Club. She closed the set by playing bass during a highly funky "There Goes the Neighborhood," a single from her latest LP.
"I dropped acid on a Saturday night just to see what the fuss was about," Crow cooed during the track.