Sheryl Crow Gets Emotional as She Soaks Up the Sun at Sea.Hear.Now Music Festival: ‘Nature Saved My Life’

Sheryl Crow reflected on her past while performing her catalogue of hits during the ocean-side concert in Asbury Park, New Jersey

<p>Pooneh Ghana for Sea Hear Now 2023</p>

Pooneh Ghana for Sea Hear Now 2023

Sheryl Crow was in tune with nature at the 2023  Sea.Hear.Now Music Festival.

During the "Soak Up the Sun" singer's ocean-side performance in Asbury Park, New Jersey, on Saturday night, she reflected on her past while opening up to the crowd about the significance of her serene surroundings.

Crow made her return to the beach town after 25 years, telling the audience "Asbury Park looks a lot different now.” While introducing the song "Cross Creek Road," she tapped into her emotions and shared a "quick story" with the thousands who attended her set.

"I'll tell you a quick story," Crow, 61, began. "So I know how hard it is for especially young people — and I don't know if anybody was pained by struggles like I did when I was young — but these are some tricky waters to navigate now."

"I'll just tell you that, for me, getting out in nature really saved my life," she said from the ocean-side Surf Stage, overlooking a sea of fans that listened from the beach off the Atlantic coast.

Related: Summer Music Festivals 2023: Everything You Need to Know About Where to Find Your Favorite Artists

<p>Pooneh Ghana for Sea Hear Now 2023</p>

Pooneh Ghana for Sea Hear Now 2023

"So, I moved to Nashville and I bought a farm," the Missouri native continued. "I sat in the trees and just asked God to give me some answers — and I wound up writing this song." She then began singing the sentimental track off her eleventh and latest studio album Threads.

Crow's set was filled with fan favorites — opening with "If It Makes You Happy" and closing with "Everyday Is a Winding Road," both off her 1996 eponymous albums. Elsewhere in her performance, she satisfied the crowd with more melodies from her catalogue of hits — including "All I Wanna Do," "The First Cut Is the Deepest" and "Soak Up the Sun."

In addition to her self-reflection, the mom of two looked back on her kids — sons Wyatt Steven Crow and Levi James Crow — when introducing the song "Real Gone," off the original motion picture soundtrack from the 2006 animated film, Cars.

Related: Sheryl Crow Not Sure If Her 2 Sons Want to Follow in Her Footsteps: 'But They're Both Musical'

<p>Ismael Quintanilla III for Sea Hear Now 2023</p>

Ismael Quintanilla III for Sea Hear Now 2023

"I got two little boys who are not so little now," Crow began. "They're teenagers and they think their mom is so violently not cool. But when they were little, man, they loved this song from the Cars movie."

Crow also shared with the beach-goer listeners that she learned to surf at age 40. "It's never too late!" she said, while looking out to the ocean scattered with pro surfers like Sam Hammer and Rob Kelly, who simultaneously competed in a surf contest during the festival.

This year marks the fifth anniversary of the Sea.Hear.Now Music Festival, a two-day celebration of live music, art and surf culture produced by acclaimed rock photographer Danny Clinch. This year's headliners are The Killers and Foo Fighters, with other acts including The Beach Boys, Weezer Stephen Sanchez and more.

Related: Sheryl Crow Rolls the Dice on a Recreation of Willie Nelson's Iconic Tune 'Night Life' (Exclusive)

<p>Adam Tormollan for Sea Hear Now Festival 2023</p>

Adam Tormollan for Sea Hear Now Festival 2023

"It has gone so fast," Clinch, 59, exclusively tells PEOPLE of his 2018-incepted brainchild that's had annual shows since, excluding 2020 in light of the pandemic. "Everybody loves this festival because Asbury Park is such a great place to be in the fall," he said while referencing New Jersey's "incredible" surf and weather in September.

Clinch went on to share his excitement about the artists and bands slated to perform. "What's exciting for me is to see younger people wanting to tell their parents what they're checking out," he said, referencing Minneapolis-based guitarist Cory Wong as an example.

"And then you have the older folks who want to share the Beach Boys with their kids or Sheryl Crow," Clinch added. "It's just really another incredible and diverse lineup."

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