Fiona Apple's unpolished power brings honesty to the stage
Fiona Apple performed at the Arlene Schnitzler Hall in Portland, Oregon on July 26, 2012. The hall was about two-thirds full, which was shocking for me. Fiona Apple’s first release “Criminal” was really the only reason to watch MTV at a time when the station still played music videos. I was so glad to hear that she was going on tour that I bought tickets within the first five minutes of them becoming available.
Apple’s on stage performance was honest. I think that it is her unabashed honesty that really gives her power on stage. She started later than expected and was clear about why – a valid reason that most people would avoid talking about. It was one of three times that she talked to the audience.
She mentioned that the cape she was wearing she made from a T-shirt that featured her friend’s birthday. He was in the audience and would be able to travel with Apple for the rest of the tour. The last time she addressed the audience was to let everyone know that the next song was the last song.
Apple’s energy is what I think Jim Morrison’s energy on stage probably was like. The music doesn’t really stop as song flows into song. Apple pulses with the music moving in ways that are spastic and seem uncomfortable, especially during the instrumental portions. When she is singing or playing the piano, she ends up tied around herself and the microphone or the bench. She is everything that American Idol would counsel against.
Yet, all of the awkward positions and lack of stage polish do not matter because she is being herself. That is where Apple’s power comes from – the ability to lay down who she is with a command of vocabulary and music that few people could ever attain in combination.
Read about Haley Reinhart's "Listen Up!"
Read about Fiona Apple's "The idler wheel..."
Read about Fiona Apple in concert
Read about Casey Abrams' debut "Casey Abrams"
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