Update: We saw Fiona Apple AGAIN at her closing show in Pittsburgh, PA. Click here to read our review!
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I’m from Pittsburgh, PA, but as soon as Fiona Apple announced a tour date by a city where a friend resides in Connecticut, my tickets were immediately ordered and an eight hour weekend road trip was successfully planned.
Fiona Apple: Live at MGM Grand at Foxwoods, Mashantucket, CT – June 22nd, 2012.
To say the least and to say what we’ve heard since the beginning of her career, Fiona Apple’s 90 minute set in promotion for her new record The Idler Wheel... (which will see a proper 2020k review) was intense. Production consisted of her band, a few light rigs, and herself complete with piano and microphone. Material from all four records were vastly covered over a 17 song set and all of the thrashing, laying head down on the piano, and mannerisms from what we’ve come to see from the SXSW festival performance were present.
Interestingly enough, Fiona Apple took a few moments in between songs to interact with the audience and some of the most memorable moments happened during these segments. Turns out, she didn’t get any sleep the night of this particular show and decided it would be nice to ask the crowd if there was anyone else who fell ill to insomnia. Later, she would mention that she was getting a second wind and was thankful for those in the audience whom she said was waking her up. Though later, during one of the songs in her set, she would slide across the floor, lay there for a brief moment near a smiling band member, before proclaiming once more of her exhaustion.
Despite accidentally beginning to sing the third verse of “Anything We Want” during the opening verse, the show went off without any sort of indication of a lethargic songstress and even contained an extended version of “Tymps (The Sick In The Head Song)” with a bit more of an elaborate and live production, turning the hip-hop dabble from 2005’s Extraordinary Machine into more of a jam session, with slight dub undertones.
By the end of the set, Fiona was warmed up, assaulting the entire audience with the more aggressive vocal stylings (think: the chorus of “Regret” from The Idler Wheel..), specifically during “Not About Love,” which was perhaps the strongest, most difficult vocal/piano section of the set. Following the song’s end she coyly remarked, “I need to stop worrying/over-thinking about whether or not I can play it, because then I play it, and then I can play it!!” Fits of laughter erupted as the room enjoyed the adoringly slaphappy comments.
Right before one of the closing numbers, Fiona proclaimed she’d never gambled before but had heard that casinos like their machines to hit in populated areas. She stopped herself midway through the speech to charmingly apologize to the venue for giving out their secrets (MGM Grand at Foxwoods is a resort casino) but told everyone to make sure they played near the enterences and bathrooms.
It’s moments like these that are cherished at shows. Fiona said “..Like you really wanted to know any of that..” after one of her interactions, but the respectful crowd clung on to every word, sung or spoken.
“I’m going to pretend to leave the stage now..” she spoke after her signature song “Criminal”. Then, a one-song encore of Conway Twitty’s “It’s Only Make Believe”, complete with a subtle disco ball illuminated by purple light for effect.
She thanked everybody for having fun and told them to go have even more fun.
It was a charming save from her earlier casino banter and a charismatic end to a show presented in raw, gut-wrenchingly emotion form that Fiona Apple has flawlessly delivered and never backed down from.
Want to see her again. Maybe in Pittsburgh..
Fast As You Can
On The Bound
Anything We Want
Sleep To Dream
Tymps (The Sick in the Head Song)
Every Single Night
Not About Love
Encore: It’s Only Make Believe
Saw her in Danbury, CT a week later at an outdoor venue and she was amazing!!! Glad you had a good time at the casino here, it’s a great place to see a show! Excellent review!
I saw her at the Fillmore in Detroit. She was great but only played an hour and a half. I think she’s the best female pianist maybe ever. As much as I like her voice, lyrics etc it’s her piano playing that’s most amazing to me. It’s moody, jazzy, angry at times, pretty, spooky etc.
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