When 2020k first saw Fiona Apple at the MGM Grand in Connecticut (read our review here), she was enchantingly tired. Tired because she hadn’t slept the night before, but enchanting in the way she soldiered through the seventeen song set in that groggy fashion that Creativitypost.com mentioned as being some of the more creative human feelings. It was wonderful, and when our best friend Kristen Adams scored a pair of tickets for a birthday celebration we were happy to join her at the closing show of Apple’s Every Single Night Tour in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s Stage AE – an area of the continental United States she hadn’t visited in twelve agonizingly long years.
Through the tour, we’d seen Fiona go through minor legal problems through the state of Texas for possession of marijuana and hash in an area that’s notorious for stopping celebrities for this reason. What would the closing show be without mention of it? Coyly and almost halfway through her set she started, while giving a smile toward an individual shaking his head off to the side of the stage. “I’m not dumb,” she proclaimed. “There’s a so much I could say and when I can say it..I’ll fucking say it.” That was that, and the show continued to uproars and screams.
In regards to screams, Apple warmly welcomed them. In fact, in the pause during “Get Gone” she allowed the audience to loudly exclaim their warm welcome back to the Pittsburgh area for what seemed like a few minutes, before smiling and continuing with the instrumental outro.
As the song finished, Apple looked off the stage and stated she wanted to act like it was the encore and do the encore now. The band, the staff, and even the audience looked perplexed. After all, “I Know” was only the sixth song in the set and while many of the numbers in the set were fantastically extended (especially “Sleep to Dream” which was performed two songs later and included an full band jam ending session with Blake Mills shredding in an endlessly powerful, musically confrontational manner), it wasn’t enough. What she meant, as she held her hands out in front of her was that she was going to give the audience one minute to do whatever they wanted because it was the last show and it was her “last chance to be an idiot.” She continued along the experimental monologue charmingly and ended it with “you got sixty seconds and this is your song and this is the encore“. After a scream of “GO!” the shouts began. She laughed, she smiled, and while she stated she was doing it because the pause in “I Know” was interesting, it was apparent from the smirks on stage that she was having the time of her life. Happiness personified. It was an artist’s interaction between all herself aspects of the venue, bringing them together in a sense of unity.
“Tymps (The Sick in the Head Song)” followed in a rushed manner and dub-esque breakdown that ended in a more rocked manner, much like it has been performed in the entirety of the show and “Daredevil” off the new record The Idler Wheel… followed.
Though, it was the show’s ending number “Not About Love” of which floored the audience once more. Anyone who attended Apple’s Chicago show on the night of July 10th, 2012 knows the fury she can pack in the chorus of the song (click here to see what we’re talking about) and while she didn’t quite bring it to the volumes of that night, she did just fine. In fact, she continued the playful silent treatment to the audience by taking long pauses, even stopping to lay completely down on the piano’s stool (causing the entire band to heavily laugh, while waiting for the singer’s cue to continue through the song) in anticipation of more excitement and yells from the audience.
Afterward? She told the audience she loved them. Something she’s stated previously in interviews that she’s not used to comfortably stating. And oh, did she say it with pride, even looking into the eyes of the audience (and much to Kristen and my’s story, directly at the two of us).
Encore? Who needs one. She charged right into the gorgeous cover of Conway Twitty’s “It’s Only Make Believe,” left the stage, and that was that. Perfection and an optimistic Fiona Apple, glad to perform, but also glad to close the North American leg of the tour in support of her mid-2012 release.
Knowing Fiona Apple’s way of going about her artistic procedure, it may be a while before she’s back with new material and a new tour, but seeing The Idler Wheel.., which is one of the most well put together, stark, and fantastically written albums of 2012, and the rest of Apple’s best in a live setting is mesmerizing and enough for even the causal fan to be floored.
Fast as You Can
On the Bound
Anything We Want
Sleep to Dream
Tymps (The Sick in the Head Song)
Not About Love
It’s Only Make Believe
Opener Blake Mills delivered a great opening set with “It’ll All Work Out,” “Hey Lover,” and an tearjerking cover of Santo & Johnny’s “Sleep Walk” [his album Break Mirrors is available via Amazon. As well as a great stream on Spotify].
Photo courtesy of Swimforyourlife.net.