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When I saw Fiona Apple Before She Turned Into Willie Nelson

Last night, on Fiona Apple's tourbus:
 
*plays Bob Marley*
 
FIONA:  And then I was like, Tori Amos, Bjork wasn't on bath salts and didn't try to eat your face, that's just how people in Iceland express affection.
 
RANDOM MUSICIAN DUDE:  Oh, cool. *hands huge pumpkin they are smoking hashish out of* You should give that a good go and we can watch QVC and make impractical purchases together.
 
FIONA:  Sounds good to me. God, where are we?
 
RANDOM MUSICIAN DUDE:  I dunno. New Mexico?
 
FIONA:  Ugh. I can't wait to buy another juicer in an hour. *smokes the hashish*
 
(is it apparent I am not really big on this "vice?" haha. you kids and your hydroponics!)
 
 
Hours later...

THE TEXAS RANGER, AS PLAYED BY BILLY BOB THORNTON:  Ma'am, can we search  your bus? You, being a white woman who is a cult pop star, seem suspicious.

FIONA:  Yeah, but don't judge me for all the juicers. They just happened.

RANGER:  Why are your eyes so red? Have you gone to Chuck E Cheese lately?

FIONA:  ....

and the rest is TMZ history. Freeeeeeeeeeeee Fiona!

II. Mesa, AZ, 9/18

After work, I hurried to my apt and then to Mesa to see this show that I have been dreaming about since I was 14 or 15. It felt like a little Christmas! I mean I always fantasized but I never thought it'd materialize. For as much as I look up and relate to her, I also feel she is a larger than life figure. So seeing her live wasn't like, seeing Feist or St. Vincent or Lykke Li. They all felt like, not that much different then me, though.  

Although my enthusiasm was a little moot that evening, long busride and all. And I was tired and blind because up until this afternoon I had seriously lost my glasses. So when I say I saw Fiona Apple I mean "I saw an orb." I mean like I thought a speaker was her at one point.

IKEDA Theater was one cool venue! It's in Mesa, which I guess is like Columbus in the desert. I mean I don't mind Mesa but parts of it are quite rundown and sad and abandoned, so I guess it reminds me of home! And also this was my virgin voyage into downtown Mesa, which seemed kind of neat. Also- every other concertgoer was RIDICULOUSLY attractive. Everyone there was beautiful, dear god. :O

Blake Mills opened the show. My old roommate is all about Blake Mills but he hasn't sold me yet- he sounds promising, but eh. He reminds me of M. Ward and I can only take so much M. Ward. I got there as he closed his set and befriended the old lady ushers who were like "YOU CAN'T GO IN UNTIL THIS BOY PUTS HIS GUITAR. IS HE DOING THAT? NO?" It's also worth mentioning how I misread the venue map in June and bought tickets up near the back. Like, in the way back. So I had a row to myself, yeah? Me and the ushers that shook their heads the whole time and clucked disapproval. Like really? You could be listening to dubstep. Lighten up fools! The best part about Blake Mills, though, was his La Bamba impression. He seems really talented, just not my bag (of hashish) at the moment.

See photos hurr.

So we had an about average intermission and THEN Fiona walked onto the stage and the crowd really went insane. Like, for such a good-looking group of people, they showered her with adoration. Not one song finished and some girl was not screaming in the back "Fionaaaaaa we love youuuuuuuuu!" (it wasn't me! I did clap and wave and cry at several moments though)

The next 90 minutes were intense, beginning with (ohmaigod) "Fast As You Can." She barely spoke to us- and Fiona has the reputation of being this loose cannon when it comes to her live performances; she has stormed off a stage in tears once- and really, she seems like kind of a delicate girl, let her have her "reefer" if she needs it- and never returned. So I was crossing my fingers and I'm sure others were too that she was in a good mood. Was she?
...


 Um. Yes. She was playful and at ease and dancing very primal. Yes, she scared the shit out of me in "Not About Love" when she hollered and the instruments went crazy and the lights went as to induce seizures to reflect the dark energy that was hmm everywhere. But she sweetened it up afterwards by giving us a neurotic rant about boobs and shoes. And when she spoke, my heart melted.

I was surprised though by how little of Idler Wheel made an appearance. Like- she glossed over a lot and seemed to opt for material from When the Pawn, which is one of my favorite albums ever. "Get Gone" went down so well I had tears streaming down my face. (also I'm reading the New Times review and I guess I hallucinated). And she did not play "Criminal," which I applaud, really.

The only nitpicky things I have to say was a.) she messed up her lyrics a lot. And I know this because I have her discography memorized. But she improved very well and her voice was on the ball. And also I was no fan of how "I Know" was live. "Shadowboxer" was slowed down to like honey (haha, get it, "Slow Like Honey") pacing, but "I Know" was just. :/

I saw Joanna Newsom live in 2010 and this show reminded me a lot of Joanna. A lot a lot. I just wanted to mention that somewhere.

"Anything We Want" was another great moment. Immaculate, really! Her band was right there with her, bringing its weird sexual energy to life. I think that song has classic potential; I have spent many walks home air-pianoing it like I was fingering a porcupine (invisible). Also, "Werewolf?" The screaming children chorus made me cower a bit in person! No "Valentine" or "Hot Knife," however.

And she came off as very gracious and sweet between songs, bowing her head a little to murmur her thanks, although ALL I COULD SEE WAS A BLUR OF FLESH.

Also:  Blake Mills, when he was guitaring for her? He was incredible. His solos were....just unexpected!

There was no encore. At around 10 pm, she ran off the stage and the lights went back on. I have never pined for a singer more after a show- it was really all too short. But even so, I'm so glad this evening happened. This girl is one of the best singer-songwriters of our time, no doubt, hashish or no hashish.

After the show, I felt bleak and exhilarated, and while waiting for my cab home, maced a cockroach.

Kostenlos Fiona!

 

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