Fiona Apple & Blake Mills played the Bank of America Theatre (pics, review, setlist)
by Jenn Ross
Fiona Apple @ Bank of America Theatre on 10/15/2013 (more by Cory Dewald)
Apple shocked the crowd when she arrived without her signature flowing locks and donned a short, new 'do--something that seemed to be a nervous point of hers as she eventually pulled it back and acknowledged the change with the open-ended comment "so anyway, my hair..." Her sunk-in face and waifish body looked fragile, catching shadows from the simple stage lights, yet somehow she always seems so indestructible. Not so indestructible that she couldn't joke about her history, humorously quipping, "How am I supposed to have my meltdown? I don't do Twitter..."
As always, she sounded amazing. Soulful melodies pulled from the deepest caverns and canyons that construct her anatomy. Picking away at her most recent album, The Idler Wheel..., as well as pulling out some goodies from the closet, she joined forces with longtime collaborator and tourmate Blake Mills on "The First Taste," "Regret," and a cover of Conway Twitty's "It's Only Make Believe." Mills was an effective addition to the stage, as he appeared to balance her nerves, picking up with his own songs when she seemed at wits end. When they combined efforts, Apple accompanying delicately on the piano or acting as a back-up vocalist, he proved his worth.
A lot of artists have their schtick--be it via appearance, reputation, whatnot--but I have to say that Fiona Apple is true to herself and the music. This was not an act or a gimmick--I could actually feel her anxiety, depression, and pain as she made her way through "Every Single Night," gripping the mic-stand to stabilize herself while her soul convulsed through the tune. As the night moved along she seemed entranced in different approaches to percussion, often using her own body as a source of sound. The effect was a subtle beat picked up behind her vocals as she tapped her neck, thighs, and torso in ways that seemed like an even release of emotion and harmony.
As she sipped from a teacup and approached the mic to take on "Anything We Want," her voice shook and we were all able to join her as she swelled from near whispers and whines to come back with ferocious vengeance. The highs and lows throughout the songs, as well as her banter throughout the performance, really seemed to draw everyone in.
A full set of pictures from Apple and Mills' 10/15 performance can be found at BrooklynVegan. Head below for a peek at their complete Chicago setlist...
Fiona Apple -- 10/15 Bank of America Theatre Setlist:
The First Taste
Every Single Night
Anything We Want
It'll All Work Out
I Want You to Love Me
It's Only Make Believe (Conway Twitty cover)
Don't Tell Our Friends About Us
Waltz (Better Than Fine)