Fiona Apple at the Orpheum Theatre, 7/16/12

Categories: Last Night

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Photo by Steve Cohen

Fiona Apple
With Blake Mills

Orpheum Theatre, Minneapolis

Monday, July 16, 2012

From the moment she stepped on stage at the Orpheum, Fiona Apple seemed to be in her own special room in her head. Every song was a trance, a frenzied art piece that required her absolute conentration, and in between those songs Apple was nervous and jittery. Over the course of her 90-minute set, Apple took the nearly sold-out crowd through a spiraling staircase of emotions with her accordion voice.

Over the years, Apple has garnered a reputation for being something of an eccentric -- a slightly reclusive, edgy slip of a thing, who might be spooked off stage by the wrong sort of eye contact from an audience member.

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Photo by Steve Cohen

"Every single night's a fight with my brain," belted Apple during "Every Single Night." And it certainly seemed like Apple was fighting something throughout the show -- an internal struggle, a desire to run or scream or cry, maybe. But for an artist whose career has been made on her ultra-personal and borderline confessional music, the fact that she is this was is neither surprising nor discouraging -- and besides, despite appearances, she's not so fragile. Apple didn't even blink when some obnoxious heckler shouted something about her thick glasses -- right in the middle of the quiet and intense first verse of "Daredevil."

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Photo by Steve Cohen

"I can't see shit without my glasses," said Apple as she removed them after the song, seemingly to appease the heckler. For those that might expect Apple to flutter away should her tenuous grasp on her emotions be challenged, this very simple move said something different: Apple, anxious and awkward though she may be, is not afraid to be wholly vulnerable to her audience, or to anyone. As if her music isn't enough evidence of that.

Apple's sprite-like self was further anchored down on stage by her incredible backing band, including bassist Sebastian Steinberg and the notable Blake Mills on guitar (who was also her opener). Mills' burning, blistering guitar solo on "Tymps" sent Apple's sinuous body twisting and turning around her microphone stand, like a snake being charmed out of its basket. Apple wants to feel everything, as she proclaims on "Every Single Night," and she certainly doesn't have a problem letting herself.

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Photo by Steve Cohen

Of all the instruments on stage last night, there was none more extraordinary than Apple's voice. The artist's vocal chops were top form last night, her voice a quivering elastic force on "Anything We Want" and a howling, furious roar on "Criminal." As she sat in front of her piano for "On the Bound," she stroked the keys like she was petting a cat with feather-light touches and practically swallowed the microphone.



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14 comments
pandoraslocker1
pandoraslocker1

My brother and I were up on the floor's back left corner but didn't have obnxious people around me thank goodness, except for one girl who kept her phone and texting throughout the night. I did notice a strange amount of people getting up and going back and fourth, and I was thinking, why would you want to miss any of this?

 

Hope Fiona comes around again soon!

Joshuadale12
Joshuadale12

I was blown away by Fiona's performance. I have been a fan of hers since 1996. I have to admit I was VERY disappointed in the audience as well. I honestly tried my best to block out the drunk people behind me who would get up every 10 minutes!!!! The people in front of us and next to us were great though. I have never been to the Orpheum before but if I get the chance I will be going back. Fiona rocked her set beyond my expectations. Fiona is a true artist and I hope to see her again one day. I am hoping Fiona releases a live album in the future. If you picked up the deluxe edition of her new album it does include a bonus DVD of her performing some of her biggest hits. Thanks to the few people who actually had manners and acted their age!!!

N.
N.

She is known for being super unapologetic. Seems like she would also attract similar qualities in her fans.  I completely agree with this, if you are going to act like it in real life others around you will pick up on that..

Bradley Holtan
Bradley Holtan

agree, agree. Fiona and blake were AWESOME. The crowd (except us 15 that commented) was terrible. I couldn't be believe it. I wanted to be greedy and tape a bunch so i could re-live such an awesome and expensive experience over and over, but those Orpheum workers were not messing around! Fiona rocked the live versions of all those songs so much, I am feeling cheated now each time I listen to the CDs. Does anyone know if any of that audio got captured monday night? I would pay $50 to get a cd of that concert! Worth the wait!

HotelDesperado
HotelDesperado

I think I was sitting right next to you... were these obnoxious girls repeatedly saying, "Is this real life?" And singing along with almost ALL the songs? I wanted to turn around and say, "Why don't you just let her sing her own songs?"

HotelDesperado
HotelDesperado

That asshole yelled, "Take your glasses off!" during the soft and slow "I Know" from When the Pawn (not "Daredevil." If it was during "Daredevil," no one would've heard it). It was very much heard...and it was fucking embarrassing.

Bobbi
Bobbi

Fiona was fantastic, a true pro. 10-4 regarding the audience. We were floor middle section. A girl two rows ahead of us tried taking photos, and an usher came up and yelled at length for her to stop. It was *awesome*, and well deserved. Unfortunately, it didn't deter her, as she began snapping more pictures about a half hour later. The hecklers were the worst. I had to ask my husband, "Did somebody actually yell they hated her?" because I thought maybe I heard wrong. Oh, and "Take-Off-Your-Glasses" guy? You're lucky she didn't walk off and end the show right then. Her glasses in no way diminish her beauty. Go watch "Criminal" on YouTube if you can't handle her in person. Bunch of savages in this town. We really enjoyed Blake Mills. The whole band was excellent, and their cover of "Sleepwalk" was amazing. We clapped sincerely for their efforts. A shame the crowd couldn't just sit still for five minutes and listen.

ryanpederson
ryanpederson

Yes people were getting up constantly!  I think it was the boyfriend effect.  Guys who were there because of their girlfriend and didn't care about the show.  There were drunk people all around me who talked loudly during the Blake Mills show and then continued to chat  it up during Fiona's set as well (which was louder so they couldn't be heard as much, luckily).   Even photographers were clicking DSLRs during Blake Mills entire set.   Thank god Fiona's set was so mesmerizing and totally made up for everything.

ryanpederson
ryanpederson

The crowd was truly awful.  The guy yelled out "Take off your glasses!".  It was really interesting that she followed through with this request.  There were drunk people everywhere talking throughout every song.  For the amount of money per ticket I found this strange.  I saw Bon Iver last year at Pantages and everyone was sober.  Same with Fleet Foxes at State Theater.  Weird, weird crowd.

Courtney Kupsch
Courtney Kupsch

Still reeling from her performance and Blake Mills IS "toe curling". SO agree about the crowd. Can't believe how many people felt the need to talk and get up during the show multiple times, rude. Chris, I think I was sitting near you, almost asked two women to leave as well. They talked throughout Blake Mills opening act, despite multiple glares, shhhhhhh's and stfu's. Idiots.

Polly G
Polly G

Wow...say more.. Genius behind the computer..

g.
g.

Fiona's fans just seem like they're taking their cues from her...

Michael Danko
Michael Danko

The crowd was terrible. At one point someone near me yelled "I hate you" to Fiona. I am not sure if this was an attept at humor or not. Either way it was not funny. Fiona was unbelievable. I couldn't have asked for a better show and her band was fantastic.

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