Saturday night bought Fiona Apple for a much, much awaited stop to St Louis. After seeing her at an incredible, rambunctious, intimate show at Lincoln Hall in Chicago in March, it was bit of a change to see her at such a grand, formal stage as the Peabody Opera House. No matter, she still conquered the stage.
I guess titling this post as a concert gallery is a misnomer because I did not take a single picture or video of the performance. Call this a concert review then. I was lucky enough to get tickets for the second row of orchestra pit and since I already took a bunch of pictures at the Chicago show, I decided to leave the camera in my pocket and try to immerse the whole five senses of myself into the concert experience as much as possible. To get lost in Fiona.
I made no bones about my love for Fiona Apple, and this show only deepened my love for her. From the opening chords of Fast As You Can, when she came bounding onto stage, pent up with restless energy (she kept playing with her hair band and hipster-ish glasses the whole night)- to playfully pounding the piano during On The Bound, Fiona was zoned in from the start. Her vocals were perfect. They cried out. And they tore my heart to pieces.
I can’t count how many times I got goosebumps during the show, but a couple of moments stood out especially. There was Fiona on the piano singing Get Gone, my single favorite Fiona song, singing with all the passion and heartbreak that I never knew. There was that pregnant pause during I Know, where the whole theater was so hushed up you could hear a pin drop – so reverent and anticipatory of what she will sing next. And then there’s the standing ovation-worthy Not About Love, the song that Fiona completely mastered and destroyed – vocals and piano – during it’s performance. Clearly exhausted but still giddy with excitement, Fiona flopped down in the middle of the stage at the end of her encore, a wide smile on her beaming face.
In the end, this St Louis show – so grand and respectful – was on the complete opposite side of the spectrum from the crazy Chicago show. Very different but still entirely perfect. Before this year, I never saw Fiona Apple, one of my all time favorite artists, live before. And now, I have seen her twice. So crazy.
There’s nothing wrong when a song ends in a minor key. Fiona Apple McAfee Maggart, you slayed my soul again.