July 5, 2012
Jam
Music
      Artists A-Z
      Album Reviews
      Concert Reviews
      Concert Listings
      Pop Encyclopedia
      Music Blog

Movies
Television
Video
Theatre
Books
Country
Celebrities



Video Gallery
RSS Feed

SJP

Concert Review: Fiona Apple

Sound Academy, Toronto, July 4, 2012
By Jason MacNeil, QMI Agency


Fiona Apple performs on the opening night of a tour at the Roseland Theater in Portland, Oregon, in this file photo. (REUTERS/Richard Clement/Files)

TORONTO - After 90 minutes Wednesday evening at Toronto's Sound Academy, Fiona Apple mustered a mere “thank you” and “this is the encore.”

Yet the lack of interaction with the attentive audience was made up for by a performance that was totally eye and ear catching.

The singer, who gained notoriety as a teen with her 1996 debut album Tidal, was a wave of different emotions throughout her 17-song set, rarely standing still but seemingly always in control of songs which are equal parts soul, jazz and pop.

Part of the allure with Apple also lies in the unpredictability of her shows despite a set that has remained rather rigid throughout this tour behind The Idler Wheel.... From her interpretive dancing during the ballsy, strutting Sleep To Dream to the quirkier, Tom Waits-ish Extraordinary Machine, the waif-like artist never fell off the rails.

If there was one lone drawback it might have been when she pushed her voice to its limits, occasionally moving from a hushed Norah Jones or PJ Harvey-like tone to a far raspier delivery which could've spelled disaster. This was almost the case on Shadowboxer before she reined things in.

Thankfully, Apple kept it together by using her new album as a complement to the set, not overloading the gig with new material. After the tempo-changing Fast As You Can with its strobe lighting got the crowd's attention, Apple took a swig of water and went straight into the next song, this time the bluesy, jazz-influenced On The Bound.


Moving occasionally to her piano on the right hand side of the stage, the singer fed off her tight but adventurous five-piece supporting cast including a drummer and percussionist. This was particularly true on Paper Bag and the moody, groove-riddled Get Gone, two of five numbers she performed from 1999's When The Pawn...

When she didn't push the issue or her pipes to their peak, Apple was more than aurally appealing. Anything We Want was solid as was the gorgeous I Know, the latter a wistful ballad backed by a sweet, sparse arrangement which earned a loud ovation.

Given that Apple isn't exactly a road warrior in terms of regular touring, Apple managed to mix all four albums together fairly well. By the time she threw herself into the warped lullaby feel of Every Single Night, she could do no wrong. Even dropping down or crouching at the conclusion of some tunes was met with great applause.

Following Not About Love which she belted out portions to, the 34-year-old singer concluded the 16-song main set with the combination of a country-hued Carrion and the almost radio-friendly Criminal.

By this time Apple and crew were caked in sweat, so all decided against the usual leave-then-return encore schtick. An eclectic rendition of the late Conway Twitty's It's Only Make Believe ended a very real, dazzling gig.

SETLIST

Fast As You Can

On The Bound

Shadowboxer

Paper Bag

Anything We Want

Get Gone

Sleep To Dream

Extraordinary Machine

Werewolf

Tymps (The Sick In The Head Song)

Daredevil

I Know

Every Single Night

Not About Love

Carrion

Criminal

It's Only Make Believe (Conway Twitty)


More Concert Reviews



HOT MUSIC HEADLINES
Q & A with the Arctic Monkeys
Selena Gomez swears, storms off stage at Jingle Ball
R. Kelly: 'I met my match in Lady Gaga'
Rebecca Black debuts 'Friday' follow-up
Jay Z, Drake earn top Grammy nominations
Ed Sheeran paid his dues for singer-songwriter success
CD reviews: Bad Religion, Erasure and Nick Lowe top Christmas albums
Drake pulls out of Grammy's concert
How Christina Aguilera got her groove back
The most iconic '90s videos
More Headlines
Britney Spears ponders retirement after Las Vegas residency
Kanye West plays to half-empty arena in Kansas City
Our top Grammy nomination picks
Hilary Duff preparing for pop comeback
Gucci Mane faces gun charges
Lady Gaga announces Canadian tour
Katy Perry, John Mayer pose together in 'Who You Love' cover art
A semi ‘Orange is the New Black’ holiday special
Reggae legend Junior Murvin dies at 67
Rza pays tribute to Paul Walker through song

Latest Blog Posts
Stranglers on The Met's Punk exhibit: "Cringey, creepy."¯
Don’t expect British punk vets The Stranglers to be running to see the The Metropolitan Museum in New York’s new exhibit Punk: Chaos To Couture, on til mid-August. “That’s a bit cringey really, it’s a bit creepy,” said ... Read more
Arctic Monkeys announce new album
Sheffield rockers Arctic Monkeys are jumping back into the rock ‘n roll fray with a brand new album. The disc, simply titled AM, will be released on September 10, and includes 11 new tracks. James Ford, who produced their last three records, including ... Read more
Beyonce books two more Canadian dates
We may need to refer to her as the hardest working mom in showbiz. Pop superstar Beyonce has added an additional 14 dates to her already jam-packed Mrs. Carter Show World Tour itinerary, and it includes two Canadian stops. The new leg kicks off on November ... Read more
More blog postings

Latest videos
See more videos


Who's coming and when
Want to know when your favourite band is coming to town? Check out Clive, JAM Music's extensive Canadian concert listings.

TV Listings
Wondering what's on tonight? Check out our TV listings for the complete schedule in your area.
Movie Listings
Find out what's playing at a theatre near you.








Do you think Kanye West should have the book thrown at him for fighting with a photographer?
Yes
No


Results | Story