Still Raising Her Own Hell.

2 07 2012

Fiona Apple at Boston’s Wang Theater

When Fiona Apple’s debut record, Tidal, was released in 1996, I was a mere sixteen years old, wallowing in a mixture of self-pity, misery, and confusion… much like most teenagers of the 90s. We were all Angela Chase looking for someone to give a voice to our ebbing and flowing emotions.  Tidal quickly became the soundtrack for my angsty teen years.

Flash-forward roughly sixteen years. Calling the world “bullshit” during a 1997 MTV award acceptance speech, her letter to Bill Magee,  and the “Free Fiona” campaign surrounding Extraordinary Machine seem like a lifetime ago. A superstitious person (albeit one with impeccable taste in music) would find some sort of connection between my age at the time Tidal was released and the amount of time to pass until I would have the opportunity to see her live.

Still seething with raw emotion, Fiona took to the stage at Boston’s Wang Theater this past Saturday, June 30th. The set opener was “Fast As You Can” which she sang through gritted teeth. From our seats (6th row, center), there was no mistaking the distinct pouting lips, cheekbones that could cut glass, and the cords in her neck straining as she delved into what would be an amazing performance. “Sleep to Dream” would see the waif-like siren pulling on her hair (which would alternate between being tied back in a ponytail and hanging loose past her shoulders) and writhing around like a beautifully broken marionette.

Artists like Fiona Apple and the show she put on this past weekend could be seen as signs that perhaps the music industry hasn’t been completely lost to an assembly line of commercialism and frivolity. Her ability to fuel her craft with complete passion and brutal honesty may be a dying art form but I would, without a doubt, wait another sixteen years to experience it again if I had to.





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