I’ve heard some people say, “Fiona Apple goes crazy on stage!” I wouldn’t call it crazy; I’d call it entranced. Apple is completely overcome by the music when she performs. The reason it may feel “crazy” is that people are not accustomed to experiencing that. In fact, much of the time, society requests we “keep it down,” hold it in, smile when we want to cry.
Seeing Fiona Apple live broadens my perspective each time. Not only is every show different, every moment is different. Her shows are real and alive, unpredictable by nature, and dependable in quality. They transform, evolve, and shape-shift around you.
There’s a set list, but you can go to every show and you won’t hear Apple do a song the same way twice. It’s the rawness, the realness, the aliveness that fans connect with.
The show envelops you. It’s as if you’ve arrived at a civilized dinner party, but when you raise your hand to knock, you realize the door is wide open. Welcome. There aren’t any elaborate light shows or over-the-top sets. What’s before you during a Fiona Apple show is: music.
Apple has a way of spontaneously moving notes through her vocal range, making them sound so perfect, it’s as if that’s how the song was always intended. I don’t imagine “always” is a concept Apple is too attached to. The songs are sung as they are intended, moment by moment.
Seemingly aware that their voices would likely not match Apple’s, there was only one crowd singalong, fan-initiated: “Happy Birthday”. Apple’s birthday was the night prior to her show at The Greek. The audience’s appreciation for and celebration of Fiona Apple’s life was felt as authentically as the show itself.
It was an abnormally warm summer night, even by LA’s standards. At times Apple would grab a fistful of ice. As she sang, water poured through her hands, along with the songs.
Fiona Apple fans have grown accustomed to waiting long periods of time between album releases and tours. It’s not their preference, but fans “get it”. It’s easy to imagine executives at the record label each time Apple delivers a new album, wearily gazing at one another, shoulders shrugged, as if to say “What are we supposed to do with this?! This doesn’t fit our model.”
That’s precisely why it works. There is nobody like Fiona Apple.