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.
As always, this summer’s line-up at The Greek has been exceptional. I’m really excited about this next giveaway and am launching it early so that we can run it longer, giving you more opportunities to win!
One lucky Rock Is A Girl’s Best Friend reader will win a pair of tickets to see Grizzly Bear and Lower Dens, at The Greek Theatre LA on Wednesday October 10. Here’s what you need to know to enter:
The contest begins now and ends at 11:59pm EST September 22, 2012
You will see there are several ways you can enterand you can get additional entries for each thing you choose to do. You can follow us, tweet about us, like us on Facebook, and more. ENTER NOW
Winner (1) will be selected by random.org and notified via email on September 23, 2012. Winners will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected
Your tickets will be available for pick up at Will Call at The Greek Theatre on the evening of the show
Transportation and accommodations not included
About Grizzly Bear:
Grizzly Bear will release their first album in three years on September 18 via Warp Records. Recorded over the better part of a year, Shields represents the band’s most charged and concise collection of music to date and follows 2009’s critical and commercial breakthrough, Veckatimest. Preview the track “Sleeping Ute” here: http://bit.ly/KepO2h
Veckatimest debuted at #8 on the Billboard 200 and #1 on the Billboard Indie chart in 2009, and was one of the year’s most lauded releases. It ranked #1 on the NPR Listener’s Poll and Top 10 on year-end lists in The New York Times, Time Magazine, Pitchfork, SPIN, The Village Voice’s Pazz & Jop Poll, and many more. In March 2012, The Wall Street Journal’s Jim Fusilli declared it “one of the best rock discs of this century so far.”
About Lower Dens:
Based out of Baltimore, MD, Lower Dens is one of many side projects from singer/songwriter Jana Hunter. Hunter is also joined by guitaristWill Adams, bassist Geoff Graham, and drummer Abram Sanders. Together, the freak folk quartet has a sound that is psychedelic and murky, embodying the experimental nature of the Baltimore music scene with songs that are equal parts reverb-drenched folk and swirling ambience. After playing a string of house shows, Lower Dens went into the studio to record their first album with Chris Freeland (of Oxesfame). In 2010, the band released its full-length debut, Twin-Hand Movement, on Devendra Banhart’s Gnomonsong label. In the months that followed the group would refine their sound through touring and experimentation. Sanders stepped down as drummer in 2011, replaced by Nate Nelson. The band was also filled out with additional guitarist/keyboardist Carter Tanton. This expanded version of the band returned in 2012 with sophomore album, Nootropics. (All Music)
For “official” information about The Greek Theatre, you can check out their website, but here’s my take: The Greek Theatre is one of my all-time favorite music venues. Start to finish, The Greek Theatre is an EXPERIENCE! You can get there early, picnic, and drink wine. If you don’t mind a walk, you can park on Vermont and enjoy the walk to and from the venue. If you’re reading Rock Is A Girl’s Best Friend, chances are you’re not the type to leave the show early, so you can take the easy route and commit to the stacked parking option. The venue is beautiful, outdoors, surrounded by trees. The sound is impeccable. I’ve seen some of my favorite shows at The Greek and I’m very excited to share these opportunities with you.
Last night I had the honor of attending a private performance by The Stone Foxes at Swing House Studios in Los Angeles. It was an intimate gathering, during which the band previewed some new songs from their forthcoming album, along with some old favorites.
I wish more bands did this. What I mean by “this” is: consistently come from a place of complete authenticity. As I described when I last wrote about The Stone Foxes, there was no “hard sell”; no pleas to tell the world. In fact, it’s quite possible I’m not supposed to be covering this show – that wasn’t its intention. This was a party, a gathering of friends, and a celebration of music. The band only made one plea: “have a drink with us.”
Everything about the night was an expression of what music can do in its purest form. I’ve been paying close attention to The Stone Foxes for the past year and am continually impressed by what they do through their music, their performance, and how they connect with and build a community of friends who are proud to call themselves “fans”.
Here are a couple of the old favorites they played last night. You’ll have a chance to hear some new songs the next time you see them live or when their 3rd album comes out; whichever happens first. Current tour dates: http://thestonefoxes.com/shows/