Fiona Apple & Blake Mills played Bowery Ballroom (pics)
photos by Ryan Muir
Fiona Apple @ Bowery Ballroom - 3/26/2012
"During [the Music Hall of Williamsburg] show Ms. Apple moved between the microphone at center stage and a piano off to the side with an array of votive candles on top. Slender and toned, she wore a green tank top; her muscles spoke loudly as her body moved in precise ways on each song. On "Paper Bag" she held her hand tight against her stomach, muscles flexing, as she swayed side to side ever so slightly. During "Sleep to Dream" she stretched up against the piano like a cat, yawning with her frame.
These were careful maneuvers that played as a contrast to Ms. Apple's voice, which can be raspy and slithery and unhinged when she so chooses. Her band -- Blake Mills on guitar, Sebastian Steinberg [of Soul Coughing] on bass and Amy Wood on drums -- matched that range, creating a vivid and flexible noise that veered from gnarled rock to dirty blues. Mr. Mills, in particular, was intense, coaxing lust and anguish from his instrument." [NY Times]
Fiona Apple played Bowery Ballroom last night (3/26). It was almost the same hour-length setlist as the Music Hall of Williamsburg show, set-closing cover of "It's Only Make-Believe" included. The most (only?) notable difference was her choice/not-choice to play Beatles song "Across the Universe" 2nd to last (after "Criminal"). It was on the Music Hall setlist, but she didn't play it in Brooklyn. In Manhattan she played it only after a fun argument with Blake Mills who started playing the first notes (without her permission?)... I couldn't fully get what she was mad/fake-mad at him about, but regardless, she played it and it was great. In fact, the whole show was great from start to finish. Music Hall wasn't bad, but Fiona was in top shape for Bowery - her voice seemed so much more on this time, and she delivered in a huge way from start to finish.
Fiona returns to NYC to play Governors Ball in June. Meanwhile she plays Boston tonight.
Here are some pictures from the Bowery show. More of them below...