After spending half the last decade walking the bungalows of Venice Boulevard, Fiona Apple has now played New York three times this year—and each time the petite, pot-loving artist has been better than the last. While her first show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in March was tentative (but awesome), her appearances in June around her latest album release were more authoritative. And last night when the former New Yorker finished up a sold-out, two-night appearance at Terminal 5, she seemed not only to own the stage, but to also be having a great time doing it. No meltdowns to see here folks.
After a relaxed and entertaining opening set by her touring guitarist Blake Mills (his closing cover, with the rest of Apple's band, of "Sleepwalk" by Santo & Johnny was particularly great), Apple came out and got right to business. Dressed in a long striped dress with a pink belt and a slit up the side (the better to show off her long legs), her set was a no-nonsense, no chit-chat affair. We weren't complaining, and neither was Apple's ex Jonathan Ames, who could be seen in the VIP balcony shouting out "bravisimo!" over the roar of the crowd after nearly every song. Sadly Apple did not play "Jonathan," her song about Ames, but she did play many fan favorites including "Paper Bag," "Shadowboxer," "Anything We Want" and "Extraordinary Machine."
If you want a taste of what you missed, here's Apple performing "Paper Bag" on Tuesday night (with backup vocals from the audience—who seem unable to not sing-a-long whenever she performs that song):