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« 2012 Lollapalooza Secret Sale "Happening This Week" SXSW 2012 Tour Diary: Jip Jop, Day 4 and a Wrap Up »

Concert Tue Mar 20 2012

Fiona Apple Soothes Sold Out Masses @ Lincoln Hall

Fiona Apple at Lincoln Hall Monday night (photos by Stephanie Griffin)

Fiona Apple probably only needed to show up and stand on the stage with her tank top, long skirt, and combat boots and a sea of adoring fans would have been pretty content. What the packed house at Lincoln Hall was treated to on Monday night, however, was an intimate (though brief) show by the emotional singer. Apple played for just under an hour, but she hit almost every high point from her last three albums, while providing some glimpses into her upcoming new one, The Idler Wheel is wiser than the Driver of the Screw, and Whipping Cords will serve you more than Ropes will ever do (Epic - release date TBA).

Armored in her classic mid-'90s outfit (she could have been keeping it in storage since 1996 when Tidal came out) and rocking some seriously enviable arm muscles, Apple wrapped some of her long hair up off her face and half-engaged, half-ignored (half hid from?) the sea of eager fans at her feet. Her openers "Fast As You Can," "On the Bound" and "Paper Bag" wound the crowd up and brought out some professions of love (which the songstress politely acknowledged and demurred). The sing-a-longs continued through "Mistake" and then came to a hushed halt (quite literally) when Apple went into the first of three new songs, "Anything We Want," with a length of copper pipe in her hand as supplemental percussion. Her next song was a very quiet number (more loud "SHHHH"'s from the audience who demanded full attention from their neighbors) titled "Valentine" which has a haunting refrain, "I root for you / I love you," that's still stuck in my head.

A few more tried-and-true songs followed with "Sleep To Dream" and "Extraordinary Machine" where Apple gathered up some giddy energy to perform a small right leg flip action throughout the tune. Her last new song was "Every Single Night" which has a bit of a guttural, undulating "brraaaaaaaain" that must test her vocal strength that late in the show. Followed by "Carrion" which garnered some of the loudest applause of the night, and finally with "Criminal." The set wrapped up with Apple removing her in-ear monitors and winding them up while the band played out the end notes of the song. There was no encore, and we all left the venue no more than an hour after the show had started.

By all reports so far, Apple consistently seems to be gathering up her energy with each show she performs. Reports from SXSW of her growling, emotional, face-contorting singing style were all confirmed last night in Chicago, with the added aspect of her frequent retreats behind the side of her on-stage piano. At first it looked to me (and to the side-stage sound man) that she was getting ill on stage, but it seemed to just be a place of recovery that Apple felt a need to get to during some of the longer instrumental interludes (performed handily by the band she brought on tour). While Apple seemed genuinely surprised and charmed by the love-soaked response she received last night, she also appeared emotionally spent at the end of the hour, and no one really questioned that we had seen our share, and it was time to go home now.

Fiona Apple at Lincoln Hall Monday night (photos by Stephanie Griffin)

Apple's setlist from Monday night didn't vary in the slightest from what she'd already performed down in Austin at SXSW, and while I would have loved to hear her perform "Shadowboxer" or perhaps a few more new tunes, her choices were apt ones, and the crowd was satiated (for now). Previous coverage of her shows at SXSW offer up some crowd-sourced video for her new songs (if you happened to take some video from Chicago, let us know in the comments). Links are below.

Fiona Apple at Lincoln Hall, March 19th, 2012 - Setlist:

Fast as You Can
On the Bound
Paper Bag
Anything We Want*
Sleep to Dream
Extraordinary Machine
Every Single Night*

(* denotes new, unreleased song)

Fiona Apple at Lincoln Hall Monday night (photos by Stephanie Griffin)

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

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  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
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Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
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