Fiona Apple and Blake Mills, Mesa Arts Center, 9/18/12

Categories: Last Night

Melissa Fossum
See more photos in the full Fiona Apple slideshow.

Fiona Apple and Blake Mills @ Mesa Arts Center|Tuesday, September 18
Singer/songwriter Fiona Apple has a reputation. Her public struggles with fame and her label give the impression that a Fiona Apple performance could fall apart at any moment.

But it never came close last night at Mesa Arts Center. Not when Apple was plumbing her emotional depths, not when she was muttering about her label not spending money on her new record, The Idler Wheel, not when she was discussing what "small-titted" girls can do with extra bra padding, not when she was cackling maniacally from behind her piano. No, Apple was in charge the whole time, though the crowd seemed willing to follow her anywhere she wanted to go.

See also: The Full Fiona Apple @ Mesa Arts Center Slideshow
See also: Fiona Apple Knows the Secret's in the (Obsessive) Details
See also: Blake Mills: Fiona Apple's Guitarist Makes Killer Pop on His Own

Melissa Fossum
See more photos in the full Fiona Apple slideshow.
Apple's guitarist Blake Mills opened the evening with a set of subdued country soul. His 2010 record, Break Mirrors, is a more full-bodied pop album, but the opening slot found him complementing his songs with jazz and countrypolitan licks, his voice warm and present.

He was joined by bassist Sebastian Steinberg and drummer Amy Wood, and the two brought sparks to "Don't Tell Our Friends About Me," and a stunning slide-guitar rendition of Santo & Johnny's classic "Sleepwalk" (complete with a La Bamba-referencing intro, which led to at least one music critic shamelessly doing the "Richie! Not my Richie!" thing in his seat).

Mills got a chance to really flash his style once Apple sashayed on stage. Wearing a black maxi-dress with a tied-on magenta skirt, she looked something like a ballet teacher. She wasted no time getting raw, opening up with the funky "Fast As You Can," her 1999 single from When the Pawn...

The band was outstanding, backing up Apple's croons and shrieks, fading in and out of intense walls of sound. Drummer Wood could be barely there, like on the intro of "Paper Bag," or crashing and thundering. The band practically exploded during "Sleep to Dream," which found Mills soloing with Marc Ribot-fronts-OK Computer-era Radiohead abandon. It was awesome, and Apple heartily agreed, stomping around the stage and smiling.

Location Info


Ikeda Theater at Mesa Arts Center

1 E. Main St., Mesa, AZ

Category: General

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