Fiona Apple

The Joint, Sept. 15

As cheers greeted the familiar rapid drums on the opening of “Fast as You Can,” Fiona Apple emerged onstage looking like Cinderella in a long skirt, head kerchief and ratty spaghetti tank. Still sounding as angry and angst-y as she did in the mid ’90s, Apple hopped on piano toward the end of the song, banging away at the keys as if her life depended on it.

Apple set the tone for a plethora of older super-fan favorites, including “On the Bound” and “Shadowboxer.” Except in true Fiona fashion, she chose to avoid her biggest hit, “Criminal.” Apple was like a sweet, tortured bird as she sprinkled in selections from her latest release (“Anything We Want” and “Periphery”). Her emotional vocals were powerful, but when wrapped up in the heat of the moment merged into warbled overkill. Switching between piano and center stage, Apple cursed the video screens. “I hate you things,” she lamented. “Watch me not look for the rest of the fucking night.” She squinted her eyes shut as she poured out her heart.

“I can’t believe you’re in Vegas and you’re that fucking polite,” she thanked the audience in her own strange way before an orgasmic communion with her grand piano on “Not About Love.”

“I don’t wanna go offstage and come back, so this is the encore,” she warned, ending the night with a commanding cover of Conway Twitty’s “It’s Only Make Believe.” ★★★☆☆

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