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Story and photos by Dave VaculaFiona Apple, the twisted poet, the singer/songwriter, the vegan who doesn't preach, hit the stage with full force on Monday evening at Lincoln Hall in Chicago. The mood she created from the get go was intense and personal and never wavered throughout the evening. As Apple paced the stage aggressively, she seemed to pour every ounce of her energy into her performance. She danced wildly while visually bearing the depths of her soul. Her attitude and demeanor are a little bizarre, slightly frightening, but totally enthralling at the same time. That's what makes her such an amazing performer. She buzzed through the 50 minute set rather quickly while barely making eye contact with the crowd. She seems to perform for herself as much as for her audience.
Choosing songs from each of her albums and a few new tunes from her upcoming record to be released in June - The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw, and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do, Fiona displayed a keen diversity. Her eclectic and experimental rock style is a combination of rock, jazz, soul and blues that touch on all without committing to any. Her clever pop tunes touch on emotional instability, vulnerability and wrongful decisions with a twist of raw urgency and a rhythmic jazz sensibility. "Fast As You Can" set the tone for the evening followed by "On the Bound" "Paper Bag," and of course, "Then Mistake" which predictably was a crowd favorite. Two new songs "Anything We Want" and "Valentine" displayed a simple, but raw beauty. "Sleep to Dream," "Every Single Night," "Carrion" and "Criminal" closed out the performance followed by an encoreless quick exit by Apple. As she left the stage she said "I love you very, very much, goodbye I'm leaving" - then disappeared. Rumor had it part of the band had been sick and they had to reschedule a few dates since the Chicago show.
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