Posted by Hannah Royal | Posted in Entertainment Guide | Posted on 12-03-2012
Tags: New Songs, New Songs Onstage, Songs Onstage, Sxsw
AP/ Fiona AppleFiona Apple debuts three new songs onstage at SXSW March 15, 2012, 3:25 PM EST
Even a few songs into her feverishly anticipated SXSW performance, Fiona Apple seemed somewhat surprised to actually find herself performing a real, publicly advertised show. “I started spacing out,” she told the crowd jokingly. “You’re imaginary. You’re not real!” At times, though, it felt like it was Apple herself who was the illusion.
The question hanging over the first of her two performances at Austin’s annual music festival: Would Apple, a Grammy-winning singer who patented dusky-voiced confessional pop when Lana Del Rey was still in elementary school, really return as fans remembered her? And would her agonizingly delayed new music set her on the comeback trail? Sort of, and maybe.
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For the marching “Anything We Want,” Apple played a hand percussion instrument made from pipe, and sang of a hopeful getaway with a lover. It didn’t sound like too great a leap from anything she’s done before, but it also didn’t sound like it could possibly come from anyone other than Fiona Apple.
But her performance was clouded by audio trouble that left her vocals either muddy or inaudible at certain points; during others, she sang with such force that she veered to screeching (perhaps to overcome the sound problems, perhaps not). A crew member brought her a cup of hot tea as she coaxed her voice through the last few songs. Apple closed with her Grammy-winning “Criminal,” singing with her hands on her hips. She skipped the song apparently intended as her encore — at least, according to the setlist — a cover of the Beatles’ “Across the Universe.” It may not have been the home-run performance fans might’ve hoped for from Apple’s first performance outside of Los Angeles in roughly five years. But it was enough to prove that Apple remains a fierce and fascinating pop singer, even after years away from the spotlight.
Also on Idolator:SXSW 2012: See Fiona Apple’s Saucy Set (PHOTOS)Fiona Apple’s Album Title Is 23 Words LongFiona Apple Spring Tour Dates Announced
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