Last Night: Fiona Apple at Bayou Music Center
Photos by Craig Hlavaty
Fiona Apple Bayou Music Center September 21, 2012
The arrival of Apple's tour bus at Bayou Music Center Friday was a soothing sight to fans, as many feared the beloved musician wouldn't make it out of jail in time for her scheduled show.
Apple was arrested in the West Texas border town of Sierra Blanca on Wednesday, after small amounts of marijuana and hash were discovered on her tour bus by drug-sniffing dogs at a border control checkpoint.
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Lucky for us, Apple was released Thursday on $10,000 bond, leaving her time to make it to Houston after all.
We didn't have to wait long for Apple to acknowledge the arrest.
But those hoping for a lucid account of the incident were out of luck, as Apple instead used her platform to communicate a personal vendetta of sorts, against four people who evidently mistreated her during her overnight imprisonment at Hudspeth County Jail.
"I just want to get this out in the open," she said, as the crowd cheered wildly in knowing support. "The guy who runs that jail is a good guy... I want to apologize to him for being attitude-y."
"Most people there were very nice to me," she continued. "But the four of you... I want you to know I know everything you did," she cryptically warned. "I wrote it all down, as you stupidly thought I couldn't see or hear you."
"I will fucking make you a celebrity," she quipped, providing zero details. "Until then, stay in your fucking cell."
Your guesses are as good as ours as to whom or what Apple was referring to.
Suddenly, strobe lights furiously flashed as Apple ended her tirade, and swiftly launched into opener, When the Pawn...'s "Fast as You Can."
The first portion of Apple's set catered to her earlier material, including "On the Bound," "Paper Bag," and the tune that first put her on the map, 1996 single "Shadowboxer."
Apple appeared totally waif-like, clad in a striped maxi-dress with tattered tights underneath.
For a musician who's made a name for herself thanks in large part to her piano playing, she didn't play very much of it. Instead, she stood, singing and dancing her trademark jerky jolt.
"I Know" was so moving and beautifully bare. The chatty crowd was a distraction all night; it was a shame to hear drunk gabbers talk even during such poignant moments of the show.
New Idler Wheel tune "Every Single Night" and a rocking guitar-heavy rendition of Extraordinary Machine's "Tymps" helped tune out the crowd, as Apple let loose like a child with a tantrum, hysterically slapping her thighs and skipping an invisible jump-rope.
Apple chose an unlikely tune to close her set, singing a soulful cover of Conway Twitty song, "It's Only Make Believe." The song, for the most part, went unrecognized by the majority of the crowd.
"Good night, guys," Apple said afterward. With a quick wave to the crowd, she was out of sight. And, despite audible requests for an encore, Apple did not return to the stage.
We instantly looked past her lack of encore, as Apple has clearly had a trying and exhausting couple of days. We're just grateful she made it out of jail so quickly, as she delivered one hell of a memorable performance.
Looks like she's made the most of it. She's an extraordinary machine.
Personal Bias: Pro Fiona.
The Crowd: Mostly women. Respectful-ish superfans in the front; rowdy, talkative drunks in the back. I witnessed a guy throw a water bottle at a girl rows in front of him because she was standing up. Stay classy, Houston.
Overheard in the Crowd: "But I don't want to go pee in a cup!"
Random Notebook Dump: Pass the Dutchie.
Fast As You Can On the Bound Shadowboxer Paper Bag Anything We Want Get Gone Periphery Sleep to Dream Extraordinary Machine Werewolf Left Alone I Know Tymps Every Single Night Daredevil Not About Love It's Only Make Believe (Conway Twitty cover)
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