LIVE REVIEW: Fiona Apple @ The Tower


There was a crack in the dark middle of Fiona Apple’s set Wednesday night where the light got in. After a mesmerizing 30-plus minutes of accusation and self-flagellation, Apple took a moment to soak in the adulation of the crowd, the declarations of love called out by eager fans, and then wrapped her arms around herself and smiled deeply while gazing longingly into the dark night of the theater. Shining moments like this are probably why Apple is still out there, willing to spill out her demons and raw feelings on record and then on stage, arguing to have her unique voice heard. Apple is on tour supporting her just released fourth album, The Idler Wheel…, a sparse, spiky, challenging listen that fits in well with her back catalog of tortured torch songs and ornate chamber pop. Seemingly always at war with her record label, the new album only saw the light of day after pressure from the fans and Apple herself. Despite all the drama and the non-believers and the long lag between her last album and tour, Apple delivered an intense, laser-focused set. All bruised voice and tattered heart,   Apple was relentless, setting fire to a series of bad lovers and good liars, never even stopping to address the crowd until it was time to say goodnight. Here’s hoping Apple keeps finding the light. — PETE TROSHAK

BILLBOARD: Track-by-track review of The Idler Wheel…