After a half-hour delay, Fiona Apple finally took the stage at The Hollywood Palladium on Sunday night (July 29). But with a seven-year hiatus between her third and now fourth studio album The Idler Wheel… what was another 30 minutes to see the self-deprecating singer, who apologized and took the blame before her loving audience. The Billboard cover girl kicked off the night with her 1999 When The Pawn.. track “Fast As You Can” and continued to dig into her earlier hits: “Get Gone”, “Shadowboxer”, “I Know”, “Paper Bag”, “Extraordinary Machine” and “Tymps (The Sick in the Head Song)”.
Fiona’s voice was strong — perhaps due in part to the salt water the Late Night performer downed between takes. She kept light on the new stuff, playing “Every Single Night”, “Daredevil”, “Werewolf” (complete with recorded children’s screams to mimic the studio version), and the sensual “Anything We Want”. The ever-uncomfortable Fiona nervously futzed with her dress, or hair scrunchie or other wardrobe element throughout the set, but these weren’t nearly as distracting as Fiona’s spastic dance breaks. In a recent interview on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast Fiona admitted to not being able to dance. The flailing of her tiny limbs and the strange jerking and gyrations were near-comical.
Fiona ended the 90-minute performance by jokingly asking the audience to pretend they had a time machine and could fast forward the part where she leaves the stage and comes back for an encore before giving a moving cover of Conway Twitty’s “It’s Only Make Believe”, harkening back to her first words to the audience at her reintroduction at the SXSW Music Festival in March: “You’re not real!” Fiona, we are.