Fiona Apple & Nickel Creek | 08.17
Nickel Creek & Fiona Apple :: 08.17.07
Bank of America Pavilion :: Boston, MA
Fiona Apple has always stood true to her values, and to clump her into the same category as Aguilera or Spears would be slanderous. For fans of the stringed trio, the incorporation of Apple’s soul-heavy, pseudo-psychedelic vocals could have easily been a turnoff, but when Nickel Creek came through Boston with Apple, the show offered their undersold but hyper-engaged audience a taste of the audiological concoction that’s brewed when their distinctive sounds are meshed together.
While Creek’s set progressed, the impact Apple’s presence would make on the group seemed to be on the mind of every ticket holder. Not only were folks curious about the material that would be performed, but her mere presence was a wild card. Low and behold, about 45 minutes into Creek’s performance, Apple took the stage to work into the title cut from her Extraordinary Machine release. Following that, they brought things to full force with a cover of Gillian Welch‘s “I Want To Sing That Rock and Roll” which found a middle ground for their respective fan demographics.
Unfortunately, no windmills were delivered. However, as Thile’s energy increased, Apple made sure to keep up. Like a cat backed into a corner, Apple’s voice reverberated with pain and victimization. The affect on stage was mellow at times but the aggression she dished out offered everyone an understanding behind what fuels her art. Between songs, her stage banter had an anxious tone where she seemed unsure of herself or the comments she was making. When a new song began her anxiety evaporated, replaced by a confident air of intensity that showed in her singing and dancing.
Following an intriguing 45-minute collaboration, Apple left the stage to Nickel Creek. This time around, their post-Apple set carried more of a somber mood that seemed fitting for a farewell tour. After another chunk of standalone Creek tunes – “Scotch and Chocolate,” “When In Rome,” and “House Carpenter” – Apple came out for a short run highlighted by her hit, “Criminal,” before everyone took a final bow.
Both Apple and Creek were working well outside of their comfort zones to maximize the potential of the collaboration, and the effort this took helped make the show memorable. This pairing, for better or worse, stands to be a large part of their farewell. As much as fans may have enjoyed a Coventry-esque farewell, marked by goodbyes and onstage sob-fests, Creek’s farewell consisted of a simple message of artistic innovation. By closing a string of their final dates with Fiona Apple they subtly assured their fans that whatever comes next on their journey is sure to be creative, exploratory and innovative. And with a goodbye that powerful nothing else needs saying.
JamBase | Beantown
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