Fiona Apple Shows She’s Still Got It At The Governors Ball 2012

Carl Williott / June 25, 2012

As the sun set on the second day of The Governors Ball on Sunday (Jun. 24), Fiona Apple rose up for a raw, captivating performance. It’s so nice to have her back in our lives, isn’t it?

She hardly wasted a breath on banter between songs, which was just fine because she seemed to be utterly consumed by the music, totally owning each song — as did her guitarist. Apple started the show with the rollicking duo of “Fast As You Can” and “On The Bound”, flailing her arms and whipping her hair before diving into each verse. And that energy never let up for the next hour, as she bopped and shimmied across the stage like a forest nymph. The only drawback to such enthusiasm, of course, is that she’s not at the piano very often.

New track “Anything We Want” and its lounge vibe were a perfect fit for the sunset, making that moment one of the weekend’s highlights. “Extraordinary Machine” was also special: Apple’s vulnerable, quavering vibrato on the delicate jaunt was like listening to a ’20s jazz singer. Fittingly, it was soon followed by the jazzy dirge of “Daredevil” and the torch song “I Know”.

The new stuff held up very well next to her old standbys; “Every Single Night” sounded even more nimble live, particularly the vocal and musical acrobatics that occurred when the cathartic tribal chant of the refrain seamlessly morphed into a whisper. But Apple dug into the crate for the final pair of songs, closing out the set with the forlorn fury of “Not About Love” and a rabid version of “Criminal”. By the end of that classic, and after some improvised scatting, Apple plopped down onto the ground as the band finished out the jam, and sat there smiling before meekly waving goodbye to the crowd.

You couldn’t have planned a more weirdly charming way to finish the performance.