Alanis Morissette, O2 Academy, Birmingham 25/06/12 | Counteract | National News with a Local Edge | Counteract is a Birmingham based music magazine covering the latest and best news, reviews and interviews.
Photograph by Jonathan Morgan
As a group of female fans shout for the third time “you’re beautiful”, Canada’s finest Alanis Morissette adopts an airhead American twang, “gee guys, this is really helping my self-esteem.” This badinage is perfect, considering this is just the type of ilk she used to rally against on her angst-ridden album Jagged Little Pill, and tonight is a reminder of how potent and memorable that LP is.
After an explosive debut of a new track, which has a glorious chorus that wouldn’t sound out of place on …Pill, Alanis then breaks into the harmonica-drenched ‘All I Really Want’ and the more reflective ‘You Learn’. Both these songs hammer home just how original and inventive the 33,000,000 selling album was – swampy guitars bathed in distortion, the rhythmic, propulsive drumming, and the bitter, almost hedonistic lyrics. The long-mothballed – but hugely underrated – 2002 single ‘Hands Clean’ is also aired tonight, and sounds as contemplative and melodic as ever.
Of the new songs played from forthcoming album Bright Lights and Havoc, ‘Guardian’ has the mature outlook of her more recent output with the catchiness of Alanis circa 1996, which bodes well. But it’s the classics that dominate tonight, and ‘Ironic’ and ‘Forgiven’, both offloaded early on in the set, get the biggest cheers and the biggest sing-alongs from the sold-out crowd.
After reliably perfect performances of ‘One Hand In My Pocket’ and ‘Uninvited’, we’re treated to one more, and Alanis closes with a stunning ‘Thank U’. Alanis, the pleasure was all ours.
About Samuel Lambeth
Listening to music is my favourite pastime, and I enjoy listening to new, up and coming releases as well as classic records. My favourite bands are varied and long but include Ocean Colour Scene, Vampire Weekend, The Beatles, R.E.M., The Bluetones, Buffalo Tom, to new bands such as Yuck, Surfer Blood, Brother and The Vaccines.