OK let me give some back story. My wife and our friends wanted to go so we went. I have to save face somewhere.
I have to say this was one of the most interesting concert experiences I have had. the concert was at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN. The venue is simply amazing, and if you have never had the chance to go there you should. It was one of the most comfortable concert settings I have ever been to.
There was a real anticipation in the air waiting for the the concert to start. people were filing in and looking for their seats and chatting with those next to them. Pretty normal stuff. The opening act started. The filing and chatting never stopped. it was as if there was no one on stage. I figured it was just the anticipation for the main acts and that it was just something I had forgotten about my concert going days. . . When Fiona Apple did take the stage (almost an hour after the show started) it never ceased. I have to wonder why these people were even there. They paid a fair sum of money to be there and they didn't even listen.
The people who were at this concert was an interesting part of it. I am used to seeing concerts with hipsters and people where you have to ask why they are there, but this time it made a lot more sense. It was all aging people like myself and my friends we were probably just below the mean age there. The audience was mostly female but not completely. The people who were not talking and were actually enjoying the concert, were having something akin to a religious experience. there was a real connection to the lyrics to many of them. On the far side of the auditorium there was a group who couldn't stay down, as if they were drawn to stand up and participate in every song. I appreciate this.
The performance itself was odd. When Fiona did come out she didn't speak to the audience at all. no stories, no asides, nothing. This was Odd. when you compare her to someone like Ben Folds (who I think is comparable) there is a major difference. Ben is a story teller and so is Fiona, but her stories stop with the songs perhaps she feels they speak for themselves. Myself I would love some interaction, I feel like you pay to go to a concert to get more than the songs. So that was upsetting.
Of course I have to admit that when she was performing her songs they were wonderful. she has a full vocal range which is evident in so many of her songs. The emotion that she experiences on stage is evident as she wriggles and writhes around the stage like a tormented mental patient. You get the idea that she is reliving the emotion she felt while she was writing the songs. The performance was solid and something to behold.