Maths has never been my strong point but as of 27th June 2012, I can let you into a little secret where equations are concerned: 2 cans of Pimms + 4,921 people (including myself) + one of the most talented female artists of all times + 2 hours of pure, honest music = one of the best nights you’ll ever experience in your life. I’m certain Einstein would agree as well…
Alanis Morissette shot to fame in 1994 with her album ‘Jagged Little Pill’. It was jam packed of angsty songs, perfect for singing along too either in your pants in the privacy of your own bedroom or with the car roof down driving along the motorway. Since then, she’s released 8 other albums, travelled the world, got engaged to Hollywood film star Ryan Reynolds, filmed DVDs, starred in Weeds, Sex and the City and a few other major television shows, broken up with Hollywood film star Ryan Reynolds, married rapper Mario ‘MC SoulEye’ Treadway and had a baby. Plus, she’s toured around the world with the majority of her albums. She’s given women across the globe a lot to live up to.
In 2008, she released her ‘Flavours of Entanglement’ album and luckily for me, she came to London as part of her tour. Armed with a friend, train tickets and a tuna and cucumber sandwich (you need to keep your energy levels up, right?!), we braved the mean ol’ streets of Brixton for one night only where Alanis was playing O2 Academy Brixton. I was 15, angry with the world and a bit out of my depth but mostly completely speechless. As the standards for first gigs go, I’m sure on 19th June 2008, Alanis Morissette reached the heights.
4 years later and she’s back, better than ever, with a new album and a baby under her belt. The o2 Academy Brixton has never looked more invited with the crowds of people outside, huddled in groups singing different Alanis songs (mostly just ‘Ironic’…). I stood there, a tiny bit drunk, truly appreciating just how music can bring people together. Who would have thought that during this gig, I’d make friends with 2 Spanish girls who became fascinated with how my friend and I ‘whoop-ed’ (a mixture of wolf and owl callings) in the breaks between songs?
The atmosphere was electric, barely anybody was rowdy despite the overgrowing sea of plastic cups that once held cheap beer and wine that soon drowned our feet as the gig played on and everyone had the same mindset: Alanis freakin’ Morissette.
For me, it’s not about the fact that she’s clever (the only ironic thing about the song ‘Ironic’ is that nothing in it is actually ironic…) or that she can cover a Black Eyed Peas song and actually make it sound good: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRmYfVCH2UA but it’s that whatever emotion you’re feeling, Alanis Morissette has written a song about it. She can sum up practically any feeling in under 4 minutes and make a blooming good tune out of it as well.
Her song ‘Hands Clean’ speaks of being manipulated by somebody a lot older than herself in order to make themselves look better; personally, something I can relate too. So when the beginning chords began to play and she started to sing, it’s safe to say I just froze. I could see the twinkle in the eyes of other people surrounding me as they too could relate to the song. That’s one of the things about this gig that made it so special; unlike a festival, where let’s be honest, the main ambition of people there is to get drunk, maybe see a couple of bands and spend 3 days eating dirty food in a dirty field, this gig was packed full of people who were there purely to appreciate the music.
While I think Alanis definitely peaked with ‘Flavours of Entanglement’, I’m not that excited for her latest album ‘Havoc and Bright Lights’ to be released, I can assure you that the whole night was a success. It was like revisiting an old friend who I haven’t seen in a while and catching up: you reminisce on the old times (‘You Oughta Know’, ‘Head Over Feet’ etc) but remember to fill each other in on the latest news as well (‘Guardian’, ‘I Remain’, ‘Numb’ etc).
The entire crowd shared a mutual understanding of how to act that night and if anyone slipped out of line, I certainly didn’t see it. The audience was friendly, courteous and damn right appreciative to be in the presence of such a high class of musical talent.
Move over Katy Perry, Alanis is back in town.
The highlight of the gig for me happened to be the ending. 10 minutes before coming off stage, Alanis sung ‘Thank U’, a song of which the title pretty much sums it up. It’s always been one of my favourites and I was paying particular attention this time around having missed it 4 years ago in order to catch the train back home. As soon as the tune began to play out, 4 complete strangers who I hadn’t even seen that night held up 4 signs, each saying ‘Thank U’ to Alanis for one particular reason. She looked down at the signs, nodded at the people holding them and carried on singing with tears in her eyes. It was one of the most humbling sights I’ve ever seen.
And THAT is why no matter who she gets compared too, Alanis will always be Queen of the 90′s (and recent) female artist.
‘Havoc and Bright Lights’ reaches UK stores 27th August 2012.
Website ::: www.alanis.com
Twitter ::: @morissette
Written by Vicky Gottschalk
Website ::: www.victoria-hannah.blogspot.com
Twitter ::: @Victoria_Hannah