The seaside town of Newport, RI, in and of itself is charming, mystical, and a little magical if you pick the right cobblestone alleys to walk down. Laced with history, lined with flourishing foliage, and surrounded by the rocking ocean of the east coast, Newport provides the perfect backdrop for all things amazing. I was fortunate enough to attend the Newport Folk Festival, a festival that exceeded all of my expectations, especially in regards to the venue. However, nothing could prepare me for the Alanis Morissette concert, which is quite funny to me, considering Jagged Little Pill was released eleven days before I was born. Good times.
The setting, a large white, open tent sitting on the edge of the water, paired with the beautiful, breezy New England night set the bar high, yet Alanis managed to laugh in the face of my expectations. The concert was an ‘acoustic and intimate’ concert. I would say a lot more acoustic than intimate. There was a significant amount of people inside the tent, as well as a number of standing room only attendees spanning far beyond the outer perimeter. Alanis sounded absolutely amazing. To hear such a distinctive voice in person is really an experience. She joked that she found out the setlist for that night’s show via twitter (social media these days, am I right?). Her hits came one after the other, “You Learn,” “Everything,” “Head Over Feet,” “Right Through You” etc. etc. Her stage presence surpassed what I anticipated. To spend two hours sitting in a chair during an acoustic set and be able to captivate the audience, make them laugh, and have them sing along is quite impressive. One of the reasons I believe she was so successful in engaging the audience is because she was very personal in her story telling, telling stories about Canada, her songwriting experiences, her husband and son, yadda yadda.
At the end of the concert she said something along the lines of, this is where we would leave and everyone would cheer and we would come back on, but I don’t want to trip, so thank you for saving me public shame and seven calories.’ The band then rolled into “Ironic” and ended the night with “Thank You.” At the end of the night, I was left wondering if I had dreamt the whole thing and actually just fallen asleep listening to Alanis Morissette: The Collection. Luckily, I woke up this morning and my memories from last night were still very vivd, and very real.