Fiona Apple returned to the stage in Portland last night, and once again she was met with a disruptive audience. It was the first show of her joint tour with longtime collaborator Blake Mills and, according to Dave Greenwald of The Oregonian, the first hour of the performance went off without a hitch, featuring new, original compositions alongside selections from her most recent LP, The Idler Wheel…. But then…
“Get healthy, we want to see you in 10 years,” a woman called into the silence.
Apple, sitting at the piano, turned distraught.
“I am healthy,” she said, and stood up to face the audience.
The next few minutes were full of awful madness: Apple visibly emotional and swearing at the heckler, most of the crowd shouting support, but some lodging more insults. “You’re a has-been!” a man shouted from the rafters. That shook her. Mills approached her and spoke into her ear. She called for the house lights to go up and asked for the first heckler to leave. She wanted to walk off stage; for long moments it seemed like the show would end right there, all her stormy power evaporating. But the lights went down and the band did one more, cutting the ballad “I Know” from the set. That would’ve been too much. Apple, in tears, apologized and walked off, calling it “a historically stupid night.”
She also called TMZ “turd-munching zombies,” which was very funny. But it was a dark conclusion to an otherwise remarkable night, and a reminder of why Apple has fought so vocally against celebrity culture and the venomous, body-shaming judgement that comes with it.
“I’m not going to convince someone I’m healthy,” she said at one point, and whatever the state of her personal life — a life that continues to include being an unparalleled performer, between-song idiosyncrasies aside — she shouldn’t have to.
Last night’s incident comes just a month after Apple walked off stage during a performance in Tokyo, reportedly frustrated by the party’s noisy crowd. Tonight, Apple and Mills play in Seattle; hopefully things go a little smoother.
“Anything We Want: An Evening with Fiona Apple & Blake Mills” Tour:
10/04 – Seattle, WA @ Benaroya Hall
10/07 – Los Angeles, CA @ Walt Disney Concert Hall
10/08 – Berkley, CA @ Zellerbach Hall
10/11 – Denver, CO @ Boettcher Concert Hall
10/14 – Minneapolis, MN @ The O’Shaughnessy
10/15 – Chicago, IL @ Bank of America Theatre
10/17 – Toronto, ON @ Queen Elizabeth Theatre
10/19 – Philadelphia, PA @ Merriam Theater
10/22 – New York, NY @ Beacon Theatre
10/23 – Boston, MA @ Emerson Colonial Theatre
10/25 – Washington, DC @ Lincoln Theatre
10/26 – Washington, DC @ Lincoln Theatre
As Dave Greenwald of The Oregonian reports, the launch of Apple’s