A blonde Alanis Morissette gave a sold-out Saturday night crowd at Battery Park a look at her past and, perhaps, a peek at her Broadway future with a good sampling from “Jagged Little Pill.”
Arriving with an overture of sorts, she paced the stage repeatedly while offering up the songs that inspired a generation.
While “All I Really Want” certainly connected, it wasn’t until “Woman Down” that she seemed fully comfortable with the setting. (And the song talked about hair color, too.)
Then, she appeared to relish the love and opened up. Immediately after, she got the cellphones moving with “You Learn.”
It gave her band of five a chance to absorb the love, as well, and enjoy the lyrics. Knowing that the song will probably be a part of the musical based on “Pill,” it’s easy to see how right the songs are for the stage.
Morissette showed her harmonica prowess, worked a glittery guitar and contended with an audience that wasn’t really willing to quiet down for the intimate stuff.
“Perfect” deserved complete silence – the lyrics are powerful and, sung with her rousing voice, an anthem for many – but got a lot of chatter.
No matter. She soldiered on and won them over with a touching “Guardian,” an ideal counter to “Perfect.”
Dressed in a star-covered blouse, black pants and sneakers, the Grammy winner seemed to enjoy herself and the chance to play the music that paved the way for so many others.
Because she doesn’t perform often enough, the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino appearance was something special. Of all the 2017 acts, she prompted the most cellphone recordings we’ve seen.
Interestingly, Morissette didn’t have the kind of sound problems that plagued opener Meg Myers. Way too loud, it played against Myers’ very intimate work. A good fit for the headliner, she showed great range with “Sorry” and a bit of fight with “Desire.” Interestingly, she sang most of her songs sitting down, abetted by a keyboard player who joined her on guitar from time to time.
A more intimate setting (like the Orpheum Theatre or Anthem) would have better served her brand of music and allowed the crowd to absorb what she was saying.
Morissette has been doing this long enough to know just how to temper a tenuous situation.
She had dramatic lights and that great backup band to help set the mood and bring things into her wheelhouse.