Playing catch up: Aretha Franklin and Fiona Apple in concert (not together, sillies)

I've been slacking lately in the concert review department. Over the past month or so, I've seen Aretha Franklin and Fiona Apple perform live in Detroit. Separately. Or that would be one effed up mashup.

Here's a little bit of info on each show:

Aretha Franklin

This show was my second time seeing Aretha Franklin sing live (and my third time being in her presence). Last year I saw her perform at DTE Energy Music Theatre and she was brilliant. It was a life changing experience for this uber music fan.

This more recent show (which I saw from the front row thanks to a surprise last minute find on StubHub) was also incredible. Seriously, how could any show featuring the greatest voice of all time ever be disappointing? However, it was much shorter as well as more subdued than last year's show, and it was more gospel-tinged versus hit single-focused - understandable in front of her hometown Detroit crowd. Still, she gave a thrilling performance (highlighted by a tribute to Whitney Houston and her always stirring version of "Bridge Over Troubled Water") and even sang my favorite song of hers, "I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)."

Check out the rest of my photos here as well as the full setlist below:


Fiona Apple

I feel like Fiona Apple is the answer you'd give in a game of "name the opposite of Aretha Franklin." They both have soul, sure, and voices that could both break your heart and lift your spirits. But yeah, you'd probably never see them at Target together. (Besides, Aretha shops at Meijer. And I think Fiona shops at her eight-year-old neighbor's recycle bin.)

But, back to the concert. Fiona's performance in Detroit was a delight after nearly a decade break between her last album Extraordinary Machine and her newly released The Idler Wheel is Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do (Think that's long? See: When the Pawn). Her newest material has been critically lauded, and while she performed four of those songs in the Detroit show (see setlist below), it was her more recognizable work that was truly enthralling for the crowd. She performed songs like "Fast as You Can," "Sleep to Dream," "Shadowboxer," "Get Gone," and "Criminal" with seemingly the same amount of emotion and fervor as the first time she sang them so many years ago.

Fiona Apple is crazy brilliant. Or brilliantly crazy. Either way, she's her own special brand of custom-made weirdness. Which is exactly how her audience likes it.

The rest of my Fiona Apple photos can be found here.

Full setlist below:

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