Photo by Williams & Hirakawa
The dream of the '90s was alive in Downtown Los Angeles on November 2. On that fateful night, one of the venues dubbed Nokia was housing R&B's salacious sensation R. Kelly; the other, more intimate Club Nokia was nesting "angry girl" Alanis Morissette.
But that angry girl, scorned by another '90s icon (Dave Coulier of "Full House"), has grown into a joyous woman. Her recently released album, Havoc and Bright Lights (Collective Sounds), exalts motherhood, happy marriage and unity. There are still reasons for Morissette to be riled - the caustic "Celebrity" decries the "tattooed sexy dancing monkeys" of the pop realm - but her serenity shone brighter.
Her billowing locks are still in tact, which she whipped around like a lion tamer tapping her audience into submission. The quiet moments are just as important as the grand singalongs, this action insisted, but there was no calming the predominately female fans during favorites such as "Ironic." Touched by their spirits, Morissette would bound and frolic across the stage, a shaggy, gleeful unicorn.
The set was taught and polished, culminating in an extravagant version of the power ballad "Uninvited" that led to a scaled-back acoustic encore. Especially touching was her a capella rendition of the secret song off 1995's Jagged Little Pill (Maverick), a lovelorn thing that many of us Gen Y'ers probably sang into our hairbrushes in our youth.
What was nice about this gig is that it wasn't a blatant nostalgia trip. Certainly, the hits were performed, but Morissette has fully embraced a positive future. So much so that her spouse, rapper SoulEye, opened the show, and the Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie joined him for a jam.
It's a new, mature and increasingly grateful Alanis Morissette - one who still possesses a lyrical bite amid the well-constructed Havoc.