Artists have a tendency to be bitter about the audience’s demand for songs from their ‘hit’ record, instead Alanis Morissette embraces her magnum opus Jagged Little Pill in a variety of touching and thrilling ways. While penning a new album set to be released in 2018, the singer has also been working on a musical based on Jagged Little Pill which finds a story unravel alongside her music and lyrics. This ‘mini’ UK tour comes as a surprise somewhat - the singer isn’t promoting anything in particular - instead it seems Morissette is doing this for nothing other than the love of performing.
Spirits are high before Morissette has even stepped out into the spotlight, the audience are riding high off of England’s triumph over Sweden in the World Cup and the Pride celebrations dotted across a sun-kissed London day. Rainbow flags and chants of “it’s coming home” ripple throughout the crowd as the lights dim for the set’s opener. The band fire up proceedings with the stirring opening bars of “All I Really Want” taking the audience back to 1995 in a whirl of grungy guitars. The seats lined across the stalls become instantly obsolete as Morissette strides across the stage armed with that familiar fiery vocal and a harmonica; the entire venue stands up and never comes down.
The momentum continues with a string of hits, the chugging riff of “21 Things I Want In A Lover” strides in a muscular fashion before the soaring choruses of “Forgiven” and “You Learn” finds the entire audience belting out a faithful word-for-word singalong. Morissette’s vocals still roar and howl through tracks like “Hand In My Pocket” and “Head Over Feet” as if she were still in the rocky throws of teen angst whilst her backing band provides a thrilling backdrop which both replicates the sound and offers the songs a new lease of life. This alchemy ensures the energetic atmosphere never so much as splits.
Morissette takes several moments to acknowledge the day’s celebrations, “what a great day to be in London!” she exclaims before changing up the lyrics in “Ironic” to reflect the Pride celebrations; “meeting the man of your dreams and meeting his beautiful husband”. Alongside the classics, Morissette also offers up something for the hardcore fans, deep-cut “London” gets a special airing just for tonight. “I wrote this after a year and a half of touring Jagged Little Pill. I was out of my mind sitting in the backyard and was thinking about how bad I wanted to come back to this city.”
Morissette finishes with a beautiful version of “Thank You” which brings the evening to an emotional climax. The consistent energy erupting throughout tonight’s set reiterates the power of Jagged Little Pill as both a source of nostalgia and timeless songwriting which makes the music and its creator feel as relevant and present as ever.