Dec. 14, 2002

Alanis: The Canadian Star Brightens Chicago Theatre

By Randy J. Klodz

As part of Chicago’s 101.9 FM’s fourth annual installment of its “Miracle on State Street,” concert series, the acclaimed Canadian female performer Alanis Morissette provided the sold-out Chicago Theatre with an amphitheatre feel, on Dec. 14.

The songbird behind such mid-90s hits as the angry, yet ground breaking “You Oughta Know,” and the now almost cliché pop culture staple “Ironic,” and a slew of others that followed over the years, took the large Chicago Theatre stage that paled in comparison to her tiny frame, for a solid two hour performance.

Morissette, wearing black leather pants and a maroon blouse graced the stage, backed by her five-piece band—Jason Orme and David Levita (guitars), Eric Avery (bass), Blair Sinta (drums) and Zac Rae (keyboards)—and had enough colorful track lighting to keep a large casino lit for several days.

Frequently pacing back and forth with the microphone in her hands (and often a harmonica) Morissette delivered 20 songs, spanning from the popular “Hand in my Pocket,” “Thank U” and “Hands Clean,” to the less-mainstream songs like “Purgatorying,” “Sympathetic Character” and “Flinch.”

While mid-song during “Gorgeous,” Morissette did an almost Shakira-like hip gyration where her hair spun like a top for several minutes, as if she were entranced by her band’s music and the crowd’s attentive interests. In true musician form, Morissette also brought out her sparkling electric guitar that changed colors like a chameleon just as the stage lighting switched colors, during several songs including “Right Through You.”

Before capping off a set list that included tracks from all three of her albums: “Jagged Little Pill,” “Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie” and early 2002 release “Under Rug Swept,” Morissette took time to thank the crowd and gain a breath of relief. “This is the last show of a tour that we’ve spent a full year on,” said Morissette, before beginning “Uninvited,” a popular song from the “City of Angels” soundtrack.

Morissette and her talented band pleased the rousing crowd by returning on two separate occasions for a two-song encore, and then it was time for attendees to find their way out of the theatre into the cold, winter wonderland.

Morissette released “Feast on Scraps,” a collection of live tracks, rarities, and other goodies, including a live DVD, on Dec.10.

Alanis Morissette Photo: Randy J. Klodz