A Concert Review
September 1, 1996
The New World
Tinley Park, IL
and Photos by
Dude on the Right
It was a night for the women to leave the men at home. It was girls
night out. It was an Alanis Morissette concert. And guys, if you are
a sensitive 90's guy, or even a male pig who can pretend to be a
sensitive 90's guy - you know, the kind of guy who can relate and
understand her "needs," the kind of guy who will hold open
the door for her, the kind of guy who will "cuddle"
because it's what she wants, you know, crap like that - well an
Alanis concert is the place for you too because women were
everywhere. It's just too bad my buddy Stu Gotz couldn't be there,
although I think his head might have exploded not knowing who to go
Anyway, I'm hanging at the New World Music Theatre waiting for
Alanis. I'm a sensitive 90's guy, but I'm also afraid of rejection.
So, I'm just kinda sittin' and listening to the opening act, K's
Choice. K's Choice is this band from Belgium I believe, started by a
brother and sister. The band is lead by a dudette lead singer called
Sarah Bettens, and I have no idea any of the songs they played. But,
musically, they're kinda a grunge-style band that kinda sounds like
The Cranberries with some kinda wailing lyrics that kinda sound a
little like Alanis. I guess they're kinda a lot of things, but more
importantly, the crowd kinda liked them. I thought they were
alright, and not knowing any of their songs kinda made me a little
bored, but, good crowd response and it's a One Thumb Upper for K's
|Sarah Bettens of K's Choice
But they aren't what I was there for. No sir ree Bob. I was there
on a quest to find out what might be the appeal of this little lady
who seems to have it out for the male race. At least that's always
the way most of the articles I've seen read. But, being there, I
discovered something else. Read on and maybe you will too.
My first image of Alanis this night was through a camera lens.
Pulling double duty I was filling the shoes as both photographer and
reviewer. The photographer side of me thinks that Alanis is just a
big pain in the ass. She wouldn't stop moving. And I don't mean she
kinda stood in one place and bounced up and down. No, that would be
nice for the photographer man. She was all over the place, all over
the stage, trotting back and forth across the entire length of the
stage and I'm almost amazed any of the pictures came out. Whispering
under my breath as the shutter would go off, I hated Alanis. The
reviewer side of me has a different opinion.
Alanis is one hell of a performer.
From the opening of "All I Really Want" to her
male-bashing anthem of "You Oughta Now" to playing that
secret song not listed in the "Jagged Little Pill" credits
(I read it's called "Your House," but don't quote me on
that," Alanis worked this mostly female crowd into a frenzy
while even the dudes who were there with their girlfriends seemed to
either really appreciate the music or really appreciate the show she
put on. See, Alanis is not one to stand behind a microphone. Not at
all. Alanis is one to put every ounce of energy into every song she
performs and throw that energy at the crowd. That was a good start
Contrary to what most people think, Alanis has a couple of CD's
from before this monstrous thing called "Jagged Little
Pill." But you would never know it from seeing this show - it
was about "JLP" and some unreleased songs. Now, I own
"JLP" and do like it. I've listened to it many times but
never really listened to the lyrics. This show taught me that as
much as Alanis might have some male-
bashing songs, there are also songs that say "this guy is
alright," songs of troubled childhoods, and songs of pushing
yourself to the limit. I think I've figured it out that as much as
Alanis related some guy-trauma to the women of the world, she also
has some songs that nearly everyone can relate to. But that's just
As for the show, this is what you can expect. Watch Alanis trot
back and forth across the stage, watch Alanis rock out on an
electric guitar, watch Alanis finally stand still playing acoustic,
and watch her wail on a harmonica. You'll see a couple banners stage
right and stage left and this video screen behind her with clips of
the "Ironic" video, some childhood scenes, and other
assorted filler. You'll also experience one of the loudest
sing-a-longs for "You Oughta Know" during the "are
you thinking of me when you fuck her" line (let me tell you, at
that moment, I was cold and I was frightened because if the women
were going to revolt, us guys at this show were highly outnumbered).
"Ironic" was also sing-a-long time, and Alanis even went
into "There Are Worse Things I Could Do" from Grease.
Now I'm not the only one who will say Alanis doesn't have the
greatest voice, but her voice is perfect for what she sings. She
needs to be rough, she needs to scream and wail, she needs to shift
from barely a whisper to scaring the crap out of guys, and she does
all of it well. And the women, and most of the men, loved it.
If you can't figure out the rating for this review you obviously
haven't read anything I've just written. Alanis gets TWO HUGE THUMBS
UP!!! I'd add an extra appendage but I'd be afraid it might get cut
off, so we'll just toast her with AN EXTRA BEER!!!
It should be interesting to see what her next CD brings. The new
songs she does at the show are pretty cool, and it looks like Alanis-mania
should go on for many more years. That is unless she falls in love
with a sensitive 90's guy like me and not my buddy Stu.
That's it for this one, I'm The Dude on the Right. L8R!!