Live Report: Alanis Morissette – AO Arena, Manchester

A special night with the feted-songwriter...

Taylor Hawkins maintained throughout his career that if it wasn’t for Alanis Morissette, he would probably have ended up delivering pizzas. 

He also described her as unstoppable, and Thursday night’s show at the Manchester AO arena affirms this. Returning to the UK this summer for the ‘Jagged Little Pill’ 25th anniversary tour, Alanis and her band lit up the venue with an almighty burst of angst-rock energy.

The lights dim and the entire arena is engulfed in cheer from the melting pot of devout fans. Video montage displaying countless moments from the Canadian icons career is spread across the monitors, as well as a few features from friends and fans, including fellow Canadian Justin Bieber’s carpool karaoke cover of ‘Ironic’, amongst other A-Listers. Hearts swoon at the sight of a baby-faced Alanis on the cusp of international stardom, hearts that sing even louder when the woman of the hour arrives on stage. 

Despite rescheduling the show in Manchester after a bout of laryngitis, Morissette’s distinctive mezzo-soprano voice is in full throttle as she opens with a vivacious performance of ‘All I Really Want’, followed by another 90s essential, ‘Hand in My Pocket’. 

Passionate is the word to describe Alanis’ fans. With next to no-one missing a lyric and many close to tears as they belt out each ‘Jagged Little Pill’ ballad.

Morissette’s stage presence is effortless, stomping across the stage and bouncing of her band members who also exhibit ingenious musicianship. A passionate performance of ‘You Learn’ see’s Morrissette show of the range of her voice. Despite her recent struggle with laryngitis, she is more than capable of delievering unbelievably breath-taking vocal.

There is an interesting use of the background monitors throughout the show. With a couple songs, such as ‘Forgiven’, played afore footage of interpretive dancers. A particularly special use of VT is during her performance of ‘Ablaze’, in which home videos of Alanis and her family are projected across the monitors. 

The highlight of the show is, of course, ‘Ironic’. Not only due the song’s significance, but because the background footage displays clips of young Morissette and her band touring in the 90s, famously with Taylor Hawkins on drums

As the song fizzles out, a photo of Hawkins is reflected on the screen in memoriam, a touching finish to the show, just before an ever angsty, flaming performance of ‘You Oughta Know’. 

27 years on from ‘Jagged Little Pill’, this anniversary performance has proven that the album is still a much-adored body of work that has soundtracked the lives of many across the globe, with Manchester just a corner of the planet showing its love. 

Words: Isabella Miller

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