A week ago tonight I had the opportunity to see Fiona Apple appear with Nickel Creek
The day was dreadful as far as heat and humidity, and the concert being outside didn't make that any easier, but the concert was fantastic. We (I attended with my friend and occasional writer here, Jenny) knew that they had worked together numerous times in the past, having supported each other at club Largo in Los Angeles on many occasions, sometimes as a surprise, but we weren't sure how, or who, would be supporting who during these shows. Being fans of both acts, we were pleasantly surprised to see almost the entire show intertwined with their performances.
The show began as standard, as if Nickel Creek was opening for Fiona, which, sadly I think most of the crowd had bought their tickets expecting. Nickel Creek came on stage first and proceeded to play four or five songs. Then they introduced Fiona and she came out with no delay and they started to play covers and her own songs together. Then they took a break, or "intermission" if you will, for 15 minutes and returned to play more of the same. Then just Fiona took a break and Nickel Creek played a few more of their songs until Fiona returned for 2 more songs and said goodnight. For the encore Nickel Creek came out alone and then Fiona returned for the final song before officially saying goodnight.
What made the show so great was that Fiona's songs were being interpreted by a fiddle, acoustic guitar and a mandolin, making each one sound much different, but just as good, as the normal version. Hearing "Criminal" as a bluegrass song seemed to fit perfectly somehow. Secondly, they did a cover of my favorite Patsy Cline song "Walking After Midnight", and thirdly, Fiona is a bit of a hermit as far as touring and when she does tour she seems awkward and uncomfortable on stage and although there was still a bit of that last week, she seemed more jovial and talkative between songs, even theatrical at times, because she was sharing the spotlight, which you could tell made her feel more comfortable.
At the end of the show Fiona scampered ahead to grab Sara Watkins' (of Nickel Creek) hand and kissed it as to show how dear she was to her, as they skipped off stage together, and that was the feeling of the whole show. Fiona was so glad to have them there, and I am sure she wouldn't have been touring had it not been from their invitation, Sara was glad to have another girl on tour with her, and they all were glad for the experience of working together. And I was glad for one of the best concerts I've seen in years. What a grand send off for Nickel Creek!