Concert Reviews

Alanis Morissette with Garbage at Budweiser Stage

Photos by Neil Van

The pandemic forced us to cancel, reign in or delay our concert-going revelry. It was a disappointing but necessary shift that required patience and understanding. In an admirable display of both, Alanis Morissette brought her Jagged Little Pill 25th anniversary tour to Toronto, albeit a couple of years later than originally planned.

Special guest, Garbage started the evening off in style. The band drew from its string of hits from the late 1990s and mixed in a few new tunes, coming from an album released during Covid. Lead singer, Shirley Manson, with her shocking red hair, and punk attitude looks every bit the rebel rocker. She took a moment to point out the significance of this tour having two strong women command a stage decades after first making their mark. Longevity in the music industry is difficult for women and it takes a tough, tenacious talent to lead that charge. Manson and Morissette do it with ease.

There are very few albums that warrant an anniversary tour, but  Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill became so deeply planted into 90s culture that it is completely worthy of celebration. The main set started with a montage of clips from films, theatre, social media and TV shows. The patchwork of Alanis related cultural references was striking for its reach and humour. Morissette came to the stage to cheers and launched into All I Really Want and Hand in my Pocket before hitting the crowd with Right Through You and You Learn.  As promised, the night treated fans to every single track from Jagged Little Pill. Highlights included Head over Feet and the classic, Ironic, which was dedicated to the late drummer Taylor Hawkins who played with Morissette in his pre-Foo Fighters days. A newer song, Ablaze, gave us a glimpse into the grounded life that motherhood has brought to the once angry youth as  images of her beautiful family were projected behind her. In contrast, Morissette showed she can still summon the venom required to deliver You Oughta Know with conviction. The lyric was rather shocking in its day, and judging by the glee from the crowd, it resonates as much now as it did did then. (Even the vigilant security guard was grinning from ear to ear as he belted out the chorus.)

The encore kicked off with the very first Alanis pop gem to hit the Canadian charts, Too Hot, which made many older fans smile. (We all started somewhere, right?) In the final moments of the hot summer night,  Morissette took full advantage of the theatricality of Uninvited. Its haunting verses built to a monstrous ending that had her whirling, spinning and head banging with fervour. To end the night, Morissette and her audience took refuge in a few moments of gratitude. Thank U was performed against a backdrop of fan tweets expressing gratitude for all that we appreciate – big and small. We all feel it. Given everything we’ve been through these last few years, Morissette’s words of reflection were a perfect way to cap off the show.

Connect with Alanis Morissette : Website || Facebook || Twitter || Instagram

Be sure to check out Live Nation Ontario to see all of the other great acts that they will be bringing to Toronto this year.

About author

From folk to pop to punk, Neloufer believes that music matters; that it is almost as vital as oxygen. She also has a deep love of language, et voilà! - music reviewer.