Alanis Morissette Blesses The Xcel Energy Center Sunday Night


Photos by Vito Ingerto

I made a lot of questionable decisions in the 90’s, but somehow, I made it through without a tattoo on my lower back. Those questionable decisions caused a lot of memories to be fuzzy, but I can remember the first time I heard “You Oughta Know”. It was the summer of 1995. The big bands of the day were Pearl Jam, the Chili Peppers, Goo Goo Dolls, Smashing Pumpkins, Presidents of the USA, No Doubt, this list could go on for the whole page. I saw “You Oughta Know” on MTV. It was a raw, dark, and to me, a very real confession that detailed the resentment and sadness of being dumped for someone else. You could feel the anger through the screen. How dare they fucking move on? That sadness and pain are universal, gender neutral. Who was the person who wrote this? The video was dark, shaky and as dissonant as a bad breakup. You never really got to see the singers face. Who was this Alanis Morissette? I ran to the mall to get her cd, yes, in the mid ‘90’s you could buy cd’s at the mall, and started listening. One listen of Jagged Little Pill and I was both surprised and shocked. I knew this was something different. The writer wasn’t an angry, resentful ex that was stuck in the past. She was thoughtful, articulate, deep and crazy talented. It was real life. It was spiritual. “You Learn” was the Ying to “You Oughta Knows” Yang, an anthem to resilience. An honest look in the mirror to accept life on life’s terms, and you know what? You will be OK. She was Budda level deep. Alanis brought that honest, real, unpretentious message to the Xcel Energy Center on Sunday night for The Jagged Little Pill 25th Anniversary Tour.

Garbage started the evening off hard, pounding the X with electronic infused beats and thunderous guitars. Shirley Manson came out ready to kick ass and take names, all red lipstick, snarl and plenty of F-bombs to go around. “Mr. Nevermind” Butch Vig was keeping the beat on the drum kit as the band started the set with “Vow” off their first album. Fun fact: the first time Garbage played that song was at the 7 th St. Entry in November of ’95. The set was pretty evenly spilt between the albums Garbage, Version 2.0 and No Gods, No Masters. The roughly hour long set was seriously rocking, with some of the crowd favorites being “Stupid Girl”, “I Think I’m Paranoid” and “Only Happy When It Rains”.


Right around 8:30, the house lights went down and the three large video screen’s displayed the cover of Alanis Morissettes first album and the subject of the tour, Jagged Little Pill. This was followed by a retrospective montage that included clips from her many appearances over the last 25 years, as well as snippets of other artist covering her tunes. The band had come on the stage during the montage and broke into “All I Really Want”. Morissette paced back and forth across the stage in her trademark oversized T-shirt and sneakers. The packed crowd at the X sang every word to almost every song enthusiastically. Alanis was packing her harmonica, and went hard with it on the first tune as well as “Hand In My Pocket”. She was all smiles, and seemed to literally beam on the stage.

She performed every track from Jagged Little Pill, and it would be really difficult to pick a highlight. In a touching moment, Alanis dedicated “Ironic” to the late Taylor Hawkins, who was a member of her band before joining the Foo Fighters. One of her newer tunes, “Ablaze”, featured a peak into Morissette’s life now, as photos of her family flashed behind while she sang. Showcasing just how talented she is, Alanis played both acoustic guitar and harmonica on “Head Over Feet” as she was accompanied by the Xcel audience. Even in the slowest moments, her voice was as clear and powerful as it was in the 90’s. As you expect, “You Ought To Know” brought down the house. She delivered a fiery rendition, complete with video flames, to close the set. The encore featured a real blast from the past with one her first hits from the pre Jagged Little Pill days, “Your House”. The show ended with “Thank U”, with a montage of social media posts from fans expressing their appreciation for everything they are thankful for, including dogs and family. It was a perfect moment of mutual appreciation between a real national treasure and a
grateful audience.