Alanis Morissette @ IL State Fair Grandstand feat Tenille Townes

Alanis Morrissette, singing Ironic, the first song she has actually heavily encouraged audience participation in, and her mic goes out. The audience had already been doing like 50-75% of the song without her so the band just continued and no one noticed until it came back a few seconds later.

It’s it Ironic?

Don’t cha think?

Last night, I went and saw Alanis Morrissette perform at the Illinois State Fair. In traditional fashion, I’m going to ramble on a bit about the whole night’s experience. For the sake of simplicity, you can get a bit more highlights about my love of Alanis in my recent post about Jagged Little Pill.

A couple of years ago, I almost went to see Alanis and Garbage during their tour together, She was going to be in Indianapolis, and I have family over there I could see, I checked into tickets and they were, a bit more than I cared to spend, for where they were located. Plus it was still kind of “The middle of COVID” so it seems like maybe it was best to just not. Then a few months ago, she was announced as coming to the Illinois State Fair this year. Each year the fair has a large show, I think every night, maybe races a few nights. I hopped on over and signed up for her mailing list to get in the early sales window. My wife wasn’t interested and my brother was interested but that fell through. Since it was just me, I bought tickets for the standing area on the track. Later I learned the fair offers a “Pre Show Party” for pretty cheap, which includes early entry and a parking pass. That seemed like a good deal, so I spring for that.

I’m glad I did.

I opted to go right to the “wait in line” part of the Pre Show Party after buying a bottle of water (which cost me more than an entire case of water normally, but hey, it was some charity group running it). I was like, 25 in line I think, and people kept wandering out and back for more drinks. The only other time I’ve been to a show was like ten years ago for Toby Keith, my wife and daughter wanted to go. This was my view.

When we went in, I had a notion that most people would pile in on the right side of the stage since we were let in on the right, so I shuffled around past to the left side of the stage and ended up pretty much right in the center, I was next to the dude who had been at the front of the line. So this was my view.


Around an hour later, and some light rain, which threatened to become worse, the opening act started. I actually didn’t realize there was an opening act, nothing really mentioned it.

Tenille Townes

I don’t know what it is about opening acts, but it’s like they are required to do SOME cover songs. I don’t mind covers, but her set included I think 3 covers. Oddly enough, I could see the setlist taped to the floor and the second song listed, “Come as You Are”, was NOT a cover of Nirvana. It’s was a Tenille Townes track. She did do covers of U2’s I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For and The Beatle’s Come Together.

I am not familiar enough with her song’s to remember what most of them were called and isn’t helping me here. Funny enough, I am pretty sure I have heard her music before because Somebody’s Daughter was very familiar when they played it.

For the most part, I enjoyed her set. They work the crowd well and she was pretty chatty the whole time. The whole band really seemed to be enjoying themselves. Based on her style and twangyness, she is a country singer, but it’s a very “Rock and roll” kind of country.

Alanis Morrisette

After the usual “tear down and swap over” it was time for the main event.

Pretty much as expected, most of the setlist consisted of songs from Jagged Little Pill. The recent tour was for the 25th anniversary of the album, and most of her well known songs are from that album. In face, the setlist included ALL of Jagged Little Pill, including the hidden track, Your House. It also included several of her other more well known singles as well as some of the less known tracks, though many of those were simply, brief interlude moments, and not the whole songs. I’ve embedded a neat little Setlist from, but it’s deceiving because 7 of the tracks (Hands Clean, Diagnosis, So Unsexy, Nemesis, Losing the Plot, Sympathetic Character, I Remain) were not full songs.

Anyway, the show, was awesome. I can’t say it was the best show I’ve been to, but it was damn good. The music was of course, all very very familiar, but at the same time, as is usually the case, the live versions are different and just generally better. There was so much going on at times too, it was kind of hard to know what to choose to focus on, there was a large screen that was showing some interesting videos to go along with each song. Alanis herself, dancing around stage quite a bit, including that sort of, long stride walk she does (I’ve seen it in some other videos).

Then also the band. Man, the band was amazing, especially the bass player, Cedric LeMoyne, but I’ll say also especially the lead guitarist, Jason Orme. I am assuming lead, there was also a second guitarist, Julian Coryell, playing on several interesting looking small guitars, but he seemed, I dunno, less active in general, not just in stage presence, but also in his playing. I may be totally wrong though. The drums, Victor Indrizzo, and keyboard, Michael Farrell, were also very good, though of course, the nature of both of those means they are quite a bit less showy.

I do want to throw out my one complaint, since it’s related, the rest of the band was very often, in the dark. I couldn’t remember their names, though they were introduced, and finding them was actually kind of difficult. Or at least, it took a lot more work than expected. Like, I love you Alanis, but the these guys were amazing, maybe give them a little bit of that spotlight. Looking at a few other videos this doesn’t always seem to be the case so I almost wonder if there was something going on with the venue’s lighting, though this wasn’t an issue in the Tenille Townes set and if they needed more lights, they could have dropped the weird back of the stage spotlight that basically just, were blinding.

Back to the show though, and the band, that bass player, Cedric, dude was absolutely amazing. He had several moments where he did little solo parts and his playing was great, his stage presence, what you could see, was great as well. I am going to have to check out his previous/other band Remy Zero a bit to see if any of what he was doing here shines through there. The band name actually sounds familiar, so maybe I’ve heard of them at some point.

Alanis herself was amazing as well. There is a phrase “Eat the Mic”, which is to say, hold the mic so close you’re lips are touching it, because you’re too quite. I see this literally quite a bit on some of the videos I’ve seen of artists. Alanis, does the opposite, by a long shot. I mean, it’s kind of her entire style, the very loud screaming sort of singing, but she often had that mic feet away and she still came through fine. I do wonder a bit why she uses a corded mic though, as much as she is back and forth across the stage, it seems like the cord is kind of a hazard, plus cords are prone to failure with that much moving around (they actually swapped out her mic about 3 songs in, and it completely cut out during Ironic briefly).

I appreciate the use of some of the lesser known tracks as interludes. Understandably, she would go get a big drink between almost every song, and often would do a sort of, subdued little bit from a song, just standing in place near the back. I don’t know a ton of her feeling on it all, but i suspect that after 25 years, it gets a bit old singing the same album constantly, especially because she has had several albums since. There wasn’t any of the latest album at all, though that’s kind of understandable since The Storm Before the Calm is an electronic music based meditation album. It’s decent, but you don’t really want to put your crowd to sleep with calming meditative music.

Some highlights, Wake Up where they break out ALL THE GUITARS was pretty good. I do wonder a bit just how many guitars it takes to be “too many” sometimes.

Forgiven is already a pretty intense song, made way more so with the live performance, with all the drama of the song brought out for the stage.

Uninvited and Smiling both start out light-ish but build into an intensely chaotic but well done ball of energy and sound and guitars. Smiling may have been my favorite of the night.

As mentioned above, she really encouraged the audience to sing along to probably her most iconic song, Ironic, I think the audience would doing at least 50% of it with her holding the mic out to the crowd to sing.

The encore performance of Your House was so hilariously good. She kept stopping the band in feign disgust and they would start again doing a different style of music as the backdrop, all not anything like her normal style, like funky or jazzy riffs.

I will throw out there, I kind of wish there was a bit more audience interaction. I guess I’m used to some really talky artists, but I am also a bit more used to smaller venues, so maybe that’s just, not a thing at this level?

A few last wrap ups, the rain tried to come, and it sprinkled a bit before the show, during Tenille Townes, and between sets, but it managed to hold off despite the ominous overcast. The early access pre show ticket was 1000% worth it for a good spot. Bring right up front is so amazing, I strongly recommend some good concert earplugs though. For Alanis, the Encore was especially loud.

Aurora @ The Riviera feat SubUrban (2022.05.27)

It seems like my brief run (of 2) concerts where I was standing up front couldn’t last forever. I was close, but I was not right up front for the Aurora show. Not a massive deal, except I ended up behind this dude with poofy hair, so I couldn’t see half the stage half the time.

But I’m not really here to complain. I’m here to record things that I want to remember.

This would have been my 4th (proper) concert, but I opted to not go see Dodie back in February, due to COVID going nuts at the time. So far, there has been kind of an interesting progression. Each time I’ve gotten to the venue an hour or so before doors opened. For Sigrid and CHVRCHES in St Louis, I was maybe 15-20 people back from the front of the line. For Aurora I was around the block and behind the venue in a very long line. I’m not real sure Aurora is particularly more popular, especially than CHVRCHES, but more likely Chicago is just a different environment than St Louis.

It certain was different for parking too. Both venues in St Louis had parking lots available. For Chicago, I used an app called Spot Hero and had to walk a mile and a half or so to the venue. Plus, I got to park in the jankiest back alley spot under an El Train bridge. Fun times.

Anyway, the doors eventually open, everyone slowly files in, I end up maybe, 4 people back right up against the right side. I probably could have gone closer to the center but I kind of preferred the idea of having the side rail available because, less people around.

The opening act was Sub Urban. I don’t really know much about Sub Urban beyond, he did a single with Aurora called Paramour. Unlike the opening acts at the last two shows, I don’t see myself rushing out to listen to more Sub Urban. His music was interesting, and it wasn’t bad, but it just… wasn’t really my thing. I think the best way to describe it is sort of Emo Rock Rap, while Sub urban does this weird sort of spastic jerky dance. Like I said, it wasn’t bad, I just wasn’t personally super into it.

I was a bit disappointed that they did not perform Paramour live, or even at all. It was kind of the perfect opportunity. I figure the issue there amounts to a few factors. Either you get Aurora out early, which spoils things a bit. Or you have to drag out Paramour’s band gear out again, which isn’t feasible at all, because it’s a Paramour song.

Anyway, as usual, there was a short intermission while the stage is reset, and then the main show of Aurora starts.

The main thing I feel like mentioning, I enjoyed the show a lot more than expected. And I want to say this because I had doubts about the set list before the show. I enjoy the the newest album that the tour is promoting, The Gods We Can Touch, but it’s not my favorite. I was worried that would slightly sour my overall enjoyment, but it did not. I think part of it is that the songs are frankly, better live.

I also was a bit worried about the sound because recently Silja Sol, who has been doing backup vocals for Aurora for a long time, left the band for her own solo work. I was a bit worried that this may hurt the sound, because Silja and Aurora harmonize so well together.

This is a common thing I have found in general, across acts. Even for songs I really enjoy, the music is better live.

Anyway, the setlist.

  • The Forbidden Fruits of Eden (Recorded Intro) (TGWCT)
  • Heathens (TGWCT)
  • Runaway (All My Demons…)
  • Everything Matters (TGWCT)
  • Blood in the Wine (TGWCT)
  • Warrior (All My Demons…)
  • The Woman I Am (TGWCT)
  • A Temporary High (TGWCT)
  • A Dangerous Thing (TGWCT)
  • Infections of a Different Kind (Step 1)
  • The River (Step 2)
  • Cure for Me (TGWCT)
  • Queendom (Step 1)
  • The Seed (Step 2)
  • Running With the Wolves (All My Demons…)


  • Giving In to the Love (TGWCT)
  • A Little Place Called the Moon (Recorded Outro) (TGWCT)

It’s a little thing, but I am really glad Exist for Love wasn’t on the list, because I kind of actively dislike that track in particular. Total tracks were 3 from All My Demons Greeted Me as a Friend, 2 each from Infections of a Different Kind and A Different Kind of Human and 8+2 from The Gods We Can Touch. Not a bad set list. I had been really hoping that somehow Gentle Earthquakes would make it to the set list as it’s my favorite track but it did not.

My personal highlights on this list are Heathens,, Warrior, The Woman I Am, Infections of a Different Kind, Cure For Me, Running With the Wolves, and Giving In to the Love. OK yeah, that’s like half the tracks, and I honestly love them all. I don’t think I’ve mentioned it yet, but Aurora is my top artist of all time, according to Last FM. And as my listening habits tend to be album based over singles, I’ve listened to all of her songs, a lot. I am not sure I could actually pick a favorite from the list, but it probably would be The Woman I Am or Infections of a Different Kind. The latter being particularly notable because it’s a song I don’t listen to a lot because it’s slower, I’m not always in the mood for the slower tracks, and it’s the last song on it’s album, so I don’t always get to it before I stop listening.

Anyway, I am super glad I got to have this experience. I’ve actually seen my top three most listened to (at least per Last-FM) Artists Live now, which is fun.

I’ve added a few photos to this post but a full gallery can be found here.