MSN Music Blog - Reverb

Did Fiona freak out?

Apple responds to reports that she stormed offstage at Louis Vuitton party

By percy thrillington Sep 3, 2013 2:40PM
Reports that Fiona Apple stormed offstage at a gig are hardly surprising these days; she's had a tantrum penchant since the beginning. This weekend's news—that she harangued a chatty, inattentive audience at a party for fashion designer Louis Vuitton in Tokyo before storming off-stage—is, however, a useful opportunity to discuss two important things.

First, the story, courtesy of Women's Wear Daily:

Apple grew frustrated with the ongoing chatter in the venue, a hall at Tokyo Station Hotel, where the exhibition makes its home. Partway through her short set, she climbed on top of her grand piano and asked the audience to be quiet so that she could perform. She then challenged everyone to be silent for the duration of a tone she created by striking a small metal bell. The performer grew even more angry when the noise in the venue continued.
Apple instructed the audience to “shut the f--k up” and uttered other expletives, both audibly and under her breath, calling the event’s attendees “rude.” She continued with her set before shouting, “Predictable! Predictable fashion, what the f--k?” as she stormed off the stage. The show was punctuated with other bizarre moments, such as when she hit her head with her microphone, did a back bend over her piano bench and stared intensely at her guitarist as if in a love-struck trance.
A Louis Vuitton spokesman declined to comment on the performance.

Now, the commentary:

1) Audiences have NO idea how to behave themselves anymore. The advent of cell phone ubiquity and on-demand culture have made it so that the in-the-moment nature of live performance is a negligible blip on the consciousness. People talk, text, email, and Instagram their way through live shows as if they were at home, instead of sharing a public space. It's bad enough for the other people in the crowd who might actually be trying to concentrate, but it makes the experience of performing feel akin to being in a zoo after someone left the cages unlocked. And so, when you hear about a famous musician having a bit of a tantrum because the audience won't shut up, it's fair enough to think "oh, what a diva," but pause to consider that you're probably wrong, and that it takes a spectacularly bad crowd to drive a pro—even a slightly batty one—to such lengths.

2) You never really know what really happened. The proliferation of entertainment gossip websites over the past few years has been completely mind blowing, and as a result, the amount of ethical/professional self-policing that goes on (especially when the only way these sites make money is through headlines) is, well, unlikely to be super impressive. And so, the temptation to write a version of this story that posits Fiona Apple as mental patient is strong—it's the story everyone wants and expects to read. But to hear Apple herself tell it, as she did to Questlove, who published her response on his website, Okay Player, it wasn't quite as cut-and-dried as the reports would have you believe:
if it wouldn’t be too much trouble, if you could tweet to the twits who call themselves journalists(example Chris Martins of sit-and-Spin Magazine) that I FINISHED MY SET!!! I did my job, and they should do theirs too–They all miss the fact that there is a difference between the back-of-the-room-chatter that is simply annoying,–and the operatic drunken blather, or the heckling that is really just INTERRUPTING that makes it impossible for us to do our jobs. I hope your readers are already hip to the fact that they are consistently lied to… no apologies. -Fiona.

Sep 4, 2013 8:27PM
No not self-important, just that I've been there in front of the same type audience, so we finished what we had to do, put up with the clamor and left, no tantrums...more than likely you have never been there and are a product of a me type generation that was taught however you want to act is ok and have no deportment and haven't grown up.
Sep 4, 2013 11:04AM
 ~ Fiona, if they loved you they would pay attention....duh!
Sep 4, 2013 9:30AM
If she did freak out, who cares?  Clearly the audience was collectively being rude and noisy, so if she did act strange, why is she the one being singled out by her behavior?  It's called having manners and knowing how to act in public....practically a super-power nowadays.  Rock on Fiona!
Sep 4, 2013 9:13AM
It was a freakin fashion show....if you've fallen that far, you shouldn't complain about a paying gig.
Sep 4, 2013 9:10AM
Did she get paid? That's all that matters!! That's all that should matter to ANY performer!
No one can sing like Fiona. Love the girls music. Who wouldn't listen to her? Nobody I want to be friends with! :) 

Percy is right, we don't know what happened! However, she is a professional who has been doing this for 15+ years. She should have handled herself as such
Sep 4, 2013 8:36AM
Fiona is awesome. Love her music, and love her strength. If it were me getting treated that way, I'd've started singing something really annoying, like 80's commercial jungles...
Sep 4, 2013 8:35AM
For a change, a balanced perspective. We live in a world where journalism has been replaced with blogsterism. Everything is spun.
Sep 4, 2013 8:26AM
I don't know if she necessarily handled it properly but she definitely has a right to be upset.  As it says in her statement this wasn't back of the room chatter it was blatant heckling and drunk people being loud and rude.  I don't blame her for throwing a fit!
Sep 4, 2013 8:21AM

I'm not "hatin'" (such an 8th grade word, by the way), but  you command the kind of respect she was demanding when you are headlining your own concert, not the background noise at a party. I've covered events l ike these for a contemporary art gallery and the Louis Vuittons of the world don't care about the music - they just want to show off to their friends, "Look who came running when I snapped my fingers."  But if you want the big bucks they are willing to pay, you suck it up and perform. If Apple thinks she's too good for this kind of thing, next time she should turn down the job.

Sep 4, 2013 8:14AM
Japs don't understand English so why would they shut-up???  Those little yellow devils talk loud when they are drunk??
Sep 4, 2013 8:13AM
Yeah Im sure she is half nuts but  I can only imagine what type of moronic douche bag would congregate at a fashion show like this. NO FU**ING THANK YOU! Well unless Mugatu was there with his piano neck tie then maybe I would reconsider??
she still drawing a crowd ? but I do understand how frustrating it can be having 6 people talking all at once
Sep 4, 2013 7:56AM
 Dear wrtchtd91, I read the article. I was also in the music industry and associated with many top acts since the early folk days, been on tv, in concerts, touring.  A sign of maturity is you get up and quietly walk off, no rant, not like a child in a tantrum. It will make the audience reflect on their actions.
Sep 4, 2013 7:37AM
hey surelogan, I bet you listen to country music....AND I know you were watching and lovin Miley the whole time...Idiocracy
Sep 4, 2013 7:35AM

wow haters will be haters. concert? its a louis v show. AcDc relevant? not since bon scott dipship!

Golf? How the F did golf get into this. The usual morons I see are up and showing their depth. Too bad you cant drown in an inch of water.


Sep 4, 2013 7:33AM
She was performing at a party, did not say people were there specifically for a concert, maybe she was supposed to be background ambience (like the piano player at Nordstrom) not the main event....
Sep 4, 2013 7:31AM
people are cockroach cattle...mindless, senseless, worthless masses.
Sep 4, 2013 7:30AM
I often wonder why people bother to go to movies, concerts, shows if they are planning to be on their phone the entire time!

Sep 4, 2013 7:30AM
Honestly, didn't know that she was still around or relevant. Got people talking about her tho. Maybe not as crazy as she seems. If she had pulled a Miley she would be gold.
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