It was a beautiful Saturday night so we arrived early at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury to enjoy a cocktail and people-watch before Alanis Morissette’s Intimate and Acoustic Show.

The theatre’s outdoor lounge was filled with fans mixing and mingling before the signal that it was time to move inside. There was no hesitation, as we were all eager to hear Morissette.

The seats filled quickly with an army of women who first connected with her songs when Jagged Little Pill, her breakthrough album, debuted in 1995.

It’s astounding to realize that Jagged Little Pill remains the best-selling debut release by a female artist in the United States and still remains in the top spot as being the highest-selling debut album in music history and in 13th place as the highest-selling album of all time. Globally it has sold more than 33 million copies.

Almost 20 years later, Morissette remains a vanguard and staunch advocate for women’s issues and artists’ rights. Many concertgoers arrived with their daughters and husbands in tow to expose them to her prolific and meaningful lyrics.

Alanis Morissette treated NYCB Theatre at Westbury concertgoers to an amazing performance July 26, 2014. (Beverly Fortune/Long Island Press)
Alanis Morissette treated NYCB Theatre at Westbury concertgoers to an amazing performance July 26, 2014. (Beverly Fortune/Long Island Press)

On stage, Morissette was flanked by two guitarists and had the audience’s attention from her first note. What’s the giveaway? Panning the room, there was literally no illumination from cell phones. All eyes were on Morissette. She had everyone at her “Mercy,” which was her opening song.

As she ripped through the set, it became even more apparent that her songs are as authentic and impactful as they were when they were first heard.

Morissette elicited major vocal participation from her fans as they happily sang along for almost the entire set, and she did not disappoint. She was flawless and in full control.

Her fans went wild when she played the harmonica, and interestingly, my friend, John, leaned over and said, “Her voice is so hauntingly beautiful, I could listen to her all night. She doesn’t need to play the harmonica, it’s like putting a mustache on the Mona Lisa,” to quote a well-known phrase.

In between songs she bantered with the audience, who echoed their love for her. A fan asked what her favorite song was and she revealed without hesitation, “Ave Maria.” The only disappointment voiced by some at the end of the show was that “You Oughta Know” was not part of the set.

For more information on future shows at NYCB Theatre at Westbury, check out their page in The Island Ear

The traditional encore was Alanis-ized when she announced that this is where they would traditionally leave the stage and return when the audience yelled for more. She didn’t move from her perch, receiving a resounding standing ovation from the crowd before banging out “Thank U” without missing a beat.

Thank you, Alanis. It was a beautiful night.

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