INCREDIBLY, it’s 17 years since Alanis Morissette forced her way into the hearts of angst-ridden teenage girls across the world with the once ubiquitous Jagged Little Pill album.
Sales of 33 million have ensured Morissette, though not the unit shifting behemoth of the mid-nineties, is still well capable of playing arenas.
Eight albums on from her enormous success she commands a loyal band of female followers, who like their hero, have made the awkward journey from men-hating tom boys to comfortably settled working mothers, judging by the number of rather bored looking husbands and boyfriends and the nervous glances at watches as the Canadian singer’s performance ticked towards 11pm.
Despite retaining the familiar long haired look which made her a grungy heart throb, this drift towards Earth motherhood is reflected in the ethnic stylings of some of her new material and an overall demeanour that suggests the 38-year-old is far happier than her previous incarnation.
As loyal fans do, the adoring crowd indulge her every utterance with whoops of support, and she seems genuinely moved when she says Liverpool was the best choice for the last date of her European tour.
Much of Morissette’s material is mellower in tone – gone is the venomous fury aimed at cheating ex-boyfriends, but happily for the fans there is still enough gender-friendly issues to keep them on side.
New songs like Woman Down gave them an anti-domestic violence message, while Guardian proved a cosy ode to motherhood.
For the rather bored male observer like myself, it all seemed a bit like preaching to the converted and with Morissette’s stage craft amounting to little more than skipping from one side of the stage to another, there was very little to keep the mind occupied.
Unsurprisingly it was the singles off Jagged Little Pill that went down best. The likes of You Learn, Head Over Feet and the still excruciatingly annoying Ironic provoke mass sing-a-longs with Morissette happy to offer the crowd the mic and there is much hilarity when she changes the latter’s pay off line about meeting her intended’s wife to “meeting his beautiful husband”.
Her breakthrough hit You Oughta Know provoked a polite bout of head banging, but it was during the encore when Morissette really came into her own with an acoustic set which placed her marmite voice in far more sympathetic light.
As she soared her way through One Hand In My Pocket, it was clear to see why she’s still capable of the odd iconic, if not ironic, moment.