The angry young woman paradigm is far less entrenched in pop culture than its opposite-gender equivalent, but it’s proven to be every bit as difficult to wriggle out from under for most of those who embraced it early on. Alanis Morissette, long one of the most vocal adherents of that mindset, has been inching her way away from it and — at this sharp, nuanced perf — she escaped that shadow once and for all.
Morissette has always been capable of channeling bracing emotions, as she did on the white-knuckled set opener “Uninvited,” on which she flung herself around the floor in experimental theater fashuon, but she’s come to a point in her evolution where she no longer seems to be on the verge of a tantrum. Instead, even during “You Oughta Know” (arguably her most petulant composition), she came across as incisive and reasoned, a legitimately adult spokesperson not only for women but for thoughtful people of either gender.
The 90-minute set was long on pieces from Morissette’s recently released Warner Bros. disc “Flavors of Entanglement” — an unfairly unheralded collection of smoldering breakup songs. The singer touched cleverly on all aspects of her career — aside, of course, from the sub-Britney dance-pop stylings from her disavowed teen years — to good effect, both accompanied and in a short, mid-perf interlude sans band,
She connected most squarely during the latter segment, notably on a gradually unfolding version of “Everything.” But she also meshed well with her unobtrusively sympathetic band, who demonstrated particular flexibility on three ent’ractes of “The Couch.” Morissette seemed intensely disinterested in addressing expectations, tossing off her most well-known material — like a second encore rendition of “Thank U” — in a manner well beyond perfunctory. That tenor ultimately appeared less peevish than genuinely forward-looking, as borne out by the hand she extended to the aud throughout, a friendliness awfully welcome in the artist’s no longer insular universe.