By Nathan M. Walters, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – In the summer of 1995 the airwaves and MTV were dominated by Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know” and her howling erotic breakup anthem that offered an empowered feminist voice to the generation. The single was released two years before the first Lilith Fair, and in many respects, paved the way for a generation of female artists that would follow.
Morissette, the Canadian-American former child actress turned sultry songstress turned enlightened activist turned proud mother, makes her stop in Rio this Friday, September 7th, at Citibank Hall.
After a marathon tour through Europe, Morissette returns to Brazil (the artist was here in 2009 at HSBC Arena), before winding her way through the U.S. and finishing her impressive 2012 run in the UK.
The LP “Jagged Little Pill” launched Morissette’s international career and in addition to “You Oughta Know,” other incredibly popular singles “Hand in my Pocket,” “You Learn,” and “Ironic,” captured the spirit of the era.
A sound that filled the gaps between optimism, emerging sexual independence (at a time when HIV in the U.S. had gone through a period of denial, to acceptance, to understanding), and adolescent angst.
Morissette’s breakthrough album was a high-water mark of sorts for Generation X, which makes sense as the artist is both a cause and product of the thoughts and beliefs that guided that generation.
After the success of “Jagged Little Pill,” Morissette’s “Thank U,” for the album “Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie” hailed the boom of interest in eastern spirituality that started to influence the era (arguably the ushering in the the re-emergence of yoga in the early 2000’s). She also played the part of God in Kevin Smith’s 1999 classic “Dogma.” Smith, of course the cinematic vision of Generation X.
Morissette returns to Brazil on the heels of her most recent studio effort, “Havoc and Bright Lights.” The album, the artist’s eighth, highlights Morissette’s beautifully powerful voice and talented songwriting.
Focused heavily on the joys and challenges of motherhood, “Havoc” lacks the edge of some of Morissette’s earlier albums but is a great listen and surprisingly appropriate for the artist’s evolution as an artist.
Mary Byker, a British expatriate living in Rio and owner of Mekong restaurant – as well as front-man for the band Pop Will Eat Itself – told The Rio Times: “[I] was a big fan of the first LP, she used to have a great band with the now drummer of the Foo Fighters Taylor Hawkins … Have not really heard much of her new material but I’m sure it will be a great show!”
“I used to listen to “Jagged Little Pill’ all the time, was very popular when I was growing up,” says Maria de Castro, a local teacher who will be attending Friday night’s show. “I haven’t heard the new album yet, but can’t wait to see Alanis live.”
Friday is a holiday in Brazil, Independence Day, which means any thoughts on a quick escape from the city for a long weekend will most likely be greeted with frustration. Better to spend Friday night at Citibank Hall with one of the preserving voices of a generation, quite probably your own generation (assuming you were born between the mid-seventies and 1982).
What: Alanis Morissette
Where: Citibank Hall Av. Ayrton Senna, 3000 – Barra da Tijuca
When: September 7th, 10:15 PM
Price: from R$75 to R$450