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NEW YORK — When Alanis Morissette hit the stage for her sold-out show at Long Island’s Paramount Theater on Sunday night, it was with an exceptionally radiant smile on her face. The Canadian-American rocker’s energy and vivaciousness throughout her 90-minute set hinted that she is in a remarkably good place in her life these days.
The alternative rock superstar was in the tri-state area promoting Havoc and Bright Lights, her first album since giving birth to a son in December 2010 with her husband, Mario “Souleye” Treadway. Alanis performed a handful of new tracks from the upbeat album, including the catchy first single, “Guardian,” which fans had already memorized enough to sing along with.
She also performed a number of her biggest hits, beginning with “All I Really Want” from “Jagged Little Pill,” which solidified her status in rock history by going sixteen times platinum since its 1995 release. Her huge voice led a chorus of singing fans through “You Learn,” “Hand in My Pocket,” “Head Over Feet,” “Hands Clean,” and “You Oughtta Know,” which she performed with such perfect feistiness that one might have forgotten how things have turned out so well for her lately. During “Ironic,” she adjusted a lyric slightly, when she sang, “It’s like meeting the man of your dreams and then meeting his beautiful… husband.” Everyone screamed with glee for that small update, of course.
When Alanis wasn’t singing her lungs out, blowing on the harmonica or giving a peace sign, she was jamming out with an energy that captivated the room. These jam sessions included her playing on the bass guitar and flinging her incredibly long brown hair in ways that would put any pop star or hair-metal rock star to shame. She closed the night off with an encore including her beautiful power ballad, “Uninvited” and the song she dedicated to the fans at the show, appropriately being “Thank U.”
Music from six of Alanis’ very different albums — and life phases — all projected from a woman who is clearly at the top of her game, in both her professional and personal life. Amid the break-up anthems, the existential dilemmas and the promise of being a great mother, it was a blast to hear what Alanis has been through to get to where she was on Sunday night, singing with a huge smile on her face.