Last night I had the great, great pleasure to have one of the finest auditory experiences of my life as I saw Nickel Creek and Fiona Apple live at Lifestyles Community Pavillion in Columbus, Ohio.

Since last October, Nickel Creek has been discussing going on hiatus for a while and calling this last year of touring their “Farewell (For Now) Tour” (Don’t worry, it’s so they can all further develop their alreadly sterling solo projects). And we all know how fickle Fiona can be, here today, gone tomorrow, so there was no question that I had to attend this concert. I am infinitely glad that I did.

  

Before the show, I met up with my friend Alli and we shared some deliciously hot chicken wings at Rooster’s which ended up being not far at all from the venue. So after being completely stuffed on wings, Alli put me in the right direction to get downtown in plenty of time. The venue is pretty small, almost like an industrial, mini sized Verizon Wireless/Irvine Meadows, if you’ve ever been there. I was able to snag a close spot on the grass and wait for the sun to go down and the Fiona Creek to come up.

 At a little bit after 8, out came Nickel Creek, or as I’d like to call them, Three of the Most Talented People in Music. Period. They played about six songs, combining Nickel Creek numbers, and some songs from the individual members’ solo projects and then called out Fiona Apple. She was an absolute vision. Wearing a long, dark blue, strapless cotton dress that was flowing in sync with her beautiful hair in the cool summer breeze Fiona was singing as gorgeously and confidently as I’ve ever heard her.

They played a few Fiona songs (spiced with Nickel Creek bluegrass!), including one of the most amazing versions of “Limp” that I’ve ever heard, and after a short intermission, Fiona Creek was out for more. “Parting Gift” and “Oh Well” rocked my socks pretty well, but then they brought out the big guns by playing the most amazingly different and innovative bluegrass version of “Criminal” that could have ever been imagined. Some wonderful fan at a different show got a pretty good video of the song!!! Look!

 It took me the entire song and then half of the one that followed to pick my jaw off the floor.  Fiona was dismissed until the encore and Nickel Creek continued to absolutely rock it. They played a new song called “If You’re Gonna Leave Me,” which is as hilarious as it is sweet (“If you leave me, who am I gonna make out with when I win a Grammy?” It’s been in my head since last night.). 

For the encore, Nickel Creek played one solo and then called out Fiona for two covers, “When I Get Low, I Get High,” and “Tonight You Belong To Me,” which was performed as an absolutely spellbinding duet with Miss Sara Watkins (I wanna be Sara Watkins when I grow up.).

I’ve never seen four musicians enjoy each others’ company more than I did last night. Fiona seemed so happy and comfortable and it was a surprisingly wonderful change of pace from seeing her nervous quirky behaviors we know from when she’s on her own. She told jokes (including a borderline inappropriate and yet still hilarious Patsy Cline joke. Actually, you can click here to see a video [from a differnet show] of the Patsy Cline “Walkin’ After Midnight” cover that they did!), danced and laughed and I know that if you had half the fun that it appeared those on stage did, you definitely had one of the best times ever.  The only thing missing from this show was some Baked Honey Chicken and Flanagan, but still, the intimacy of the show, even in front of 2,000 people, was astounding and refreshing.

The show was all-in-all incredible. Nickel Creek really is one of the most talented groups of musicians out there these days and to be paired with Fiona is like a dream come true. Each song soared to galactic heights and just kept soaring long after the show was over. This tour is going on for a little bit longer, so if it’s headed to your area, please check it out.

Heads up: This Fall, Nickel Creek is headed back out for the final leg of their”Farewell (For Now) Tour” and likely headed to a city very near you. I couldn’t possibly recommend it more that you get out to one of these shows, I know I will.

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