Alanis Morissette – Live at Montreux (2013)

Maybe no song in this forthcoming live set so perfectly illustrates the contentment and joy that the now-married new mother Alanis Morissette seems to enjoy now as does “Thank U,” her set closer at Montreux last year.

“How about me enjoying a moment,” she sings between utterly contagious grins, “for once?”

Morissette’s transformation from the angry 20-something who excoriated a cheating ex during “You Oughta Know” on 1995′s Jagged Little Pill is, in that moment, utterly complete. Married to Mario Treadway since 2010, Morissette later gave birth to their son Ever Imre on Christmas Day. When she returned to recording, it was in a whole new place — literally: Morissette converted the entire first floor of her home into a studio, emerging with the sun-flecked Havoc and Bright Lights in 2012.

This July date at the Auditorium Stravinksi, held before the album hit stores, blends sinewy updates of Morissette’s best known hits (including “Head Over Feet,” “You Learn,” “Ironic” and “Hand in My Pocket”) with high points from her then-still forthcoming effort.

In a way, it all seemed to be leading up to “Thank U,” both figuratively and literally. As Morissette finishes out a strikingly open-hearted concert, this track (embedded from a later performance on the same tour above) couldn’t have been more appropriate — though it actually dates back to 1998′s Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie, well before she started this new life.

Even so, the central theme had, at this point, become Morissette’s own: “Thank U” is about forgiving, about letting go, about teaching yourself to be happy. Back in ’95, it seemed she was simply singing about such things — hoping against hope. That smile in Montreux, however, makes clear that these days Alanis Morissette is actually doing them.


Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has also explored music for publications like USA Today, Gannett News Service, All About Jazz and Popdose for nearly 30 years. Honored as newspaper columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section that was named Top 10 in the nation by the AP in 2006. Contact him at