setlist courtesy of facebook.com/toriamosSetlist
information from setlist.fm
07/24: San Diego, CA @ Humphrey’sRead More
07/25: Mesa, AZ @ Mesa Arts Center
07/27: Denver, CO @ Paramount Theatre
07/29: Dallas, TX @ Winspear Opera House
07/30: Austin, TX @ Long Center
08/01: St. Louis, MO @ Peabody Opera House
08/02: Kansas City, MO @ Midland Theatre
08/03: St. Paul, MN @ The O’Shaughnessy
08/05: Chicago, IL @ Chicago Theatre
08/06: Detroit, MI @ Fox Theatre
08/07: Cleveland, OH @ Cain Park
08/08: Toronto, ON @ Massey Hall
08/10: Philadelphia, PA @ Verizon Hall
08/12: New York, NY @ Beacon Theatre
08/13: New York, NY @ Beacon Theatre
08/15: Boston, MA @ Opera House
08/16: Washington, DC @ DAR Constitution Hall
08/18: Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium
08/19: Atlanta, GA @ Cobb-Energy PAC
08/20: Durham, NC @ Durham PAC
08/22: Clearwater, FL @ Ruth Eckerd Hall
08/23: Orlando, FL @ Bob Carr PAC
08/24: Miami, FL @ Fillmore
I have been listening to Tori since I was 9 years old. My mother introduced me to her, as she was obsessed herself. Tori’s songs are the epitome of the bonding experiences we shared. We would be in the car together for long periods of time on the commute from where we lived to her college, and would blast Little Earthquakes from the speakers, singing our little hearts out. Since Little Earthquakes Tori has produced 14 studio albums, won countless awards and has toured the world consistently. She started composing music on the piano at age 5 and was the youngest person ever admitted into the Peabody Institute at John Hopkins University. Her brilliance has been unwavering; as her music not only depicts her talent but her courage as well-with her sensual and at times controversial lyrics having zero sensor-something I feel was a pinnacle milestone for female artists of that time. What has always stuck out in my mind was the part in Precious Things, ‘I wanna smash the faces, of those beautiful boys, those Christian boys, so you can make me cum, that doesn’t make you Jesus...’ To a nine year old these things have a tendency to stick, not that I really knew what the hell she was talking about until I was older.
Opening for Tori were Trevor Moss and Hannah-Lou, an adorable husband and wife folk duo from the UK. Founding members of Indigo Moss, the two ditched the name and decided to continue on by themselves. Hannah had a voice similar to Dolores O’Riordan of The Cranberries, and Travis is a hoot onstage, joking about the less-than-stellar hotels they had to endure their first time in America. They played mostly new songs (they’ve released three albums so far), and one particularly lovely one titled For A Minute There. Having never heard them before I did my research when I got home. Their songs are clever and light-hearted, with uplifting harmonies and romantic music videos. Interesting pick for Tori though, I would have guessed she’d have someone a little more dark and edgy.
Suddenly the lights on the stage go dim, basking the audience in darkness as the sun had just set below the theatre. Tori enters the stage as the audience goes nuts, all smiles and waves. She’s dressed in leather tights and a black layered dress, with perfectly curled hair and black cat-eyed glasses. She sits down at her pristine Bosendorfer piano, and behind her is another one, equally stunning. She opens with Parasol, the first track on her 2005 album The Beekeeper. The crowd welcomes her with a standing ovation, and when she starts her infamous double-piano playing the cheers erupt like a volcano all over the stadium. If you haven’t seen Tori, she puts you on sensory overload with her beyond-impressive piano playing to her erotic movements to her angelic, breathy vocals. She is a ghost that’s been pent up in purgatory for centuries and is finally allowed to haunt the masses; she’s a beautiful temptress with the power to cast spells on anyone she comes into contact with. She precedes to tell us how much she loves L.A., how she used to live on Franklin and Gower and about the incredible inspiration she experienced there, which helped her write many of the songs on Strange Little Girls and Scarlett’s Walk. She laughed while exclaiming “I gotta say I’m disappointed in you queens. You didn’t come glammed up. I know you bitches were at the Staple Center.” Tori has a wonderful sense of humor.
After she plays the upbeat Bouncing off Clouds, I rejoice in the first notes of Crucify, from Little Earthquakes. Little Earthquakes is by far my favorite album, not only for nostalgic purposes but because it’s filled with mostly melancholy and simple tracks, with just her piano mixed in with some strings. Most of her albums to follow, although staying saturated with the piano, include more electronic sounds. Tori grabs her neck while singing ‘You’re just an empty cage girl if you kill the bird’, always keeping us entertained with her dramatic gestures. Next, A Sorta Fairytale, which is her most radio-friendly and commercially popular song, followed by my personal favorite song of hers, Winter. I sat there in wonder as tears flowed down my cheeks...it amazes me how one person can write and perform one song that is able to transport you into another world completely; a world you’ve known and will never know, a world you wish for and long for every day of your life. You can always count on this one song, this one moment, even when everything else in this life is transcending, changing, falling away. A truly life-changing moment for me to hear this live, that’s for sure. She then lifted the mood with some happier tunes, including Purple People and Oysters. The stage is backlit with the words Lizard Lounge for her next conquest. She laughs jokes that she has to get prepared, shuffling around papers and saying “This is complicated you guys. I have a surprise for ya’ll, I know I know you’re like “Hurry it up, Mom!” She switched her pianoto organ and starts playing You Spin Me Round by Dead or Alive. I love Tori’s covers, she takes pop music and puts her own spin on it, making it almost sinister. Of course she played Maybe California, such a tearjerker, followed by Cornflake Girl, also one of my favorites.
Tori is currently in the middle of her US tour, and is taking a couple month break before she plays some shows in Australia in November.
Tori Amos at the Greek Theatre, Los Angeles (23 Jul 2014)