On October 1, 2002, Tori performed a small showcase performance for a lucky audience of about 100 people in Vienna, Austria at the Radiokulturhaus for radio station FM4. There is a web page about this at the FM4 web site. FM4 broadcast this small, intimate performance on October 28, 2002.
Several people were there and emailed me about it. Here is a summary of the event as they told it to me. Thanks to all who emailed me about this.
- Tori reached the stage at 8:11PM, and started playing immediately.
- She played 6 songs:
a sorta fairytale
- Tori left the stage at 8:35PM.
- Tori returned to the stage and answered 7 questions from audience members.
Here are some descriptions or reviews of the evening from people who were there:
From Kurier Online, an Austrian press web site:
You can see this review of the performance posted at Kurier Online on October 2, 2002. Here is an English translation of the key parts of that review from an anonymous Toriphile:
Vienna - Burning candles, thick rugs, pillows layed out nicely and a black Bosendorfer - at the great broadcast hall yesterday evening, everything was done to create a "very exlusive, comfortable and emotional" (cited from the invitation) atmosphere. Tori Amos, 39 year old musician from the US, living in the British Cornwall, visited Vienna on her "Scarlet's Walk" (title of the new record, out due 28th of October)
The fact, that only the front rows were taken, comes from a requirement stated by the management, that is focusing on low-key promotion prior to the start of the Tour (...). Not more than 100 "chosen people" in the audience, not more than six songs as a live foretaste to the new CD, not more than seven questions (asked by listeners of the radiostation FM4).
Musically, from what you could hear yesterday, it is not sounding very different from the previous years. Always jeopardized by pathos and kitsch. But what I can indeed judge after yesterdays evening: As soon as the redhead singer strokes the keys, caresses the microphone, sings, moans and sighs, it sounds very, very appealing. And sure looks appealing too.
From soco (with help from the Vienna Crew)
for the last week or so they have been giving out 30 tickets on the radiostation FM4 through various concerts. several folks, like myself, didn't win tickets but showed up anyway to see if we could get in. i showed up around 6pm and met a friend there. we didn't know when the concert would begin and all the lights were off inside the building.
after about 30 minutes or so some people slowly started showing up and they finally set up a table inside and turned on the lights. we walked in with a guy who had a ticket and talked to a lady about getting tickets. after some talking she said that if we come back exactly at 7:30, if there are any extra tickets then we can have them. i don't think any of us really expected there to be extra tickets but were just truly hoping there would be. after so many people had come in wanting tickets she then decided to write the names down . after a very long hour wait, finally she asked if time was up and she gave us tickets. it seemed like a good portion of the people waiting were given tickets if not everyone.
at the table they also had photocopied information about the tour and the album with the writeup about the songs we've seen on the Dent. People coming in were able to write questions on a sheet of paper and submit it for review to ask Tori. behind the tables in a gallery of sorts, there were poster sized versions of the first round of promo pictures that we've also already seen.
When we entered the room there were nice rugs spread out on the stage. the Boesy was in the center. on the left of the Boesy was a large candle holder with fairly big candles. there was a smaller one to the right of the piano. there were several pillows thrown around as well and the some gorgeous blue curtains. they were playing the promo CD when we walked in the room and found our seats. Only about half of the seats were being used after everyone sat down and the host explained that this was because they were told no more than 100 people could come. so about 60 or 70 were reserved for press and private tickets. (private being like Sony employees of which there seemed to be quite a few)
after the CD reached about a minute into Gold Dust the lights and music were turned down. the host, a DJ for FM4, came in and talked to us and told us about why half the seats were empty and that they would air the concert around the end of the month or start of next month when the album was released.
finally, he introduced Tori Amos and she walked in from a side door and up to the piano and immediatley started playing. she said "Hello" and that was all that was said during her piano playing. it's truly hard to remember much about the songs, even still. however i'll try to combine some of the comments i've heard or read. The entire concert lasted around 30 minutes and included
6 songs. it was only Tori and her Bosey. no other instruments or tapes.
the first song was SCARLET'S WALK although it was by far the hardest to identify because she sang the title only once i believe.the piano part started out a tiny bit like "Little Amsterdam" and the vocals started like the slide in "Pandora's Aquarium" around 2.35. i'm not sure if it was the beauty of the song or the awe from seeing Tori in such a situation or some combination, but i almost started crying there.
this song was hardest to identify but she said like once in the whole song "Scarlet's Walk".
MRS. JESUS was next and it seemed to really remind me of something from UTP or LE. the whole night i got the UTP vibe from what i remember. i don't remember much about it except that i thought it was more catchy than Scarlet's Walk. I seem to remember the chorus being very catchy.
PANCAKE. if you've heard the promo and don't like this song very much, wait until you hear it live. it honestly didn't even sound like the same song. it was absolutely amazing. there was
so much emotion behind this song as it was performed live. her voice was much more delicate than it is on the promo version.
A SORTA FAIRYTALE. this is the song most people have heard now, but you've probably never heard it this beautiful. it was really very amazing. i personally like this song quite a bit, however, it was so much more beautiful live. i remember that she stood up and went to the far right of the piano and struck hte opening chords at the very end of the piano. i believe it was higher than on the album. she really slowed the song down. i remember at one time when she sang "a sorta fairytale" she really enunciated it in a delicate way that felt much more like a love song than it's poppy form. a little more like a ballad maybe. she left parts of the song out but i can't remember which parts.
VIRGINIA. the song talked about a girl named Virginia and as i remember, the guy wanted to change her or something. it said something about "clock-wise" and then something-wise (but another word instead of something.) then talked about him getting her to lay down and on top of him she was the same. as if the changes he'd made to her didn't matter onceu she was on top of him. i think this was the song that was talking about her knowing she was in trouble when she realized she had enough love for the both of them. that she was in too far and decided to try on his opinions or something.
STRANGE. really -- no words. i can only remember that it was amazingly beautiful. i can't really remember anything about it except that in the chorus it sort of rotated around the word "strange" which was repeated several times. i can't think of another Tori song that does this in order to describe it. but it was almost as if "Strange" was always the same notes and like an anchor in the chorus. she woud say a line and come back to "Strange" on teh same note, say a line, back to the anchor point. etc whatever it was, it was amazingly effective.
(i'll try to write these as best as i can remember them with the help from some of the comments of the other people who went)
Q:: Has having a family affected the way you tour.
A:: Tori said yes and for example daddy would be riding in the sound engineers bus this year except on nights off. i think this was was also where she mentioned about Tash and Harry Potter. Another person described this as Tori saying that Tash was behaving like a little Harry Potter and instead of being alseep when the show is over she was staying up later than everyone else.
Q:: sometimes when we write things like in a journal or songs and we look back at what we wrote a while after the writing we think of the situation as being silly and wonder how we could've been thinking such things. (the guy had the question worded very well but i've bastardized it.)
A:: Tori said that she sort of sees it like this but more that she looks back and wonders what sort of 'shrooms she was doing at the time. ('shrooms came up 2x in the interview and the other time she was talking about how she used to do shrooms but that now she couldn't because she was a mother and that she found other ways to get influences and such) Tori talked about something else dealing with the causes and influences and how she thought that they had reasons for happening when they did.
Q:: What are your plans or goals for the coming years
A. Tori talked about how sometimes you would be doing an interview and with the interviewer you would agree to do a "fluff" interview where you just gave "fluff" answers to all the questions but that she suspected this wasn't what the guy was asking.
Tori gave a non-fluff question but it wasn't personally related. she said that she really wished that a generation would rise-up. she called the people the "Gap generation" i believe (i'm pretty sure she wasn't talking about a generation gap but it's possible that's what she meant). she said that she wanted them to realize how much power they had and that she wanted them to realize how much our actions in the next few years are going to have an impact on us in years to come. this whole answer was very strange because it seemed as if she was talking about a very specific set of things, to me. she didn't elaborate but seemed to talk with a passion that someone would realize what she was alluding to.
she then gave the "fluff" answer, as she called it, and said that she wished that she'd have plenty of some type of lip gloss in the future :)
Q:: A girl said she'd read an interview where Tori was asked what she would take with her if she were on an island alone, and Tori didn't mention the piano. THis girl wanted to know why.
A:: Tori said "Because the piano would warp!" she then said "Or he would warp". Tori asked whether or not she was alone and if she brought a guy and was he cute. then asked the girl what her answer was. The girl didn't remember.
Q:: Someone asked if Tori considered herself a Native American, a European settler in America, or an American Settler in Europe.
A:: Tori joked and said somthing like "Native American European Settler" or something. she kind of avoided the question and answered it by telling a story. she talked about how she was just in Germany for 7 days and how she really just wanted some french fries. she even called them "Pommes Frites". she said something about how she'd gotten past this part of her life or something. i understood it as if she no longer wanted such foods or something. She said that she was in Paris and that she really wanted some and when they brought her some, they brought her like Texas style potato wedges.
Q:: What were the 5 most important events in Tori's life that affected your career.
A:: getting a piano, listening to stories of her grandfather, discovering lipgloss, having a baby, and maybe something else. i don't remember there being another one but this question is quoted by a fellow Vienna Tori Fan and he said he just didn't understand what she said.
Q:: WHen do you plan to come do a concert in Vienna next?
A:: Tori didn't know the answer but thought she'd stop back by on their way through Europe. she then asked a rather large guy standing by the door named "Johnny" and he said he didn't know
for sure but that they were still working things out. they made this very strange gesture with their pointer finger and the next raising up to their lips at each other. sort as if they were smoking or kissing their fingers. their fingers were forced together as if they weren't holding a cigarette or something there. anyway, they pretty much said that they were trying to hit Vienna and they were pretty sure they would in the European tour but that it was too early to tell.
all of the songs were truly amazing. i'm not personally the type of person who likes all songs the first time i've heard them, and i didn't like Crazy and Pacake the first times i'd heard them. however, i liked every single one of them. the people who i talked with after all agreed. we were pretty much speechless afterwards.As some of the other Vienna Crew have mentioned, the atmosphere was amazing. the room, people, and Tori were all amazing. people didn't make a single sound. i couldn't even hear breathing other than Tori's. it was also very intense.
as a personal note, it was nice to meet more people really into Tori Amos! i didn't know other such people existed here! i had a great time thanks to you all and thanks for your additions to this little write-up!
there were about 100 people in the room; the ambience was overwhelming (blue velvet curtain, candle-light on stage, carpets, pillows ....); toris performance was breathtaking (especially her singing!). i am deeply moved by her performance. it was perfect. but i truely mean perfect. every note was accurate. incredible! this went straight to my heart and i am again and again overwhelmed by her musical gift. she went straight from one song to another, so there wasn't even a "proper" moment to applaude (because it desturbed the flow). the audience was extremely quiet. it felt like 100 people stopped breathing for 25 minutes. you could even her her earring when she made a move through the mike; and there was no barrier between her and the people. nevertheless, there was so much respect, nobody ever dared to cross the line. this was pretty amazing!! so much grace and dignity. like an unspoken agreement between her and the crowd.
i am honored and grateful and very satisfied that i had the chance to be there. the event has been recorded and the organzier (fm4) scheduled airing around october 28th and november 1st.