A review of Tori's November 16th performances in Wallingford, CT and at WTIC radio appeared in the November 18, 2002 edition of the Hartford Courant newspaper. Thanks to Amy Guthrie and Woj.
Amos Knows How To Connect With The Crowd
By ERIC R. DANTON
Large crowd, small crowd - Tori Amos captivates them all.
With her riveting stage presence, sly humor and restless energy, Amos holds her audiences rapt, mesmerizing them with quirky piano and her breathy voice.
On tour with a compelling new album, "Scarlet's Walk," Amos performed twice in Connecticut Saturday. The first stop came Saturday afternoon at Tapeworks, a Hartford recording studio, where the red-headed singer and songwriter performed as part of the Acoustic Cafe series sponsored by WTIC-FM (96.5). About 40 contest winners squeezed into the studio to hear Amos sing four tunes from the new album.
Later Saturday, she played for nearly two hours with her band in Wallingford at the careerbuilder.com Oakdale Theatre before a crowd of more than 4,000 people.
The performances displayed different aspects of her range. The radio gig showed Amos at her barest, singing a heartbreaking version of "A Sorta Fairytale" and a stark "Pancake."
Those songs turned out much differently when the band played them at the later show, but her drummer and bass player added flavor to "Strange," also from the new album, and helped to propel the bouncy "Wednesday." Amos also played a brief solo set on piano at the Oakdale show, which included the concert mainstay "Icicle" and "Baker Baker."
She was always in motion on stage, standing up, sitting down, crossing and uncrossing her legs while playing and switching between a stately grand piano and warm-sounding Fender Rhodes- and Wurlitzer-style keyboards.
Her audience, mostly young and mostly women, listened with an attentiveness unusual among concertgoers, bursting into applause and cheers for their favorites. The crowd seemed to already know most of the new songs, and welcomed such older tunes as "Crucify" and "Cornflake Girl."
Though he came on stage with only an acoustic guitar, opening act Howie Day used tape loops to build his spare songs into lush symphonic arrangements with bass lines, guitar fills, drums sounds (from Day thumping on his guitar in time with the music) and vocal harmonies, all of which he recorded and looped as he played.
The 21-year-old singer played tunes from his album, "Australia," and an as yet unreleased tune called "Brace Yourself."
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