Read a review of Tori's Clearwater, FL concert from the April 2, 2005 edition of the St. Petersburg Times newspaper.
Thanks to the Corinne Ferraro for telling me about this review, which you can read online at pqasb.pqarchiver.com or below:
For Amos fans, a simply perfect performance Series
By RICK GERSHMAN
A piano, an organ and keyboards, and exactly one small, pale woman with shocking red hair playing all of them, often at the same time:
If it doesn't sound like much, you're not a Tori Amos fan. But to the singer's dedicated fan base, Friday night's performance was perfect in every possible way: The perfect presentation, the perfect venue, the perfect opportunity to appreciate her passionate, incisive compositions.
The show, at sold-out Ruth Eckerd Hall, which seats 2,180, kicked off Amos' Original Sinsuality tour, supporting her new hit album The Beekeeper. She earned a standing ovation a half-second into the show, when the curtain opened to show Amos standing demurely in a pink dress.
Amos immediately sat, her piano to the audience's left, an organ to her right, and opened with the song Original Sinsuality off the new album. Even in the most quiet moments the crowd remained mute until each song ended, then erupted into riotous applause.
Amos often played the piano and organ simultaneously. This is the first time she has played without a backing band since 2001, and the only question is why she waited so long to go back to the stripped- down sound that reveals her work at its most touching and intimate.
She had promised to perform songs from her back catalog and often made good. A highlight was the breathtaking Winter off her solo major-label debut Little Earthquakes. The devastating ballad about change and maturity was punctuated simply and brilliantly by the silhouette of a barren oak tree, projected on a hexagonal screen over the right side of the stage. Other than the occasional rotating colored spotlight, the screen was the only added effect, as the presentation focused squarely on Amos and her voice.
The simplicity works perfectly for Amos, who has one of the most reverent and fervent fan bases you'll find, thanks to her distinctive sound and style and her refusal to adapt to commercial considerations.
Amos kept the banter to a minimum, but got laughs with a brief aside about wanting to "sell a T-shirt that say, 'Wrong Job,' so you can give them to somebody who sucks at their job."
While some respected singer-songwriters have discarded their credibility in hopes of Top 40 (see Liz Phair's eponymous 2003 album) or sold out completely (Jewel's single/razor commercial Intuition), Amos remains devoted to her oeuvre.
Other highlights included Playboy Mommy from Amos' ambitious From the Choirgirl Hotel and her rendition of Elton John's Candle in the Wind. She performed with a sparseness and power that arguably outdid John's original about Marilyn Monroe and avoided the schmaltziness of his reworked version about Princess Diana.