Thanks to Gary and Michele for telling me about this press review. You can read it online at seacoastonline.com or below.
Tori Amos moves the Whit
By Jamie Perkins
Tori Amos? show last Tuesday at the Whittemore Center was one of those rare shows that reminds you of how transforming a powerful performance can be. On my way to the show I realized that seeing Amos that night meant she was now tied with two other artists for the coveted title of Musicians I Have Seen the Most Times. (Tied, in fact, with Willie Nelson and Tool; so while I may be a dork, I at least have the whole diversity thing going for me.)
Each time I see Tori in concert, I am shocked at what a great performer she is. She simply sounds amazing. Amos is reportedly very picky about where she plays and how she sounds, and normally doesn?t like playing arenas. But the acoustics of the Whittemore Center have been good enough for her to keep coming back, and she has a full, dynamic sound every time. This time she was aided by a more than capable rhythm section in bassist Jon Evans and drummer Matt Chamberlin. But Tori, as always, was the focal point, with her switching from piano to organ and back again, one on either side of her, often in the same song. Playing a wide range of her material, spanning from her 1991 debut "Little Earthquakes" to her latest release "Scarlet?s Walk," Amos played a few numbers alone onstage at about the halfway point in the concert, with her rendition of Under the Pink?s "Baker Baker" putting a chill down the crowd?s collective spine. Performing alone is when she is at her most emotive, and consequentially her most affective.
Amos is also a fearlessly sensual performer. Having been a huge fan of Led Zeppelin, and in Robert Plant in particular, one can see the impression they made on Amos by the way she writhes on her piano bench, cooing and gesturing at the microphone in front of her. She gets a visible rush from knowingly teasing her audience, and they enjoy it as much as she does. This enjoyment was reflected in an unexpected THREE encores, after which the sweat-laden redhead gave a final turn, wave, and smile, and the taunting, no matter how enjoyable, was over.
Jamie Perkins is a free-lance writer and the drummer for the bands STARCH and Stone Soup. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .