Thanks to Woj for making me aware of this review. Read it online at louisvillescene.com or below.
Tori Amos takes fans on inner journey
By SCOTT ROBINSON
Whatever you might expect when seeing Tori Amos perform live isn't what you'll see.
Taking the Louisville Palace stage before a packed house Saturday night, the fiery singer-songwriter shattered the perceptions her old fans had and rocked her new ones, re-inventing herself yet again. Longtime musical comrades John Evans on bass and Matt Chamberlain on drums and percussion accompanied Amos as she offered up m uch of her latest album, " Scarlet's Walk " in a breathless two-hour set.
Seven albums into her odyssey, we can view her collective output as a sort of diary of some inner journey , both wonderful and terrible, alternately whimsical and deeply profound. On stage she takes it up several notches, tossing out songs both painful and celebratory in a whirlwind that is as dramatic as it is colorful.
What you don't expect, if you've never seen her live before, is the discipline, taste, passion and skill of a classical soloist. A marvelous writer and vocalist, Amos is all the more impressive in her command of the piano. Playing a 9 -foot grand as her rhythm section loyally followed her through an endless flight of sonic tumult, she demonstrated an uncommon articulation and mastery of the instrument's dynamics almost unheard of in pop music. Through " Little Earthquakes, " " God, " " Cornflake Girl " and other standards, and into her newer material, she revealed an almost erotic bond with the instrument, unashamedly shocking and exalting her listeners.
Utilizing a wonderful back drop and the acoustics of the theater to the fullest, her per formance also was dramatically enhanced with the liberal use of vocal processing, with echo and chorusing applied to heighten her emotional impact. While this technique was extremely effective as art, it made it more difficult still to follow her lyrics and her lyrics are desperately worth following.
A revealing and charming highlight of the show was her stunning rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," offered during a solo moment in the show.
The unbearable sadness and loneliness conveyed in her interpretation of the song was suddenly offset by the discovery that she had drifted into the wrong key. Improvising some humor, she brought the audience to laughter and then back into the intense yearning of the song's climax a wondrous spectrum of emotion, traveled in four minutes' time.
Amos is essential to our musical consciousness. She puts forth an excellence, an honesty and craftsmanship that demand our response. Most importantly, she reminds us why true musicians need to offer us what they do, and why we need to hear it.