Thanks to Missy and Jenn for telling me about this. You can find new press reviews of Tori's August 31, 2005 show at Millennium Park in Chicago, IL from luminomagazine.com and concertlivewire.com. Both of these reviews also include some really nice photos that were taken from the stage. (I am guessing soundcheck, but I am not sure.)
You can also read these reviews below, but I would go to the web sites linked above if you can so you can see the photos!
Tori Amos uplifts Millennium Park
Written by COLIN LEICHT / Photos by BARRY BRECHEISEN
Nothing can prepare the senses for Tori Amos. This was especially true at the first pop performance to grace Millennium Park's Jay Pritzker Pavilion, on the last crisp night of August. As the fans gathered around the stage, the lawn, and even outside in the park, the twilight faded, and Tori appeared, like an angel bathed in white, ready to enrapture her audience with "Original Sinsuality".
The atmosphere breathed symbolism; behind Tori this evening stood an apple tree, complete with serpent and a loose apple bearing bite marks. This is merely a touch of the religious symbolism that Tori has threaded into her new album The Beekeeper. According to her MySpace page, this latest album involved a great deal of research into the "hidden" Gnostic gospels, lately brought to attention through the novel "The DaVinci Code".
But don't worry, Tori hasn't gone Christian rock. On the contrary, Tori enthralled her fans with her melodies, and one hand danced on the piano, while the other twirled on the organ. Tori brought emotions deeper, moving through "Crucify" and "Silent All These Years," and blending "Running Up That Hill" with a soulful performance of "God". All the while, the crowd was speechless, bathed in blue and yellow lights, oblivious to the metallic ceiling above, and the city skyline behind. As the space between the fans and the singer saturated with passion, Tori sang about "just passing you by, on my way," while using her voice as to emulate the buzz of bee. Then, dramatically, she got up, and flew off the stage.
At the first sign of her reemergence, the entire front section rushed the stage, bearing imaginary candles. Before the show, Terri Hemmert from WXRT had announced that $75,000 had been raised for New Orleans victims, and this tragedy was echoed as Tori sang that "not even you can stop what is coming." With the air thick with spiritual awe, Tori performed "Black Dove." As if to mark the finale, a bird soared out from the stage, over the enchanted audience, into the night sky beyond.
A glittering debut
Story and photos by Phil Bonyata
Tori Amos was the perfect choice to be featured as the first pop artist ever to play the newly minted Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago's glittering Millennium Park. Seeing a concert here is quite magical - with the bold design of the pavilion, fantastic acoustics and a shimmering view of the Chicago skyline at night.
The classically trained pianist only has her four best friends on stage alongside her - her grand piano and three organs. Opening the show with "Original Sinsuality," the bittersweet lryics about Eve in the Garden of Eden coupled with her fiery note progressions put the first colorful brush strokes on the evening's musical canvas. Amos, the soprano, marked the highs in her vocal range that very few artists are able to attain with such a forceful and fluid delivery.
Her performance was rife with an ethereally beautiful intensity. Amos' haunting voice on "Sleeps With Butterflies," found her sensually massaging the chromatic melodies. Her adept management for dual piano/organ is quite amazing. Her legs were usually spread invitingly open as her long lime green dress lovingly draped them. Her dramatic pauses created a visual compliment to many of her extreme structure changes as well as the nuances of the waning notes - knowing the importance of creating art for all of the senses. Amos' superb command of the piano was demonstrated with the deep richness of "Sugar." Bold, brash and animated Tori became even more extroverted while still culling deeply from within. Other gems of the two hour plus set were "God," "The Blower's Daughter," by Damien Rice and "The Beekeeper." At one point a rather odd sight occured right after "The Beekeeper" expended it's last note. Nearly a hundred or more fans rushed the stage almost in choreographed unison - this was in the reseved seating area after all and security did nothing to thwart the interlopers advance. They crowded the aisles and stood in front of people who had paid for their seats. Not a big problem as everyone decided to get along and revel in the artistry that is Tori Amos.