Thanks to ~Shaigirl for making me aware of this. You can find the review and the really nice photos at indianapolismusic.net.
I have also included the review below. But you will have to go to indianapolismusic.net to see the photos that the reviewer took at Tori's soundcheck that day at the Murat Theatre.
Tori Amos Makes it Worthwhile
Review and Photography by Carrie Sloo
03.18.03. The Murat Theatre. Tori Amos w/ Rhett Miller
I should probably make a professional move and reveal that I am a huge fan of Tori Amos and had she walked to the front of the stage and farted into the microphone I would most likely give the performance 3 stars. I am in no way promising an unbiased review but if you wish to read on and learn what the night was like through the eyes of a Tori fan you may.
Tori Amos, unlike so many national acts, is an artist who makes it worthwhile to make the road trip to see her in more than one city. She never has a set list for the show until about a half hour before show time. She makes an effort to have a meet and greet before almost every show at which Tori fans are encouraged to request songs. She leaves these meet and greets with a list of songs written on the back of her hand. I have seen her three times now on her current tour and the shows share very few similarities.
After her meet and greet in front of the Murat, Tori held a photo session in the theater at which she came out on stage and played a single song. This was the only time that photographers were permitted to shoot her. I was overwhelmed with having my own private Tori show that I only had to share with a couple of other people. The best part of this happened before Tori came out. The bassist and my all-time favorite drummer, Matt Chamberlain (David Bowie, Fiona Apple, ect) were playing death metal and cracking each other up. It was a very amusing atmosphere to find myself in. The show hadn't even begun and I found myself feeling highly satisfied with the night.
Playing the part of the warm-up act was Rhett Miller of the Old 97's. While the Old 97's were more of an alt-county group his current repertoire is much more pop influenced. He treated the crowd to a few Old 97's songs but remained true to his solo work. Throughout his set full of songs about loneliness and heartache he gave a spirited display of head shaking, leg wobbling, and even some pelvic thrusting. His songs ranged from slow stylistic tunes, to what can only be referred to as speed acoustic songs which he more or less had to rap to the crowd of Toriphiles. Although every song in his set conveyed his sour relationship theme some also managed simultaneous attacks on issues such as agnosticism and global affairs.
To start off her set a chilling a cappella straight off of Amos' latest album was played to the shrieking crowd through the house mains. The curtain remained down until the close of "Wampum Prayer." At that point bass player, Jon Evans, and drummer, Matt Chamberlain, snapped straight into "A Sorta Fairytale" the hit single off Tori's most recent album. Tori then graced the stage in a colorful metallic dress with veils of red and yellow draping down either arm that she wore over a ? length pair of jeans complete with high heels. Tori sat down to her piano and completed the song flawlessly. She then immediately followed up with "Little Amsterdam" off of her 1996 release Boys for Pele. She reworked the song from the original simple format (it is the only Tori Amos song I have ever successfully played on piano) into a more complex work using her Fender Rhodes and the assistance of Jon and Matt. She also gave a whole new meaning to the lyric "playing that organ must count for something" when she insinuated oral sex with her microphone. She then followed with "Pancake" another track off of her latest album Scarlet's Walk. Tori took the bass and drum intro to the song as an opportunity to rub against her piano like a cat in heat. She didn't leave her piano bench out of the action either. She managed to give it a slow and methodical lap dance before laying down the vocals to the song. I have a dear friend who always tells me that if he was to come back as anything in his next life he would come back as Tori's piano bench. Following the song she shared a story about her young daughter Natashya who believes that the empty fountain in front of the Indianapolis Westin is actually her castle. Tori's husband was also in attendance. He has been her sound engineer for several albums and tours. After her story she and the boys broke into the Tori classic "Cornflake Girl." Amos and the band played several other classic Tori tunes including "Talula' which was reworked almost beyond recognition.
Then came every Tori Amos fan's favorite part of the night. The part of the show when the band leaves and Tori reverts back to her "girl and a piano" style. She started this segment by whispering "hi" to her screaming fans. She played "China" off of her Little Earthquakes album which can be described as the ultimate sour relationship crying song. She then treated Toriphiles with the early B-side "Upside Down." She continued the mood with a gorgeous and moving rendition of John Lennon's "Imagine." This was most definitely the highlight of the night. Her version of the song was incredibly emotion-packed and appropriate for the times. The song received a mid-show standing ovation from the crowd.
The band returned to play several other songs most of which were off of From the Choirgirl Hotel, the first album to feature the full band format. She and the boys also played a full out rocking version of the B-side "Take to the sky" which she managed to play with one hand while using the other hand to smack the top of her piano in time as the audience clapped along. I'm also pretty certain that Tori also used that free hand to offer her middle finger as the seat as she sang the lyric "Have a seat while I take to the sky."
Tori gave the audience two encores before closing the show. During her first encore she had to stop a few seconds into "Past the Mission" because she began laughing. She then disclosed that the reason for her laughter was she sometimes calls the song "Pass the Chicken." The night ended with "Tear in my hand" during which a male member of the audience shouted "I love you," and Tori replied by singing in a sultry whisper "love you back."
Overall it was a very intense show. I much prefer Tori without the clutter of other musicians on stage but I found the performance immensely enjoyable. The band offers more diversity to the music but simultaneously robs it of intimacy. I found that the three musicians worked together almost flawlessly and were able to anticipate each other's moves whether it be a pause for Tori's laughter or a quick change in a heavy metal improv song.
-- Carrie "Rick Chick" Sloo