The set list and reviews from Tori's April 18th concert in Santa Barbara, CA
Updated Sat, Apr 19, 2003 - 5:51am ET
Tonight's set included Here. In My Head (solo), Carnival, Mary (with band), Professional Widow and Mrs. Jesus. If you were at the Santa Barbara show, please email me with your reviews and/or set list or post your review or comments in the Dent's Concert Reviews forum. (You can post under any name without registering, so it is quick!)
Tori performed in Santa Barbara, CA on Friday, April 18, 2003 at Arlington Theatre. The opening act was Rhett Miller.
Many thanks to Matt Page who phoned me with the set list after the show.
a sorta fairytale
Take To The Sky
Here. In My Head
I Can't See New York
The latest reviews are at the bottom of this page. For more reviews, please check out the Dent's Tour Reviews Forum. Please post your own review if you were at this show!
From Matt Page:
Matt said the evening seemed to have a religious-type theme with songs like Mary and Carnival. The Theatre was really beautiful and Tori both sounded good and appeared to be in a good mood. a sorta fairytale definitely has a different sound to it now, it sounds fuller with the addition of something, perhaps an extra guitar line or something like that. Tori also did a tiny, dark piano intro for Professional Widow that was really beautiful where she sang the line "selling his baby".
The solo songs sounded really good tonight. Before she did them she sang an improv about coming to L.A. and mentioned something about seeing a black Jesus.
From Damon Intrabartolo:
The show resonated with heavy Christian themes (obviously) because of Good Friday. Tori gave an extra smile during "Crucify" during the 'cat named EASTER' lyric. This show was extraordinarily intimate, due in large part to the venue which looked like a fusion of California seaside-resorts and a Charles Dickens novel. The lighting effects washing over these stucco-balconies were surreal. The change in the "sorta fairytale" textures that Matt Page accurately describes seem to be a playback effect coming from the main mixboard sends...John wasn't pedaling any differently (I know, why do I watch these things so intensely?) and I could see Tori's hands and feet clearly, so she wasn't triggering anything herself. The sound is awesome though, quite full. "Here. In My Head" was particularly beautiful, and she is in perfect voice; Matt & John have never been tighter. Tori did a very funny improv before "Carnival" which went something like "Don't you hate it when your friends call you a loser/don't you hate when you're the one whose cell phone goes off" (in reference to an unwelcome ring during a beautiful 'Winter'). During "Wednesday", after the lyric 'Even still the eagle has to land', a woman yelled "Please tell Natashya that!". I couldn't figure out what that meant, and apparently Tori didn't hear her. We opted to go to this show instead of Anaheim's because sound at the Arrowhead Pond tends to get very swallowed, and I can safely say we'll sleep well with that decision. So sad the tour is almost over....
Tori added lots of reverb on her vocals which was cool! She was in a very up mood.
Added to take to the sky was I feel the earth move (carole king) the roadside cafe side wasn't off until after carnival (with band)
The Arlington Theatre is an amazing venue with a very unique look. When you entered into the main theatre area, it's as though you are outside a Spanish style mission. The walls are done up to look like the exteriors of a small village, complete with lights in the windows and plants growing on the sides. When the lights went out, the ceiling shined with stars. On closer look, we were able to spot the big dipper and Orion.
Tori walked out on stage in a beautiful peacock-style outfit. The body seemed to be made up of many purple and green peacock eyes, and a plunging neckline revealed a long sparkling pendant. The sleeves seemed to be made of a chiffon fabric that fell from her shoulders, with the left †side green, and the right, purple.
Wampum Prayer: This was fairly standard. It served as a good way to excite the audience and let them know the show was about the begin.
a sorta fairytale: I think that this song is great to open with. Everyone knows it's coming, but it is still enjoyable. It has a wonderful energy. It sounded as though the bass and drums might have been a bit loud at first, but about half way through the song, the worked the levels out, and it sounded awesome.
Crucify: My boyfriend and I were both expecting this song, seeing as how it was Good Friday. I personally, did not think that it would come this quickly. This rendition seemed to be particularly intend. Compared to the version that we saw at the Universal Amphitheatre, this version seemed to be much more solid and, in some ways, almost darker sounding. She ended with a chant of "never crawling back" that sent shivers up my spine.
Pancake: I couldn't but help notice an almost sexual vibe from this performance that I had not seen before. Before she started playing (but Matt and Jon were going) she stood up, put on leg on her piano bench, her hand on her crotch, and moved to the music. At the line "Like a flag on a popstar on a Benzodiazapene," she grabbed her torso on "popstar" and started caressing it.
At this point, she took a moment to talk a bit to the audience and introduce her band. She talked about how she hadn't "been here since '94" and that "a lot's changed since then". The audience cheered a bit, and then she went into her next song.
Take to the Sky: Some of the audience started clapping at the beginning of this song, but it died out pretty fast. At the "take it take it take it... boys" part she very clearly crossed her legs to†present herself fully to the audience. In some ways, it almost seemed as though she was being confrontational to the audience (or maybe the "boys"). She did the "I feel the earth move" outro that I understand has become somewhat common for this song. It was the first time I've heard it though, and, although I though the song was great on it's own to begin with, I thought it breathed a new energy into it.
Father Lucifer: She started this song by playing an interesting little intro. I couldn't even place the song until she started the lyrics. It was strange because it sounded the same and different at the same time. The song seemed to have become more upbeat. It almost sounded to me as though it might have taken on a slight Caribbean sound or something. It was not as dark as I remember. At the line "girls that eat pizza but never gain weight," she gave the audience the middle finger. As you can imagine, the place went wild.
Lust: This song seemed pretty standard to me. It might just be me, but there seemed to be some sort of sound effect that sounded like birds chirping in the back ground.
Black-Dove (January): The lighting was pretty interesting for this song. At the beginning, there seemed to be some lights on Jon and Matt that cast shadows 40 ft. tall on the background curtain. Jon's shadow was especially eerie because it seemed to be somewhat elongated. Considering the fact that the guy is already pretty tall and thin, the shadow just struck me as interesting. At one point, he put one foot on a box, or amp, or something, and it looked like his giant shadow was climbing up the curtain or something. The song got pretty intense at the "but I have to get to Texas" part, and bright lights were put on the audience.
Wednesday: I really like this song. It's very fun and upbeat. I think the crowd would agree with me, as everyone went wild when they started playing this song.
At this point, the guys left, and the roadside cafe sign came down. Tori went right into a little improve about a black jesus. I was able to grab a pen and jot down some of the lyrics:
"On my way here from LA/ out my window, I saw a Black Jesus carrying his cross and his blood/ on my way here, the phone rings/ Mommy, where's daddy?/ if Jesus had a little one/ would she say where's daddy?/ (something I couldn't understand) do we say where's Mary?"
She then went right into the next song.
Jackie's Strength: I love this song. On it's average days, it seems very touching and beautiful. On it's better days, it's so vulnerable, I feel like it could break my heart. This was a better day. It was chalked full of emotion. She seemed to really enjoy playing it.
Here. In My Head: Oh. My. God. This is one of my all time favorite songs, and my first time hearing it. It was such an amazing treat. Tori seemed to be very tender with it. When she started singing the "come back" line, she ran the index and middle fingers of her right hand gently across the area above the keys. It reminded me of the way you would caress a loved one's face. At the end when she sings "do you know what this is doing to me here?" she sang it twice, the first time touching her head on "here", and the second time touching her heart. By the end of this song, I was crying.
Winter: This one was another treat, although I was still reeling from Here. In My Head. It seemed to be a fairly normal rendition of this song, if not very solid. towards the end, some one's cell phone went off.
The band came back a Tori did a little improve about "don't you hate it when you're the one that leaves your cell phone on," or something to that effect.
Carnival: This song was a treat. I've heard a couple recordings of it, but I wasn't really expecting it tonight. I thought that the sound kind of fit the venue. I thought it sounded amazing live.
Cornflake Girl: This one is an obvious crowd favorite. Tori seemed to be having a lot of fun with it. During the bridge when she started kicking and swinging her legs and twisting around to the music. She looked like she was having a genuinely good time.
Sweet Sangria: This song really worked with the venue. Between the Southwest decor of the theatre, and the cowboy sound of the song, I felt like I was in the wild west. I'm not usually a huge fan of this song, but I was really into it at last night's show.
Mary: This song was great. I was not totally surprised to hear, as there seemed to be a bit of a religious undertone that night. During the line where Tori sings "fill their mouths with some acid rain," she grabbed her breasts in a very pointed, confrontational way which reminded me of earlier in the evening during Take to the Sky.
Professional Widow: This song was a lit bit of a surprise. She started with an intro that was something about "just like my daddy". This song had amazing energy live. The whole crowed was really into it, and everyone on stage rocked that song.
I Can't See New York: This was pretty standard. It's always cool to see her playing both sets of keys at the same time. It was pretty solid.
Iieee: This song was a pretty solid song to close the set with. My boyfriend really enjoyed where the song took on a rock edge.
After Tori left the stage the crowd bum-rushed the stage, so everyone was standing†in order to see during the encores.
Talula: This song is always fun to hear live. Since everyone was standing, people started dancing to this song. It has a great energy to move to.
Mrs. Jesus: This is one of my favorites off the new album. Always nice to hear it live.
Taxi Ride: This song always puts me in a good mood. I always like when shows have it in the finale for this reason.
Horses: This was interesting because I've never heard it without Beauty Queens. In some ways, it seemed to be very powerful with†the whole band playing†on it. It was a great song to close the show on.
Overall, it was an amazing show. The high points of the show were very intimate and intense. Even the lower points were very solid. Next stop: Anaheim.
From Steve The Sweet Fat Man:
Leaving the first of my two shows on the second leg of the Scarlet's Walk tour, it struck me that a person listening to an mp3 of this show might not get an impression of what really stood out about it. Oh, certainly, there were the usual number of musical high points in a Tori show, but to be quite honest, it was not my absolute favorite performance ever in that regard. The song selection was good but not great (with a couple of VERY notable exceptions that I'll get to), and - especially early on - some of the performances, especially in the pre-Roadside portion of the evening, struck me as a bit meandering. (For the record, at least one person I know disagrees with me on this.) So, yeah. With the caveat that pretty much any show by Tori is a stellar sonic event and we're only talking about a matter of degrees here, what made this show truly memorable for me was not so much what I heard.
Rather, it was what I saw. First of all, she played in one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen her play, the Arlington Theater. (Only the Paramount in Oakland, where I saw her in 1996, was perhaps even lovelier, and it's a very close call.) It's done in that sort of early Californian, "mission" style that's common in Santa Barbara (which, due to the fact that my brother lives there, is one of my second homes). There are decorative balconies on the side of the seating area (no one sat up there, which seemed a shame), and it struck me that it would look appropriate for a woman in a ruffled Spanish-styled dress to come out up there. Overall, the setting was just beautiful.
As was the diamond set in it. I don't know what it was about Tori this night; she was dressed pretty much the same as she has been throughout the tour, and nothing else about her looked out of the ordinary in that sense. But, well....she just looked GOOD. She seemed very happy, almost beaming at times, and that was infectious. She gestured playfully throughout the night, and moved around onstage in very interesting ways. And there was something very sultry about her, very sexual - not in a smutty, juvenile way, but the mature, elegant sexiness of someone not so much pushing forty as playfully rubbing up against it.
Musical highlights included a particularly strong Roadside Cafe, especially a lovely rendition of the exquisite "Here. In My Head". She could play that song every night as far as I'm concerned; it's one that I just float away in. A neat take on "Father Lucifer" highlighted the first part of the set, and later on, "Carnival" (with Jon on upright bass), "Mary", and "Professional Widow" were high points. (I think my single favorite sonic moment of the evening was the sharp, loud final consonant sound on "cock". It almost made me jump out of my seat!) In the encores, "Talula" particularly shone, with a stellar bass solo by Jon at the beginning and a swinging, sexy vibe throughout. I was glad that the audience was up on its feet and dancing at this point!
And then, of course, there was the little improv mocking the poor sap who left their cell phone on. Muahahahaha. As with the "Gold Dust Fuck You" moment, this was a very satisfying retort to audience thoughtlessness.
Yes, I'll remember some of these musical moments. But, maybe even more so, I'll remember some of the other things. I'll remember sharing the with my brother, Mike, who is a "civilian" (only his second Tori show, as opposed to my seventeenth) but who enjoyed himself. (Although he had to get up and stand in the back towards the end; we're both big guys, and we were packed in pretty tight.) I'll remember a nice dinner at an Italian place near the theater with Mike and my friends Colette and John. I'll remember the beautiful theater. And, yes, I'll remember how purely lovely Tori was this night, how content and whole and totally in her element she seemed.
On to the hockey stadium!
From Elizabeth O'Neill:
I was at the Santa Barbara show, row R, and Tori said that she loves playing the Arlington becuase its "magical". And thats exactly what the night was! Amazing show, amazing theater, and the crowd was the most diverse I have ever seen.
From Brian K Tanaka:
Rating: Hors-category: "Beyond category", too insanely great to be adequately pinned down by any mere artificial rating method
This was one of my top three of the entire tour (not just the shows reviewed here), easily. Maybe even top two. The show was amazing, the venue was gorgeous, and the sound was fantastic.
I'd be hard-pressed to say why, exactly, this show stands out above so many others. Sure, it was a fantastic show, but there was more to it than that. Unfortunately, I don't feel comfortable sharing what is not mine to share, so I'll have to omit what was the pulsing heart of the show for me and those I was with.
This leg of the tour has been intense for me that way. It just so happens that I encountered an assortment of people's life experiences--their personal songlines of joys and tragedies--that affected me each in their own way, each to their own degree, but all profoundly. These stories added numerous colors and shapes to my Tori kaleidescope. Some light and pretty. Some dark. Some darker still.
But back to the show... It was wonderful to a degree I find hard to convey. The Roadside Cafe section alone was amazing: Jackie's Strength, Here. In My Head, Winter, and Carnival. I'm not even going to try to explain how incredibly moving that was. It was one of those stretches where you knew she was taking you down a double diamond whether you were ready or not, but you just had to trust her, trust that you'd come out the other side more or less intact and richer for the experience.