The set list and reviews from Tori's April 23rd concert in Grand Prairie/Dallas, TX
Updated Thu, Apr 24, 2003 - 3:49am ET
Tonight's concert included Strange Little Girl, TomBigBee, Jackie's Strength (solo), Abraham, Martin and John (solo), Virginia, Professional Widow, Northern Lad, Yes, Anastasia (solo) and Mary (with band). If you were at the Grand Prairie/Dallas, TX 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 Grand Prairie/Dallas, TX on Wednesday, April 23, 2003 at Nextstage. The opening act was Rhett Miller.
Many thanks to Matt Page and John who both phoned me with the set list after the show.
a sorta fairytale
Strange Little Girl
Abraham, Martin and John
Bells For Her
I Can't See New York
Yes, Anastasia (solo)
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!
John really enjoyed the concert and said it was a big rock show tonight. John was especially impressed with her versions of Virginia and Professional Widow, which were outstanding. (John said tonight's version of Professional Widow was his favorite so far of the tour.)
From Matt Page:
Matt said this was a great show where it was just Rock, Rock, Rock! The set list was unique in the order that she played certain songs, coming out very strongly with Space Dog and Sugar at the start. Tori did not introduce the band until after Strange Little Girl. She talked about not being in Texas for a while. Someone yelled out a request for Your Cloud and Tori made her famous comment that she was not a jukebox.
At the start of the Roadside Cafe, Tori said she was going to do some songs that have not been on the radio for a while. Then before Jackie's Strength, Tori did a little bit of a song that people are calling 'Dixieland'. During Jackie's Strength, the sound went off in the venue for a while. Tori flashed a grin and told the crowd to not tear apart the sound man because she had to sleep with him later. Later during Yes, Anastasia, Tori sang the words, 'We'll see how brave you are, Texas..."
Tori followed her written set list closely, except that she replaced Talula with Mary. She also added Yes, Anastasia to the start of the second encore. That was not on the official set list. Sounds like the Texas shows are off to an amazing start!
Hi Mike. The biggest drag about the people (it was definitely more than one) yelling requests (and perhaps other stuff) was that she was going to tell a story (and we all know how rare those are these days) and after the requests, she just introduced the band.
I'm guessing she was going to say how people were always asking if she was ever coming to texas or not. I know I asked Mark in vegas last year.
Anyway, it was a great show. It was my fourth on this tour, and by far the rockingest show of the 4 (vegas, Milwaukee, Dallas and Nashville).
The audience was generally good, though they were a bit loud during the encores.
at the M&G, she said she will play gold dust in texas. I'm just hoping it's not in San Antonio, since I never got tix for that one.
4 shows down 3 to go :)
One more thing, the song, as far as I know, is called
Dixie (I WISH I WAS IN DIXIE LAND)
By DANIEL DECATUR EMMETT (1859)
You've heard it before.
Oh I wish I was in dixie hooray hooray
In Dixie land, I'll take my stand to live and die in Dixie Away, away, away down south in Dixie,
Unlike the original (or what I've heard in movies) her's was very slow.
The show was absolutely amazing. Tori was very animated and seemed to be enjoying herself alot. Space Dog was unusual to hear so early in the set. She did do Dixieland i.e. Look away look away look away dixie land. The sound cut completely out during jackies strength. Tori just smiled and said not to kill the sound guy. Virginia was definetly a highlight. And yes anastasia!! couldnt have asked for abetter show!!!
From Angela D.:
Wow. This show rocked, to put it simply. There was an energy that felt reminiscent of the Boys for Pele era tours with some of the seriousness and anger she seemed to show through some of the songs.
Wampum Prayer - The crowd was cheering throughout most of it, but quieted down enough to hear the last line.
a sorta fairytale - Curtain rose, there was Jon on bass and Matt on drums playing their parts of the song. Then, out comes Tori. She sat down and went straight into the song. My one complaint about this song was that I could barely hear her piano. I noticed her piano volume level did change by the first encore of the show, though. Tori didn't make a whole lot of eye contact with the crowd, but the song was lovely, as usual.
Space Dog - I recognized this immediately with the telling beats from Matt. The band parts were excellent and rocking and Tori seemed to be having a fun time playing it. The solo piano parts were beautiful and her voice rang out and drifted through all of us.
Sugar - I have heard this live before with the band and never have I seen it played with such anger. She made a lot of gestures, including one of her hand as a gun and her voice singing "Sugar" was amazing. It carried itself through the venue. Very powerful, very strong and mad as hell! Classic Tori.
Strange Little Girl - I was so pleased to hear the beginning notes of this song come out of the keyboard when she turned from the piano to play it. The song sounds great with the band. She started making more eye contact to the audience and it started to feel like she was with us more than she had been at the beginning of the show.
Then she spoke. She said (paraphrasing), "So, some of you know this is our first time in Texas this tour", which received lots of cheers from the home fans. Then, as she was about to continue with a story, someone yelled out a request for "Your Cloud". She didn't understand and asked, "What? then the person had several of their friends yell it out with them. Tori turned to her piano and said, "You know, I'm not a jukebox" and then introduced Matt and Jon. I was in the 8th row center and I could see that she was visibly frustrated by the request, and I think that cut her dialogue super short with the audience, which left me disappointed. She seemed to be chatty with other audiences and I was hoping the same for us, but I can't blame her for being annoyed.
Amber Waves - I immediately recognized this and loved hearing it. It was fun watching her switch from keyboard to piano. Very tight - they all do such a great job with this.
God - This song was definitely played with more anger and it had a thick rock feel to it. This was my first time hearing it without guitar and it was amazing how the three-piece band puts it together so perfectly. She was definitely channeling some of that old anger from her previous tours, which showed through lines like "Will you even tell her if you decide to make the sky fall?"
TomBigBee - Complete and utter surprise and, judging from the majority of the crowd's reaction, I wasn't the only one shocked. I loved hearing it. I wasn't able to hear it as well as I would have liked because Jon's bass and Matt's drums were quite loud, overpowering Toris keyboard and vocals. Not knowing the lyrics, I could only understand a few of them since I couldn't hear them that well.
Wednesday - I had a feeling this song would come out to play, as it was a Wednesday night. Matt's drumming is so infectious. Everyone was either tapping a foot or a finger (or two!), the piano parts were beautiful and liquid like and she let the line "Lost in a place called America" ring for a long time. This, to me, was the beginning of what I felt was a theme to the night's set list and certain energy.
Then the band left. Roadside Cafe time. Tori did a jazzy "Roadside Cafe" improv that included the line that sometimes, when the sign comes out, she likes to play songs that aren't heard on the radio these days. She was smiling a lot during the improv and it was classic cute Tori.
Landslide - This is my second time hearing her play this song live and it never fails to bring me to tears. It was quiet and reflective and utterly beautiful. She, quite simply, breathes life into this song and makes it her own. She didn't disappoint me tonight.
Dixieland - This was a delightful surprise to hear, and she played it very slow and poignant compared to the original. She made lots of eye contact and gave a smile each time she sang the line "I wish I was in Dixie land". This song felt like a part of the theme I was feeling, as she was in Texas for the first time since the war and this is the home state of the President. To further my "theme" suspicions, she next played.
Jackie's Strength - She began to play this and, at first, I thought she was playing it because of the Kennedy/Dallas connection. But, as the night went on, I started to wonder if the songs she chose (and some of the gestures) all had a running theme (politics/presidents/current state of the world/men in power). In the middle of the song, the sound cut off but she didn't know it. She kept singing, and the audience was trying to tell her to stop. Everyone's words were piling on top of each other, so there was a collective "Shh" from the crowd. Then Tori caught on to what happened, her sound came back on and she said, "It happens" The she flashed a huge grin and said, "Don't tear apart the sound man. I have to sleep with him tonight", which made everyone laugh, including her. She picked up where she left off without missing a beat. Gotta love her.
Abraham, Martin and John - I didn't want to get my hopes up for her to play this, because I didn't think she would. But there it was. And it was so beautiful and moving, I was in tears. By the last verse, Tori was visibly moved and sounded choked up. Such an amazingly beautiful song and I was elated that she played it for us.
The band returned.
Bells For Her - This sounded haunting with the band. As I have a very personal attachment to this song, I was in tears (already free flowing from Abraham, Martin and John). The lighting was lush and seemed to make the song dreamlike.
Cornflake Girl - The crowd cheered. This is always a favorite, I think. I was surprised to here it back to back with Bells for Her. The band did a fantastic job with it. People were dancing and swaying and, of course, loved her piano solos. Rocking song.
Crucify - I truly didn't know which song this was until she started singing the lines. Wow. The band managed to make a remix out of it. The only part that resembled the album version was the chorus. All the verses were drawn out, line by line and the song didn't even sound the same. But it was very powerful and heavy. She had a gesture for each line of the verses (a lot of hands crossed as if nailed, a lot of gesturing that the mic was a phallic symbol). This might have been the most drawn out ending of the evening too. Where she would usually sing "Never going back to crucify myself", she sang something like, "Never going back, my hands at your feet, crawling back to this place. Crawling back to here". A lot of emotion was in these lines, which she sang over and over, and it felt like classic LE era Tori.
Virginia - I really loved hearing this song. I didn't know how it would sound without the dobro or harmonies on the album, but it was beautiful and moving live. I loved the arrangement they came up with, which must have been difficult without the layering harmonies and background vocals.
Professional Widow Two words: Rock Show. This song was pure rock and anger. Again, I couldn't help but wonder who she was directing some of the lyrics to. She was very deliberate in her gestures. When she sang the lines "Gonna strike a deal, make him feel like a Congressman, it's running in the family..", she belted it out. She was angry and showing it. Was this a theme, or was it in my mind? Hmm..
I Can't See New York - Very moving. The lighting and visual of smoke clouds on the back screen hit me hard. Her voice was gentle during the solo piano parts. She delivered this in a light handed, reflective way, which was such a switch in gears from the previous song.
Iieee - Then the anger returned. "Why does there gotta be a sacrifice?". She sang this line loud and clear and held it. The band was awesome. The song rocked harder than I had heard it before. It was definitely not an energy I felt when I hear it in '99, which was more sad, laced with grief. This was more pure angry energy.
I was disappointed by all the people who rushed the stage. It created a huge wall of standing people, so the rest of the show had to be enjoyed while standing up. Personally, I was content in my seat and I think some of the songs are best enjoyed while sitting. Tori came out and danced in front of Matt while he played, then walked over to Jon and did a little dance in front of him. Cute and sexy Tori.
Taxi Ride - I'm a huge fan of this song, so I'm happy she played it. She smiled at the crowd each time she sang the line "I'm glad you're on my side". This sounded so much better in person than in the TV appearances of late, which was the only way I'd heard it with the band. Until tonight.
Northern Lad - I wasn't able to enjoy this song as much as I would have liked, but not because of Tori. The crowd at the stage became even bigger and it just felt wrong to be standing to such a gorgeous ballad. Some people were obviously drunk and were dancing emphatically, which didn't help matters much. Despite all that, the song was gorgeous and sounded great with the band.
More stage rushing, for those fans who felt it was a second chance. Tori came right out alone and sat down at the piano.
Yes, Anastasia - This was absolutely gorgeous. I was hoping she'd play this. She switched from poignant, to quirky, to serious in one song. She changed one of the lines to "We'll see how brave you are, Texas", which she delivered in a very blunt, bold way. To me, that sealed my personal theories on what the theme was to this show (Home state of the President, whether Texans like it or not..).
Mary - I heard that this song was originally supposed to be "Talula", but I'm actually glad she chose this. Even in this song, I felt a certain anger weaving its way through the lyrics. She belted out the line "Butterflies don't belong in nets" as more of a statement than some passing lyric. There was more gesturing in this song. When Tori belted out the line, "What'll we do when our babies scream, fill their mouths with some acid rain?" she grabbed her breasts, which was quite powerful in the context.
Horses - I've heard this live with the band before and it's still beautiful. She seemed very lively and was smiling at the crowd. It was a nice show closer.
Overall, it was a fantastic, rocking, angry show, with some undertones that I think I'm still subliminally processing. The crowd wasn't as impressive. I really regret that Tori felt put off and didn't really chat with us. The crowd, in general, was noisy, yelling out requests and "I love you, Tori". I know this comes with the territory of a concert, but it really seemed to be the worst crowd I've been with in the 4 times I've seen her. The stage rushing, I could do without, as it didn't happen at the other shows from the other tours. I wouldn't miss it if it stopped. I can't help but wonder how that affects Tori's performance or mental state while she's playing. I also wonder how the sound was for others farther back. I don't know if the sound was muddy and loud because I was so close. I couldn't differentiate a lot of Jon's bass notes, or Toris piano/keyboard notes. I'm also very curious as to which songs she'll play in the remaining Texas shows and what kind of energy she'll bring. Will there be reoccurring themes? Am I a conspiracy theorist?
As for her performance, she showed that she's still in top form, can swing from one emotion to the next in a swift change of lyric and can knock you to tears and awe with her playing style and abilities. Matt & Jon are fantastically talented and compliment her in the absolute best ways. Thank you for the experience, Tori.
Read a review of this concert from the Dallas Morning News
Read a review of this concert from the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram
From Amy Brown:
I went to Tori's concert last night in Grand Prairie. It was really cute when in the middle of Jackie's Strength the audio all cut out. Tori was patient and joked "Don't beat up the sound guy, I gotta sleep with him later!" This got a big laugh from the audience.
I have been a long-time Tori fan but last night's concert was hard for me. The bass was so strong it was physically uncomfortable and practically drowned out all of the piano music. I don't really go to any rock concerts other than Tori but I couldn't believe how loud the bass was. Why do you think they do that? It's really a shame because it takes so much away from Tori's performance. It seems like they could have bass but not bass so strong it is distracting. It was indeed distracting and so loud I got a headache! Do any other Toriphiles have this same sentiment? Also I thought it was interesting that she did play Yes Anastasia, but started in the middle of the song.
I really enjoyed the Dallas show and I really don't have much to add except for a bit about the Roadside Cafe portion of the show. For the improv, Tori sang about playing songs that don't get on the radio much anymore and then went into Landslide. This was an obvious reference to the Dixie Chicks who were pretty much banned from Dallas radio after Natalie Maines made an anti Bush comment. Then Tori went into a short version of Dixieland. During Landslie/Dixieland, dozens of people walked out of the show, I guess, to protest Tori's support of the Dixie Chicks. Someone should tell Texas that the Bushes are really from Conneticut and only claim Texas as their homestate to avoid state taxes....
From John Ankeney:
I think you ought to add "Dixie" to the setlist after Landslide since it was no passing momemtary whim of a few notes, but an actual song. :-)
I'm not going to post the set list since that has been posted(nicer than I could, by the way) The concert absolutely rocked! First, I have to give props to the opening act: he was very energetic, cute, and funny and gave a great performance. Especially considering he was solo. He bonded with the audience alot and kept stating that he was so happy to be back home.
I attended this concert with my roomate, who is not a huge Tori fan(she has pele and Scarlett though) so I was a bit worried. This show absolutely rocked for me. I was almost in nose bleed section, so I could not see facial expressions very well, but I noted Tori was very energetic and played well with the audience. Her voice was in top form! This was the best concert for me. How did my roomate take it? She LOVED it! When Tori reached the end of her Abraham song(sorry, I am tired and can't remember the title) my roomate turned to me and whispered something I couldn't understand, but she had a hugggge smile on her face and tears in her eyes. (she never cries).
The lighting was gorgeous! I can honestly say that being on the farside of the show(ie almost nose bleed section)had it's benifits. We could see the light show very well. You lucky peeps in front had some gorgious purple and red patterns carressing you. :)
My only complaints would be: First off, I agree with one of the statements someone posted earlier, at times(esp. the beginning of the show) the bass outdid and muddled the piano a bit, but this seemed to clear up during the show. The people, however, disapointed me. I would like to offer a tip to concert peeps. some people, like me, have not seen this show several times. This was my first and only show of this tour, unfortunatly, and my roomates first concert ever. It really was painful that the audience screamed during Wampum prayer until the very end. I was looking forward to hearing this and the audience about drowned it out. I also had chatters behind and in front of me that kept talking throughout the concert. (comparing how this one differed from others on this tour and such) Very frustrating. Also, please be polite to the opening act. I noticed that the chatters in front loved to mimmick and poke fun at Miller, and this annoyed me. (esp. when I noticed how badly they sang along with Tori.)
Complaints out of the way, this was an excellent concert. The best versions of Sugar, God, Crucify, and Virginia I've heard. I also got to hear the two songs I have always wanted to hear: Mary and Anastasia. I asked for Mary at a Starplex meet and great on the Venus and tour and I got a special surprise here. Thank you Tori! Matt did awesome drum intros to many songs and John Evans played the cello beautifully.
Now I must get some sleep.
From James in Dallas:
I agree with some if not all of the reviews here. I wanted to just second or third some sentiments.
The bass and drum were louder than the piano, but, not louder than the vocals. It was a bit disconcerting. I thought halfway through the first song the drum and bass would balance out but it never did. It was noticeable, but not harsh.
The crowd. Why, oh, why in the one place where Toriphiles would gather together to share in a common happiness do all of their manners and common sense go flying out the back door?
There was a guy across the aisle from me standing in his chair doing his best Michael Stipe impression screaming "I love you Tori" in well-placed silent sections of songs so as to have the best chance to split the vibe and reach Tori's ears. What an idiot. Why, lord, why?
Add to that people getting up five, seven, eleven times to go grab a beer and/or smoke or pee. Handle up on your business before the show. I wish Tori would institute the old rule that at a certain time the alcohol sales are cut off, preferably before her set.
I know this seems like a bitch session to what otherwise was a most excellent show, and it is. But we were a group of Ears With Feet that paid at least $60 to drink $7 beers and smoke in the middle of the show? No! We weren't there to see Warrant in the middle of a toxic, burnt-out forest. We were there to see Tori! No other artist that I can think of has such contact with the audience, connection with the crowd. Where the silence hangs there when she takes a breath because the entire house is silent, waiting for her next exhale. You only find that kind of performance at opera houses with classical artists singing 300 year old songs where everyone paid $200 to get in and wear tuxedos and ball gowns.
And here we are in our torn t-shirts held together with safety pins and blue hair and fairy wings taped to our backs getting the same energy and connection, and we get up in the middle of songs to scream "I Love you, Tori" on the way to buy another beer and smoke.
Shame on us.
From Raymond Chang:
A truly great show by Tori! I hadn't seen her since the Plugged 98 tour and this show was much better and made me regret not having seen her for the Strange tour. Having center stage seats so close to the stage helped! One thing I noticed was that she had very little interaction with the crowd. A previous poster mentioned being cut off after she sang Strange Little Girl...i'm not so sure that she was put off by that and that is the reason she jumped to band intros and nothing else. She's been touring for years so she's used to the crowd acting out like that I'm sure....maybe she even expects it? The last time I saw her she also had very little interaction...in fact she may have been even more chatty this time around. She just kind of jumped from song to song without much pause...that being said I was soooo surprised that as the night progressed how well her voice held up!!! She has such an incredible voice and completely tireless after 2+ hours...she sounded equally as good on Horses than she did with WP. Amazing!
Overall the acoustics were very good, one of the better ones as far as concerts go. I didn't think the bass was too loud actually but her piano did sound muddled at the beginning but improved as the night went along so who knows. Maybe the audio dropoff during Jackie was the sound engineer trying to adjust the levels? Matt is such an incredible drummer...he really did sound great...loud and thunderous when needed and soft as a whisper in keeping with Tori's stellar playing. They really did all sound great together and sounded very tight at the show. I really enjoyed the 3 piece unit, I felt it was still very intimate sounding. Although I could hear the missing guitar parts in my head! HA!!