The set list and reviews from Tori's April 27th concert in Houston, TX
Updated Mon, Apr 28, 2003 - 3:51am ET
Tonight's show included Wrapped Around Your Finger (solo), Gold Dust (solo), Space Dog, Doughnut Song (with band), TomBigBee and Strange Little Girl. If you were at the Houston, 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 Houston, TX on Sunday, April 27, 2003 at the Verizon Wireless Theater. 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
Wrapped Around Your Finger
I Can't See New York
Strange Little Girl
Tear In Your Hand
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 show was both very good and very interesting, especially the solo songs during the roadside cafe and the encores, which were unusual. Tori followed her written set list almost exactly, except she was supposed to do Tear In Your Hand and Rattlesnakes for the second encore, but did Strange Little Girl and Tear instead. The sound tonight sounded great. The show rocked really strongly during certain parts of the show and the band was quite energetic.
Before Tori sang Wrapped Around Your Finger, she did part of the theme to the Beverly Hillbillies, especially the black gold part, obviously referring to Texas, oil, and George Bush. She also used the words Texas and George while singing Take To The Sky. Tori did mention to the crowd that it was her last show in Texas. Matt placed this show slightly above Austin, but he still enjoyed the Dallas and San Antonio shows more. On to New Orleans for the end of this leg...
A wonderful show, except two very dramatic, annoying girls in the front row that irritated everyone surrounding them. (one in red, the other in black) Mostly new songs, maybe in New Orleans we can hear more†songs from "Earthquakes". †
this is my second tori show ive seen, and i am COMPLETELY blown away. im like, trying to recapture those moments in my head, but i know i can't and i'm so sad it's over!!
but anyway, the set list is already up, so i'll just run though my impressions/experiences of each song...
first with RHETT MILLER, who was fantastic and really knew how to rock a guitar! fun personality, nice way to warm up the audience for the show...
Wampum Prayer - version directly from the CD, a recording... the audience SCREAMED when the lights went out - but as soon as the song played, everyone was quiet and still ....
a sorta fairytale - and then everyone was screaming and tori was seriously rocking that piano!! fabulous way to open the show ... (fabulous way to open every show...heh...)
little Amsterdam - i love the suspense between each song, in the pitch black, wondering what she's gonna play next, what lights are going to show up, what colors ... and WOW! Tori Amos in contrasting reds and blues and she's grabbing her keyboard on one side, piano on the other-- and this song comes out. it was powerful! and on each of the lines "girl you got to know which side your on" she'd switch sides, either from keyboard to piano or vice versa. fantastic!! ;o)
Bliss - very moody blue lighting drowned the audience, and a sharp red wash across the stage... made a very dramatic setting. this performance of Bliss seemed very dreamy and surreal -- her voice echoed at the same volume she sang at... and it created a very interesting effect. gave me chills. she ROCKED each and every chorus til the end. im serious, bootlegs have their sparks here and there, but NOTHING compares to that BOOM in her voice--that power in her cries when she sings. no microphone or recording device can possibly duplicate it. amazing.
Cornflake Girl - before this song, she talked about this being her last show in texas and her being sad to leave. everyone screamed ^_^ and she introduced John Evans and Matt Chamberlain and ran right into this song! very fun, very cheery. i started clapping to the beat of the song, but realized after a while that i couldn't keep a rhythm--and people started looking at me, and i realized i was the only one clapping. oops.
Lust - when i heard the first beat of this song... i knew it was coming and i wanted to SCREAM because i LOVE THIS SONG SO MUCH! but i kept it in and--well--that just made me cry in the middle of it because it was so ... unbelievably moving. i have no basis of comparison, because this is the first/last/only show of this tour that i've seen... but holy crap, if she wasn't totally into THIS show -- i must be crazy... but anyway, she has this awesome reverse-echo-effect w/ the piano on this song, and it really added to the eeriness of the mood... lovely
sweet Sangria - it's all about the beginning beats of the songs, y'know!? it starts, you have an idea of what's coming, then it comes and you're like YEAH!!! loved it ;o)
Take To the Sky - MY OH MY this was a kicking song. she had the beat of this song in her hands and she rocked those choruses like nobody business... then the earth beneath my feet (or whatever) bridge at the end SERIOUSLY added to the song, it was moving and moving and i was getting all excited... i couldn't stand the fact that i was sitting down. i wanted to leap into the air and scream. i'm out of control.
Wednesday - and then it led into THIS SONG!! what a blast! she really hung onto the notes and milked the hell out of this song (in a good way)... i was very happy ;o) then the lights went out and Evans and Chamberlain exit stage right/left respectively....
ROADSIDE CAFE !!!
Leather - fabulous fabulous fabulous. it was utterly cute... right after the first line and before "i can scream as loud as your last one" she had pulled her hand away from the piano... and i guess there was something caught on her hand?? anyway, she laughed and wiped her hand off... smiled... and resumed from that same line. absolutely adorable.
Wrapped Around Your Finger - wow. i loved hearing her sing this song... it was truly nice. before this song she sang a cute bit from the Beverley Hillbillies. it was the funniest damn thing i've ever seen Tori do... everyone was laughing! it was a nice moment ;o)
Gold Dust - i've heard a couple bootlegs of this... and when she played that first little mess of high-pitched shrilly notes.... my heart COLLAPSED and my jaw dropped. you must understand, this is my most favoritest song in the whole wide world of tori. it moves me to tears. and as she sang it live... i was very moved--not to tears--but it seriously put me in a mood and i liked it....
your cloud - and the band returns and i TOTALLY didn't expect her to play this.... but this song followed GOLD dust--- which didn't make me cry.... and now hearing THIS song - oh my oh my, i knew i wasn't going to make it thru this song. when she gets to the chorus... and she sings the background part first "i'm gonna stay right here... i'm gonna stay with you...." i lost it. i just lost it. tears. streaming. lost it.
concertina - started off and i love this song, brings back many memories of... things ;o) and it was very cute--at the part when she's supposed to sing "i got a fever above my waist, you got a squeeze box on your knee" ... i guess she tripped up or forgot the words, coz she sang "i got a something something something... *she chuckles* and a something something something... you know the truth is in between" etc... it was the cutest thing in the world. now tears of laughter (forgive me, im not a nut, i was just quite emotional by this point after the previous 2 songs)
SPACE DOG - FABULOUS. ROCKING BEAT... and she totally gave into it, slamming that piano like nobody's business... yum yum yum i love this song ;o)
doughnut song - i wasn't very familiar with this song, but now i WANT to be, because it was a totally kick ass song. beautiful chorus, beautiful lighting... OH how i've neglected to talk about the lighting this whole time!! it's been beautiful and well-done. anyway... she totally rocked the mikes w/ this piece of pele and i was thoroughly happy
spring haze - how in the world can i describe this? beautiful. powerful. moving. strong. when the song began to conclude... and she kept singing "why does it always end up like this?"... something inside of me started to quiver. it was actually kind of scary... and the song concluded with such a dark, dark, deep bass coming from John... and i was so incredibly moved to silence. you could hear a pindrop from the stage. it was obvious this song was leading into I can't See New York. i could feel it (i think everyone could)...
i can't see new york - words cant describe this song, but they can try ;o) she started off in a shadowed red/blue contrast lighting... and a wicked cloud gobo covered the back wall and flowed over the audience on each chorus... it was absolutely touching. it wasn't a teary cry-cry touching. it was a.... i felt like the audience was emotionally holding hands with each other just watching Tori work the stage w/ her magic. we all know what this song's about. we know what's up. and we could feel it echoing through the room. no words can describe.
and IIEEE - the most impressive performance yet, i believe. it was funky, quirky... she rocked the lyrics, twisted every turn on those pianos/keyboards... and the lights worked totally hand-in-hand with this song, changing and flipping with each beat. very impressive... and at the "just say yes" portion of the song, suddenly all the lights went CRAZY CRAZY CRAZY and i wanted to jump up from my seat and go to town dancing!!! very exhilerating song... once again, the gloom recurring with her last echo of "why does there gotta be a sacrifice??" at the conclusion of this song.... beautiful.
and a ton of cheering.
then TomBigBee - which first consisted of John and Matt playing for quite a while... almost trying to outmatch each other--it was very cute and fun!! then tori came out and rocked this song away ...
Amber Waves - i am terribly glad she played this song. i absolutely love this song. whenever i put scarlet's walk into the player... this song emerges, and it's always at the start of a new day. after all the emotion that we've experienced so far in this concert.... hearing this song was extremely cathartic and healing. it was very beautiful live, much more beautiful than i had imagined it'd be!
tons of cheering... on and on...
then second encore beginning with John and Matt playing beats at each other again!! - and Tori enters and gives the song a name... strange little girl!!! it was an unexpected, happy surprise. she rocked this song. i dont know what else to say. this concert seriously rocked from start to finish in every way ...
and she ended with Tear in Your Hand --- and how appropriate. "time to wave goodbye now... time to wave goodbye now" and she waved, and ALL the front portion of the audience waved as well. it was too cute ;o)
and she left. and the concert was over. and everyone was very sad... i couldn't even listen to tori amos on my way home in the car. the concert was so much to swallow. i didn't NEED to put on music in the car. she was swallowing my whole star intact... i am so moved right now!
i hope all goes well for her in new orleans... ;o)
From Mister Priapus:
I've been trying to see Tori for years. Fucking YEARS, I tell you. Probably since Boys For Pele have I wanted to see me some Tori. Kinda like in Detroit Rock City, it never worked out for one reason or another. The most noteable was when this girl at a coffee house that I frequented decided that I was stalking her (I'd only met her twice) and I was "advised" by members of her clique that it would be best if I did not attend. I decided it wasn't worth the shit that I would have taken from her after the fact.. But enough of that morose shit.
"Why talk about Haiti when you're in New Orleans."
So since sometime around the tour for Choirgirl, I've really been on a mission. Thanks to my badass roomie who hooked me up I got to go to last night's Houston show at the Verizon Wireless Theatre.
The venue was very similar to the Bronco Bowl in Dallas, where I once got to see Portishead. The vibe was similar as well. Large enough to have a good sized crowd but still dark and intimate enough for a good coffeehouse ambience. I am so glad this show wasn't at the Woodlands because all the energy would have dissipated after the first couple of rows.
The caliber of this show was easily as good as when I saw Dead Can Dance a few years back, or the Portishead show in Dallas. I'm to understand that Tori takes command of the energy of every show she does, reading both from the crowd and the energy of the city. I've often lamented about the difficult energy of Houston and I suspect that Tori has struggled with it in the past.
She handled it beautifly. Houston energy is at best mellow and muted, at worst oppressive and hot. This town seems to carry a low ceiling of angst and complacency which tends to mute people socially. Houstonians tend not to talk to each other as much or make friends outside of their own established groups. Houston baseball fans are notoriously subdued, which may not be a bad thing. And I've even been to shows where the band has put on a balls to the wall performance to be met with a muted response from fans who, while they thorougly enjoyed the show, just stood and watched. If you're just visiting it's easy just to go with it and it can be good. If you've lived here for a while you either end up a complacent victim to it, or you end up struggling to fight it.
This night it was dirty and nasty but not entirely unpleasant. There are generally two ways to deal with this type of energy. You can air condition the generally two ways to deal with this type of energy. You can air condition the hell out of the venue, which cleans the energy up but leaves you with a very muted crowd. Or you can embrace the heat, which isn't necessarily physical heat. But it's not always that simple, and Tori was hip to it.
So, as a result, about ten or twenty minutes before she came on, me and my Toriphiles in arms could smell what seemed to be sage mixed with patchouli and maybe a little bit of sandalwood wafting across the room. It was...right.
The lights dimmed and she began with "the Wampum Prayer" from offstage. Then it was hot and sultry set with a little bit of a struggle to find it. But by the time she got into "Bliss" and "Cornflake Girl", we were all pretty much in the zone.
She dressed for Houston. Again I was impressed how she just...understood. She had on blue jeans with this white, flowing top that reminded me a little of something Stevie Nicks would have worn back in the day. It's as if she'd been part of the old scenes for years. Did I mention hot and sultry? Yeah, she was really working it. I also noticed a red white and blue aesthetic in it all.
When she got to her Roadside Cafe part of the set, it was just on. The whole night she was dragging things out, making it hot. This was most evident when she did "Leather", savoring every articulation. She also did a bit from the Beverly Hillbilly's, kind of a nod to Texas, "black gold. Texas Tea...." The pinnacle of this portion of it though was when she covered "Wrapped Around Your Finger." In this performance she transported me to places in my life that I hadn't been in years, but that I miss terribly.
The band came back on and it was still just a roller coaster ride. A smoot plane for "Concertina" and a rough, angsty drop with "I Can't See New York." But towards the end I began to feel her struggling with the Houston energy again.
Perhaps this is why she did some encores, which I'm told she normally does not do. I suspect she wasn't satisfied. I suspect she was ready to fight some of that energy with some energy of her own. To punch through the complacency and really transcend.
"TomBigBee" and "Amber Waves" had a hard edge to it, which really worked. But I really couldn't see the show ending with "Amber Waves." So I wasn't surprised at the second encore. Again it was hard edged. "Strange Little Girl" just moved, and once again we were in the zone. She finished with "Tear In Your Hand" and while it didn't have the motion of "Strange Little Girl," it was grand and final enough to end the set properly..
So that was my first Tori show, and it was easily one of the best I've been to. I'm a headbanger and I'm used to the likes of Arch Enemy and the Misfits, as well as more esoteric acts like Dead Can Dance. Which is to say it takes a lot for a band to really move me. Damned if Tori didn't do it. Girlfriend knows her shit.
I've got to ask, though, what is up with the dorky ass fairy wings?
From Stacy Spears:
I love Tori and this being my first Tori concert, I absolutely left feeling unsatisfied with her performance. I was totally disappointed in her lack of connection with the audience. Maybe I would have felt closer to her if I had tickets on the second row but since I was in section 202, I couldn't feel the emotion pouring from her like I expected to feel. I do look forward to seeing her perform again. Hopefully she will be as magical at the next performance as I have always imagined her to be.
**Shame on all of those who disrupted the concert by screaming or getting up during the performance. You should be banned from future performances.
From tiny dancer:
First of all thanks to abstraction for the wonderful play by play. It really helps to remind me of the moments that slipped my mind. Not that I've already forgotten, but sometime I find myself so into the current song, that I am forgetting what song was just played! I'm just gonna offer a few comments on the night, not nearly as detailed as abstraction, but just my 2 cents!
This was my 5th time to see Tori, once on each tour, if I'm counting right. Probably my 2nd favorite performance (second only to the Pele tour). It's the second time I've seen her at Verizon Wireless Theater, not a big fan of the venue, seems like a little too sterile environment.
On with the show...
Rhett Miller was great, very energetic and a great personality. Kinda Jude meets John Mayer thing going on! Old 97's still touring together??
Great way to open with Wampun Prayer, and very fitting the start with a sorta fairytale.
It was great to here Bliss, Lust, Spring Haze, and Concertina. I sometimes feel 'Venus' gets lost in the shuffle.
When she began Take To The Sky, my heart jumped, when she finished TTTS, my heart was happy for an eternity!!! What a great performance!
Roadside Cafe was amazing. Being a HUGE Sting fan, you can imagine my surprise when I heard the opening verse to Wrapped Around Your Finger. Brilliant, close to tears. And what a long song, perfect for enjoyment!
Gold Dust was another highlight for me. Her words just fell out of her mouth, like the microphone was pulling them from her breath from her lungs. Gorgeous.
Also was surprised to here Doughnut Song. Haven't heard her play it live in a while. Nice surprised.
Spring Haze floored me, it's always been one of my most treasured pieces and to here the force she broke into the chorus was breathtaking.
Can't stop thinking of IIEEE. I don't even know how to express how much this song kicked ass! The best performance of this song I've EVER seen. This song and TTTS are a tie for my favs of the night. I was really hoping to here Strange, for personal reasons. And I was surprised by some of the encore choices. But great selections nevertheless!
All in all, I thought Tori was in great spirits, making tons of little jokes and references in throughout the nice. This always makes the shows more enjoyable, more personal.
Praises, Praises, Praises for Tori on bringing her spectacular talent back to Texas! I was getting a little worried she had forgotten us. Okay, the concert was fabulous. Every song was perfect! Iieee was so very intoxicating. The best part of my "Tori Evening" was meeting her for the very first time during the M&G. (Hey you guys remember me as # 11). I was so thankful that the group of Tori followers who get up at 4:00 a.m. in order to get a chance to meet Tori, were so polite and helpful. Everyone adhered to the number system and it worked out great (only if you were devoted enough to get there early) heh heh. As we were led to the M&G, I could feel the anticipation within at getting a chance to finally meet this person who so inspires me emotionally. Waiting, waiting, waiting, here comes Steve, (security) takes us to the place where we will meet Tori. (We walked in a single line, felt like I was in elementary school again) Steve gives details and instructions ....waiting....oh, damn, I'm only 4'11 and I forgot my clonker shoes to help with the view ......it's so hot ....it's getting tight ....stop pressing so hard ......I'm getting elbowed .....everybody get the hell back and stop pushing .....waiting .....here comes Joel....waiting ....staring at the corner....waiting....heartbeat pounding...breathing heavier ....heartbeat ....um....um ....SCREAM !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There she is ....OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!! I was in the second row and the moment I saw her, I couldn't believe I was actually standing only about four feet away. I thought I was dreaming. She worked her way towards us, and just as she was approaching our side, some girl behind me was having a breakdown and Tori reached out to call her over. I have to admit, I was a little annoyed that someone showed up after me was able to get right to the front because of her cyring, but, then again, I can SO relate to her emotions upon seeing Tori. So, it was okay.
Then Tori was right in front of me and everyone was trying to talk to her at the same time, so I said, "Tori, how's your daughter?" And she raised her head looked at me and said, "Great!". That started our conversation ....oh my God .......I can't believe I'm standing right here talking to Tori Amos ....She and I are the same age, and I noticed how beautiful her skin is ....(note to self....find a new facial cleanser) .....we talked about our daughters. I felt the emotion welling up inside me, so I asked for a picture before I did something weird like collapse and faint from shock! She took the camera out of my hand and handed it to the person behind me. I don't remember who you were, but thank you, thank you, thank you! We said our goodbyes. I wish I could remember clearly everything that happened, it's like I've been in a coma! When it was all over, I walked away, and then I exhaled and cried. Don't ask me why because, you know, I just don't know. Oh, yeah, I remember that before she walked away, I did the unthinkable sin ......I yelled out, "Little Amsterdam!" Little Amsterdam was so sweet at the concert! Ahhhhhhhh, now I can just die!
No one has mentioned that at the start of the Roadside Cafe, Tori *quietly* whispered "How's it going?" and then played a minute of something that I didn't recognize. The lyrics were:
sure gets hot down here
sure gets hot down here (laughs into mic)
you squeeze that chicken baby
you squeeze your girlfriend baby
you know if you can
and you know if I could
I'd be squeezing my man
it sure gets hot down here
it sure gets warm when you're near
it sure gets good
it sure gets good
Adam posted about her little improv. I'm not sure about this, but she laughed as she was looking over to where Joel had been standing to the right of the stage. It was dark and I couldn't see well, but he was kneeling down with his arms in a position like you'd hold a child. And as she laughed there was this little noise like a squeeze-toy going off. I could be delusional and maybe it was part of the song that for some reason stood out to me at that exact moment, but then she seemed to kinda switch gears and sing about the chicken, and I really think the "you squeeze the chicken baby" was after Tash had done something with a stuffed chicken, or something.
Again, this is completely speculation, but her unexpected laughter was so cute and right on cue with the noise I heard.
I wanted to thank Chomiak5 for being so understanding. I was that girl who carried on and got up to the front after tori grabbed my hand. I remember standing next to her in the meet and greet and her requesting Little Amsterdam as tori was leaving. When tori played it at the concert I thought of her and how special she must feel that tori played a song she requested.
I can?t explain what it was like meeting her. All I remember is crying and telling her I was sorry for crying. †I couldn?t believe it was real. I got the pictures developed this morning and the guy at the ritz camera place gave me extra copies for free and zoomed in on Tori. It was the best day of my life. I still get emotional thinking that I met my idol, and someone who has touched millions of lives. I wanted to thank everyone who was at the meet and greet and thank you so much for understanding.
After a long weekend, it was nice being back home in Houston. I use to work at the Aerial/Verizon theater for about 3 years, so it was cool to get to see Tori there. I was also able to visit with friends who I had not seen in awhile both working and attending the show. Now on the heels of the show at the Majestic, I must admit the Verizon looked pretty dumpy. It was always set up for "rock" shows anyway. Having worked there for so long, I must admit that the sound quality is terrific. Generally, it is on the loud side. I thought Tori's vocals were amazing, and I believe her piano was drowned out far less by the drums and bass compared to the San Antonio show.There were a few "popping" noises I noticed on two songs, but no big deal. I have to say that this set list wasn't my favorite. I know she pulled out some songs she doesn't play on an every other night basis, but they weren't greatly personal to me. The highlights for me would have had to been Little Amsterdam, Leather, Your Cloud, and Tear in Your Hand. And of course I still love the drums on Iieee. :) Tori was a little more talkative tonight than in San Antonio where she barely said a thing. I thought the little whispering she did was cute and helped give the show a little more personality. My seats this time around were in the last row of a section upstairs. I guess that is what I get for being able to sit so close in SA. To be honest, I was very happy with my view. The lighting and stage didn't have as much effect, but I think that was in part because of the theater. I also sat on the left side, so I got a chance to see her fingers in action. Unfortunately, the people around me at this show weren't as enthusiastic. And no, it WASN'T a Houston thing. Just bad luck. Nope, no cute blonde with braids dancing in her seat (even though I think I saw her therelol). Instead, I had some old ladies and immature teens surrounding me. Oh well, I was pretty much able to drowned them out.
I had a good time at this show as well. And even though I didn't care for her setlist as much, I actually like the way the songs sounded better. Maybe one day before I die, I will get to see her perform Jupiter solo.That's all I really ask ;)
From D'Evereaux V. Baum:
Sorry this is so late!! I paid out the wazzu for my tickets here, because unlike San Antonio the seating at the Verizon is not wonderful and I wanted to make sure I could see every movement of Tori's. My fianc graciously gave up his seat to my awesome sister who set me up with seats/backstage passes in LA last year through Tori's fantastic Tour Manager, Jerome Crooks - he is still her TM this tour. My sister had never seen Tori with a band but said she liked the solo show in LA last year better because she played Sugar, which we did not get to here, unfortunately. I, however, am blown away when she has the band - the sounds are so haunting sometimes it is just incredible. The highlight for me at the Houston show was Take to the Sky - she had everyone clapping and moving it was great and is a great reminder (probably to her too) of her success. Iieee was so awesome and her dancing was very sexy - I love this song so much as well as Hotel where she shows the strength and range of her mesmerizing voice.
Anyway, after the show my sister, Jackie, who used to be a stage carpenter for Ozzfest and Barney (cute huh!), and I went around back to see if we could say hi to Jerome. One of the roadies handed us some of his French fries and said he would go find him for us - He greeted us with lots of hugs and I got to thank him again for making my dream of meeting Tori a reality last year!!! He said they all had a blast in Austin the day before and had a big Barbeque!!!!!!!! So so sad it's over - I will just die if she ever (when) she stops touring or writing music.............. Thanks again Jerome!!!!!