The set list and reviews from Tori's February 22nd concert in Birmingham, AL
Updated Sun, Feb 23, 2003 - 7:25am ET
During this fascinating show, Tori performed Here, There and Everywhere (solo), Honey, Rattlesnakes, and a little of Sweet Home Alabama. I have added my personal review of the show to the reviews page as well as the full set list. If you were at the Birmingham 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 Birmingham, AL on Saturday, February 22, 2003 at the BJCC Concert Hall. The opening act was Jeffrey Gaines.
I was at this show and recorded the following set list:
a sorta fairytale
Sweet Home Alabama
Here, There and Everywhere
Take To The Sky
I Can't See New York
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!
The dilemma in writing these reviews is the fact that I am always dead tired and in desparate need of sleep when I write them. So forgive me if this does not do the show justice!
We drove 6.5 hours to Birmingham and were there for the meet & greet. I did not meet Tori, but I was able to snap a few photos and I share one with you to the right. I love the hat!
The show itself was extremely interesting. It started out very mellow and sad. Tori did not even seem to crack a smile for the first few songs. Among the earliest songs, Cornflake Girl seemed out a place because of all the slower, sad songs surrounding it. Her version of Honey tonight was leisurely and gorgeous, one of my all time favorite live versions of the song.
After Pancake, Tori said "How's it going" and the crowd reacted so favorably that Tori remarked, "Wow" and then did a slow and sweet version of Sweet Home Alabama. (I think it was just a portion of the song.) She then introduced the band.
Tori's solo songs during the Roadside Cafe were especially powerful tonight. Merman fit in perfectly with the sad nature of the early part of the show. My girlfriend Amanda seemed to think that Tori was especially clear and crisp in her enunciation of the words tonight. Tori then told us that "5 years ago today, I danced with someone to this song.." and then she played the cover Here, There, and Everywhere. Tori was obviously referring to her wedding anniversary here. Her cover of the song was unbelievably beautiful. I think this was the turning point of the show where Tori started to transition from being mellow, sad, and low-energy, to happier and more energetic.
Horses sounded great tonight, but from my vantage point in the lower balcony, I found some of the lighting to be incredibly bright and difficult to look at. Then we were all pleasantly surprised by Rattlesnakes, which sounds really wonderful with the band. During part of the song you could see the shadow of Tori playing the keyboards on the back wall, which looked amazing! Tori then launched into Space Dog, which really pushed the show into high-energy territory!
This was my first time hearing Iieee on this tour, and I really loved it. One thing that I did not mention during the European tour was the fact that Tori now has a synthesizer-type keyboard on the top of her Bosey that she plays during Iieee. So Tori is now surrounded by 4 different keyboards.
The end of Crucify seemed rather long and complex tonight. It made me think of The Waitress for some reason...
Tori of course ended the show with Playboy Mommy, and the crowd erupted into cheers when she did the "From here to Birmingham, I've got a few friends." She certainly does!
A glance at the official written set list shows that Tori did not deviate from it at all. In the spot where she did Here, There and Everywhere, Tori had listed "Tori's Choice" on the written set list.
The crowd remained seated during the main part of the show, and the folks on the floor only stood during the encores. I was quite pleased to see that.
Overall, I found this to be an interesting, complex, and wonderful show with a unusual mix of emotions. It was a nice start to my concerts this year. We are now off to Nashville, TN!
From Marjorie Bounds:
I was so excited to see Tori tonight. I have seen her the last 2 times she was in Birmingham and always had really terrible seats, but THIS time I had 5th row! Let me tell you, being up close makes all the difference.†I'm not reviewing all the songs, just some as I'm very tired :)
Wampum prayer -- You know, it is SO hard to sing acapella and Tori did it right on pitch.
A sorta fairytale -- This is one of my all time favorite Tori songs, it was energetic and wonderful
Little Amsterdam -- I thought this was an especially appropriate song being in the south. Haunting!
Sweet Home Alabama -- I seriously despise this song, being from Alabama and hearing it all the time, but when Tori did it was so beautiful. It was a great surprise and a wonderful treat for us folks! (I had heard her sing this for a radio station once, jokingly, but her arrangement was different for the concert. Very mellow and beautiful).
Honey -- I missed the guitar, but it was still wonderful! She once said this was one of her favorite songs, and after hearing it live for the second time, it has become one of mine too.
Mermann - here's where I started to cry. This is my all time favorite song, not just of Tori's but of any artist. Her husband must have been listening, she got very emotional at the end. This is just the most beautiful song I can think of, and I'm so happy that she played it tonight.
Here, There, and Everywhere -- I was so surprised to hear this song! I didn't know what it was until after the concert, and owning all b-sides I was especially excited to hear something fresh and new. The arrangement was wonderful, I think we got another special treat :)
Take to the Sky -- Love this b-side, and everyone clapped along it was great. On a side note, the audience was very well behaved the entire show....we participated but there weren't a lot of crazy screams or dancing, which was very nice.
Playboy Mommy -- Well of course, being from Birmingham, it's always nice to hear that song! She did it last time she came through, with rousing accolades at the mention of our small city. This time was no different either!
In general the sound was awesome, and I've really come to respect Matt Chamberland's (spelling, please fix that if it's wrong hehe) drumming.†He could just play along in 4/4 time, but he puts some really interesting beats to the songs and puts new twists on them, like Tori does, and I think that's a sign of an intelligent drummer. The bass was sometimes overpowering, making the floor rattle and what not, but still very good. All in all, this was the best Tori experience I've ever had!
From Anna Steiner:
First, I have to say that this was the best set list I've personally seen. She played a lot of my favs, Honey, Merman, Here There & Everywhere, and Rattlesnakes topping the list of high points in the show. Tori seemed in a very mellow mood from the beginning... maybe the weather??? Birmingham was cold and rainy. The short version of Sweet Home Alabama was appropriate, and from there the show seemed to take off. I liked hearing Cornflake Girl for the first time. And Honey was indeed a pleasant surprise. I didn't expect to hear that at all. The solo songs tonight were very emotional. Merman was beautiful, and Here There & Everywhere was even more beautiful. I don't know if I was crying because of the song itself, or because of the way Tori was singing it. You could definately tell that it means something special to her.. she was very involved in that song. The version of Horses tonight was gorgeous. It had a sorta gothic feel to it. Much darker than the album versions or other live versions. Rattlesnakes was another pleasant surprise. She hasn't played much from SLG on this tour, so it was nice to hear this. Space Dog had a good energy to it. Another that I've never seen, so again, I was happy. And of course, Juarez... one of my favorites from TVAB and I was so glad she played this... I was curious to see how she'd do this one with only the bass and drums, but those three are amazing together...(Tori, Matt and Jon.) It sounded wonderful. I was waiting to hear iieee, but I knew it marked the ending of the show, so it was bittersweet. I LOVE that song though, so it was worth it. Talula again had her "tell me who the fucking father is" line in it. Another first for me. All through the show I had a funny feeling she would play Playboy Mommy, and she did. I love this song so so much, and it sounded excellent tonight. In all, the show was incredible. She played a great set list... lots of songs that were on my wish list I got to hear, which is always nice. And the show had a great energy... Wonderful.
From Julia Lewis:
Tori's show in Birmingham was excellent. She had more energy and the band was so much tighter than the Atlanta show. Tori seemed in a great mood, and was so comfortable. I thought the crowd was very kind and considerate. (No one screamed out in the wrong places.)
Also, the scent wafting into the crowd before the show smelled like burning rosemary. Was it for Tori's throat or something???
This is a synopsis of how I felt about the show:
Wampum Prayer: I looked to the right of the stage where Tori would enter as soon as she passed by I saw a little Tash in what I think was a pink flowy dress. She was holding someone's hand and then walked away.
a sorta fairytale: I thought Tori sounded great on this song. She didn't strain like she had been in all the TV appearances with this one.
Little Amsterdam: I LOVE this one. She also played it in Atlanta; I think this set a precedent for the rest of the show.
I felt that the set list had been accurately targeted to a southern audience.
Pancake: This song is one of my favorites on Scarlet's Walk and was very happy to hear it.
Sweet Home Alabama: This was nice and slow and SWEET for her to do.
Cornflake Girl: I had a floor seat and I cold see Tori fairly well. I watched her hands on this one, incredible those things are!
Honey: I LOVED this one. Jon had a standup cello or bass (not sure) and it was so beautiful!!!
Sweet Sangria: I also really like this one from Scarlet. It has a nice tempo and is so energetic live.
Lust: This one was a surprise to me. I love the electronic drum sounds on this one. I could really here the piano base of this song.
Wednesday: This one is just fun for Tori, Jon, and Matt. They seem happy playing it. I love the contrast between the fast and slow parts.
Merman: This was so pretty and I could understand all the lyrics. She changed keys during this song, not sure if it was intentional?
Here, There and Everywhere: My goodness, I was extremely moved with this one. Tori's love seemed to beam out.
Josephine: I liked this one without drums, so pretty with just Tori and the piano.
Horses: I really like this song. The band was tight.Rattlesnakes: Wow, this is my favorite from Strange Little Girls! I was so happy to hear it!
Space Dog: (We are on a roll here) This is my favorite from UTP!
Juarez: I had no clue was this was at first, then she began to sing the lyrics and I was happy with the version.
Take To The Sky: I like the band on this one. It makes it all the more fun and intense.
I Can't See New York: I was moved as were others around me. I heard sniffles.
Iieee: This takes the cake! She even had the track of "Iiiieeee, Iiiieeee" which she pressed on the little keyboard on top of the piano!
From where I was it seemed that everyone stood for the rest of the show. Some people (including me) moved their hips with the rest of the show. I saw a few people off stage come out and watch the crowd; I think they were amazed that everyone was standing.
Talula: I couldn?t believe how nice her voice was after all of the above.
Tear In Your Hand: Good one from the old days. I noticed that she sang all the song's with "Neil" in them.
Crucify: This was a cool version. She was looking at the crowd in an intense way. I reinterpreted this song for myself.
Playboy Mommy: Of course she played this one. When she made the B'ham reference the crowd cheered and she gave us a wide full tooth smile.
From Cyndi S. Crawford (Posted to the Precious Things mailing list):
I am *extremely* exhausted as I write this.. it's been a very long day full of emotional highs.. and plus it's 3 in the morning right now.
We got at the venue at around 1:00 central time.. we circled around to check and see where the meet-and-greet people were gonna be, found 'em, my mom dropped me off, and then found a really good parking place.. so I hung around with the crowd, chatting and talking with everybody, etc.. killed a few hours without realizing where all the time had gone.. and we got rained on a little bit too--which kinda kept Tori from standing outside with everybody for longer than she did..
Well anyway, at around 3:30 or 4:00, Tori came out. I made a copy of my Hey Jupiter video (using footage from the orig. video as well as other footage of her that I've got..) to give to her--and stuck my letter in an envelope with the tape in its own box the night before.. Anyway, Tori came out and said hello to everybody.. She got to me and I handed her the box and explained that it was a music video that I made for her.. *SHE* took it from me, not her bodyguard.. and then while I could, I asked her if she could play part of Datura for me (she didn't--I'm fine with it.) and she nodded (not a "yeah. I'll play it" nod, but a "I heard you and I'll at least consider it" nod.) and then she asked me if this was my only show and I told her that I'd seen her in Atlanta and told her about how I felt when she played Hey Jupiter at the end of the show.. and then somewhere in between that, I told her that when she smiles, she reminded me of my mother (and I made sure to say to her that THAT was indeed, a Good Thing.).. and she smiled and told me thanks..
I took LOTS of pictures of all this btw.. (I'll get them developed VERY soon) and then she was kinda moving to other ppl sorta.. and I asked her how her daughter was doing and she smiled real big again and said "She's doing fine" and thanked me for asking.. I took more pictures, told her she looked great (actually, that was the first thing I said.), told her good luck, told her we all loved her, etc.. and then she left and I went "Bye, Tori!" and she said bye to us all too.
Oh... it was.. I still can't get over it. I knew to expect it because I've read things from so many other people who've met her saying the same thing, BUT.. when you're talking to her.. she doesn't just nod and go "uh huh" while signing other autographs and basically just ignoring you.. she stares right into your eyes and PAYS ATTENTION.. and it totally makes you feel like the most important person in her world at that moment--as if she thought you were giving her some crucial life-or-death information. Just her looking straight at me and not just putzing around with other crap while I was talking to her, that was enough to make me ecstatic.
I wasn't close enough for a hug or a picture together or an autograph, but she got my video and she listened to me tell her stuff and she heard my request for a song (movement 2 of Datura).. and.. I told my mom about it and she was as happy as I was about it. It was bloody amazing!
In between all that, I made a couple of friends who had an extra ticket (which was LOTS better in terms of seating arrangement..) and they gave it to me--for free.. so I gave my craptastic seat to my mother.. (she was willing to go see Tori) and.. that's as important to me as meeting Tori was.. because I wanted my mom to see Tori's performance for herself.. AND SHE DID! She had bad seats, but she got to see Tori.. and she didn't much care for all of the music (too many minor chords she said..) but she got to see just how talented Tori was and she told me that she LOVES Tori's voice.. she said Tori's got a BEAUTIFUL voice.. and she also thought that she had a really cute personality about her.. and that she loved how Tori would be dancing all over her seat and then she'd cross her leg while she played, etc.. it was really awesome..
The show itself was really REALLY good.. The highlight of it (for me) was when she sang Crucify.. it was truly beautiful. She closed the show with Playboy Mommy (because we were in Birmingham and she mentions Birmingham--altho she means Birm. England so I understand..) and we were all walking out of it more or less awestruck.
I can't say the same for the opening act.. It wasn't Howie Day this time. :( It was some other guy.. I've forgotten his name already. He had a pretty good singing voice, but.. all of his songs sounded the same to me--and if *I* say that about somebody, then you know that's a pretty bad thing since I tend to have an ear for little easily-overlooked qualities in a song that makes it different. I was actually kinda disappointed in him and wished that it'd been Howie--so that my mom coulda seen just how good he (Howie of course) is.
ANYWAY.. that more or less sums up my day. It was a BLAST! I would do it again in a second. It was incredible. ABSOLUTELY incredible.. but now I must go to bed. I can't keep my eyes open for much longer.
From toriMODE/ Ron:
4.5 Years Later--Coming Full Circle On Scarlet's Walk
My first Tori Amos show was in Birmingham at the BJCC on August 14, 1998. Four and a half years later I see Tori again at the same exact venue. I felt like Tori was returning home to "Sweet Home Alabama." I've been expecting for Tori to come back on the past couple of tours but she never did. So you can imagine how excited I was to hear the Birmingham date announced a month before this show.
I woke up Saturday morning at 8 a.m., the day of the Tori show with "Horses" in my head. It kind of set the vibe for the rest of the day. I had a long day ahead of me. I got my things together and headed downtown for the Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center. I paid $6 to park. Apparently there was a Gun Show or Hunters Convention going on. A Girl needs a gun these days on account of those "Rattlesnakes." I passed by what I thought was the beginnings of a Meet & Greet. I saw a guy sitting in a chair, and later a girl sitting next to him. I would come to meet them and share many things with them. I walked up to Jason and Angel, and introduced myself. We started the numbering system, which I'm grateful for. I was #3. People started walking up during the day, and we'd give them a number, and we went through many extremes of weather. First it was overly warm, then it was so fucking windy, and then it started to rain. We made it through it. Steve set up the barricades at 3 p.m., and we got behind them. I was all the way up the front; no one in front of me. My friend Luke had just gotten there from the Jacksonville show. He came up to say hey and handed me a cd of covers he did of Tori, to give to her. At around 4:15 I looked to the side and I saw camera flashes going off, so I realized that Tori Amos must be walking our way. She was and she was adorable. She had on a cute scarf and a cute black hat, and her earrings. She was so adorable. She came up directly to my left to speak with a few people, and by this time it was raining a little again, and so Steve was holding the umbrella over her as she signed people's things. She finally got to me, and made direct eye contact. I smiled really big, and said hey to her, and gave her Luke's covers cd first, told her that my friend Luke had covered her songs (playing the piano/keyboards and sang), and then handed her my letter and some recent poetry. She took them one by one and said "ok....ok," and then I asked her to sign my 5.5 Weeks To Venus and Back Tour Book (the limo picture that is my signature picture on the forumz), and she asked my name and I told her Ron, and she began signing it, and I asked if she could write "From here to Birmingham, I got a few friends," and she started to, but the rain started again and so she was like I'm just going to sign it. She made her little heart symbol, and signed her name, and handed it back to me. I then asked for a picture with her, and that was the happiest time (even if the pictures don't come out well). I put my arm around her, and pressed my left side of my head against hers, and leaned back, and camera flashes went off like crazy. I felt so content for those few seconds. Feeling Tori's warmth next to me, and having a moment of fruition in the making, is beyond words. I seriously felt my life was complete after the picture was taken. The Meet & Greet progressed. I requested "Raining Blood" and Tori said "we'll see." I heard request for Carbon and bits of Datura. I took pictures for my friends Oola, Jason, Shannon, and Angel. In a matter of 10-12 minutes the M&G was over, and Tori was walking away and looking back. I yelled "we love you Tori," and then she was gone. After the M&G, I had some group photos taken with my M&G pals, and then I gave directions to Mikewhy, Amanda, and Carolyn to Silvertron's, and then I went home. On my way home I was a crying mess. I think everything finally somewhat hit me on the ride home from the M&G. The surreal world met the world of reality, and I was freaking out in the process. *sighs*
I went to dinner at Silvetron with about 10 people, and then went to the show. We got to the venue right at 7:30 p.m., and the doors to the concert hall were closed. So everyone was standing in the lobby. Finally we got in at 7:45 or so. We found our seats, which I have to say I was very pleased. Jeffrey Gaines came out later than was expected. He started playing his set. Everyone was going on about how they loved Howie Day much more, but I enjoyed Mr. Gaines. His cover of In Your Eyes is great. My bestfriend Kelly and I kept doing the back up singing parts "your eyesssssssss." Which was fun. My boyfriend Jon bought me and Kelly a Scarlet's Walk poster. We talked with a few people we knew from past shows, and then the lights went down, and the show began--
Knowing beforehand that this song is recorded and not Tori actually singing it from backstage, kinda diminishes the experience, but I love this as an opener nonetheless.
A Sorta Fairytale
Kelly, Jon, and I were making dirty jokes about "pulling back the hood", so during the song, we were all smiles. Hearing Tori perform this again was great, and she has finally mastered it Live I believe. I realize now why it's doing so well in the charts.
A southern song for a southern town. When she started with Little Amsterdam, Kelly and I kinda grumbled under our breath, because Tori always seems to play this in the south. It was a good performance.
This is my 3rd favorite from Scarlet's Walk, and I think this is one of the sexier songs Tori has ever performed. Good stuff!
Sweet Home Alabama
Tori started playing a lil' intro and then started into Sweet Home Alabama. Made me reflect back on the radio performance mp3 that I downloaded probably 4 years previously. Hearing her version made me feel proud to live in Alabama, and it kind of made me feel like Tori felt comfortable in my state. This was the beginning of what made the Birmingham so special to me and for everyone else.
I heard the first few sounds of this song and knew immediately it was Cornflake Girl. I was relieved, because I knew that my boyfriend Jon wanted to hear this Live for his first time, really badly. The pink and yellow circular lights reminded me of the merry-go-rounds of the Cornflake Girl video. The higher note sounds on the Bosendorfer sounded different than they ever had before. It sounded off in sound, but Tori still played her heart out and made the crowd very happy.
Yum. One of my favorite b-sides. Going every few days to the Hereinmyhead.com's website and hearing "Honey" as the introduction to the website, is what I thought of when Tori began this song. This was my 2nd time to hear this song Live, and I was excited to hear it with the band. Jon Evans was on an upright stringed instrument, and it made the song so beautiful. Definitely a highlight for me at the show.
Who can not love the dark grooves of this song. I think it's one of those songs that everyone loves. Ms. Popularity if you will. Sounded great as always. Tori seems to really get down with Sangria.
You know you'll drink her. My favorite song from To Venus and Back. Made sense to start a trio of songs that would commemorate her 5 year anniversary with Mark Hawley. Lust in the marriage bed. Remember Remember Remember. The song was probably the best version I've heard (this was the 3rd time hearing it Live). She totally went off towards the end. The louded version of Lust ever. It was fucking awesome!
Yellow backdrop of light, during the happy-go-lucky song. Definitely a crowd favorite every night on Scarlet's Walk. Very up-lifting and wonderful.
*Roadside Cafe sign comes down and lights up*
Oh my God! She finally played the gem for me Live. Ever since watching the Pay Per View Las Vegas Show from 1999, I've always loved Merman! After the first few notes, Kelly turned to me and said MERMAN! I was so happy! Probably the highlight of the show for me. Kelly and I were in tears, especially during the "who could say you're not simply wonderful." Wow, it was just so emotional!
Here, There and Everywhere
I had no fucking clue what this song was. But Tori introduced the song saying that her and someone special had danced to this song 5 years before. I thought it was really beautiful. I kept looking at Tori with the binoculars to get all of her facial expressions. I expected to see tears running from her face, but she kept scrunching her face with smiles, and singing. It was cute, sad, and sweet all at the same time. Later found out it was a Beattles cover.
Tori did a long introduction/improv to this song, which I didn't recognize. My immediate thought was that this would become Crazy. But it turned out to be something so much better--Josephine! I finally became de-virginized to this song, so I was ever so grateful! Beautiful version!
Kelly and I had hoped to hear this song again Live. I really really love this 2002/2003 version of the song. It has a lot of meaning to Kelly and me. We'll make mother well. Another crying song for us.
I immediately thought of a girl from the M&G earlier that day named Jodi who was talking about Rattlesnakes, and so when I heard the song I thougt of her. But later found out it was Spinnyboy who had requested it. I knew everyone who was not at the show were going to be jealous that we got to hear Rattlesnakes with the band. The 2nd song from Strange Little Girls to come out on Scarlet's Walk. There are always needles in the hey. hayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!
Talk about a freak-out moment. This was it. I use to be a huge fan of Space Dog on Under the Pink. It was my favorite song forever. I turned Kelly onto the song, and so when Tori started this (which I thought was Doughnut Song), we were fucking ecstatic!!!! We really enjoyed ourselves during the song. I was thinking of Mark Hawley during the song though, because I know that this is one of his favorite Tori songs (hence why we have it on TVAB Still Orbiting).
You don't know how long I've wanted to hear this Live. I finally got it! I became spoiled during this show with all of these great songs. This song was everything I imagined it to be, and beyond.
Take To The Sky
Clap along and have fun. That's what this song is all about. I love the "Take Toooooooooo" part at the end.
I Can't See New York
What can I say. Ever since the Atlanta show in November 2002, I had been looking forward to recreating the experience of seeing ICSNY Live again. It was the most magical experience during the show. I had 2 beams of lights right at me. I felt lost in the clouds in the plan. The performance was another highlight for me of the night. I had a lot of morbid thoughts about the passengers on the plane during the 9-11 events, but I enjoyed it so much!!!
Thank God Tori is doing this Live! The "Just say yes, you little arsonist" part is the highest voltage of energy during the whole show. The lights go crazy and it's just so in your face. I loved it!!!
Don't want to lose her. I recognized the introduction to the song right off. It was my first time hearing Talula Live, but I wasn't very impressed. I told Kelly that Tori would do either Tear in your Hand or Taxi Ride next, because I've noticed a pattern of keeping Letter's Together on set list, and sure enough, she goes into Tear in your Hand.
Tear In Your Hand
Another one of those Little Amsterdam moments when we were kinda rolling our eyes, and regretting that Tori didn't play some other great song. It was a good performance. Tori did a little wave during the "goodbye" part. It was cute.
The start of the song I recognized but I couldn't remember what it was. I am like "it's a sexy song, what is it?" Then finally I recognized. Very spicey and sexy. It's a great Live song. I love the cross formation Tori does with her arms during the song. Very effective!
I expected this song. Kinda predictable. I heard it 4.5 years before at the same venue. Everyone screamed just like they had then during the "from here to Birmingham I got a few friends" part, and it was the perfect closer of the wonderful night. Tori made her arm motions during the "in my armmmmmmsss" part. It was emotional and beautiful.
I'd probably rank this as my favorite Tori Amos concert ever. The set list was AMAZING! The sound was great! Having the show in my home city meant a lot to me. Everything seemed to come full circle and blossom. I'll never forget this day. I love you Tori!