Thanks to Woj for making me aware of this article by posting it to the Precious Things Mailing List.
Tori Amos' spirited offerings rock fans
She puts passion into her lyrics and piano style during Landmark appearance.
March 02, 2003
By Mark Bialczak Staff writer
Two hours of totally Tori was just what the packed crowd at the Landmark Theatre shouted for Saturday night.
"I love you Tori," screamed one woman in the audience the moment Amos took the stage.
Yes, Amos' high-pitched, breathy voice is an acquired taste. And it obviously was a taste that her fans had acquired long ago and keep on the top shelf of their disc collection.
The singer and piano player from North Carolina sang and played piano in her trademark, unique styles.
At the microphone, Amos delivers every line with passion. Sometimes her emotional delivery obscures the lyrics, but that didn't matter to her very happy fans.
As much as she goes all out with her vocals, Amos sometimes goes only halfway with the piano. That is, she's half-on, half-off the piano bench as she shimmies her way toward the crowd. She also does a great job simultaneously playing the keyboards with her right hand and the piano with her left.
With the accompaniment of a bass player and drummer, Amos thundered home her personal style.
She's no doubt a forerunner in the increasingly popular vocals-and-piano style, but she's definitely not from the funky Alicia Keys, jazzy Diana Krall or soothing Norah Jones schools of pop music.
Instead, Amos isn't afraid to rock hard, and perches on the cusp of New Age with her spirited work.
The crowd was extremely pleased with hits from her earlier work, particularly "Cornflake Girl" from her disc "Under the Pink," and "Crucify" from her disc "Little Earthquakes.
The Native American-influenced work from her new disc, "Scarlet's Walk," was received well, too.
For the perfectly placed cover song, Amos chose Fleetwood Mac's classic "Landslide."
Amos definitely was more Stevie Nicks-Christine McVie than Dixie Chicks as she pounded the piano and enchantingly caressed the lyrics.
One fan danced her way up the center aisle, until a male usher gently urged her back to her seat. In fact, the whole concert, it seemed like Amos' many female fans connected with her music and messages more easily than the men in the crowd.
Amos didn't talk directly to the fans between songs much.
She made a point of telling about her walk around Syracuse earlier in the day, when she happened to spy a T-shirt that called her name.
So she bought the message "A Woman's Place Is in the Dome."
"That seemed right to me," Amos said. "They might not like it when I wear it around Georgetown. But that doesn't matter to me."
Opener Jeffrey Gaines obviously was somewhat in awe of his surroundings.
He loved the Landmark Theatre.
"I hope you looked at the crazy lobby," Gaines said. "It's on drugs, this place! You've got a cool ... place to party. It's great."
With his gritty voice and acoustic guitar, Gaines won over the crowd. The fans who got there on time lustily cheered every song of his half-hour set.
The singer-songwriter served up deep work from his disc "Toward the Sun."
"Falling Apart" certainly had it all together.