Thanks to Deb for telling me about this. Read it online at timesunion.com or below:
Tori Amos takes fans on a musical journey
By MICHAEL ECK , Special to the Times Union
ALBANY -- Tori Amos' latest album, "Scarlet's Walk," comes with a map. Fans at her concert Friday night at the newly renovated Palace Theatre could have used a map, too. A compass might have helped as well, not to mention a glossary, an index and a secret handshake for good measure.
A muddy sound mix made Amos' famously cryptic lyrics all but indecipherable.
The nearly sold-out house didn't seem to mind, especially since most seemed to know the words already. Hits and favorites, including "Cornflake Girl," "Iieee" and the encores of "God" and "A Tear in Your Hand," were greeted with big applause from the first chords, and the new material was well-accepted despite its relative unfamiliarity.
"Walk" follows a woman as she travels across the country in search of herself, in a nod to Jack Kerouac.
Amos played about one-third of the record, which is an easier listen than some of her more daring and eccentric releases of the past few years.
"I Can't See New York" was the best of the bunch, and it was performed with a real conviction. Throughout the show, Amos seemed to be offering programmed emotions, but not during "New York."
The encore of "Taxi Ride" also clicked.
She pulled plenty of stuff from her back catalog, much of it reshaped to fit the sound of her piano-led power trio. The mix emphasized Jon Evans' bass, but left Matt Chamberlain's drums sounding thin. Amos played electric piano, organ and synthesizer in addition to her nine-foot grand piano, but the latter occasionally was drowned out in the din.
It rang just fine during a solo mini-set at midshow.
The "Roadside Cafe" sign, which descended from the flies, was unnecessary, but the break from the band's bombast was welcome. Alone at the piano, Amos -- whose outfit would have pleased both Stevie Nicks and Liberace -- sang the brief "Mr. Zebra," "Doughnut Song," "Silent All These Years" and an ethereal take of Depeche Mode's "Enjoy the Silence."
She went solo again later for an encore of "Etienne" from her salad days in the heavy metal band Y Kant Tori Read. "Etienne" was quiet and beautiful and stood out in stark contrast to the rest of the show in the same way it stood out from the original album.
It made one want for the intimacy of Amos' earliest local shows at Page Hall and the Palace in the 1990s.
The ubiquitous Jeffrey Gaines opened for Amos with a bland set of solo acoustic songs. He joked that after playing every other venue in town over the past 10 years it was nice to finally be at the Palace.
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Where: Palace Theatre, 19 Clinton Ave., Albany
Length: Jeffrey Gaines, 30 minutes; Tori Amos, two hours
Musical highlights: Amos did a fine cover of Lloyd Cole's "Rattlesnakes" (from her "Strange Little Girls" album) and dusted off "Etienne" from her Y Kant Tori Read days.
Crowd: A nearly sold-out house of 2,600 fans cheered their faves and checked out the new stuff from "Scarlet's Walk."