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A review of the April 22, 2005 Seattle, WA show from The Seattle Times
April 25, 2005

Updated Tue, Apr 26, 2005 - 1:12am ET

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You can find a press review of Tori's April 22, 2005 Seattle, WA show in the April 25, 2005 edition of The Seattle Times newspaper.

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You can read this concert review online at or below. (You can find all the Dent reviews for Seattle here.)

Multifaceted singer Tori Amos in fine, flowy form

By Anne Hurley
Special to The Seattle Times

Tori Amos has never been easy to pin down. Those self-confessional, goddess-worshiping lyrics are backed by hard-rocking piano and salted with well-placed barbs against abuse, aggression and war. And she has a playful side, often overlooked, that keeps it all from being too strident.

At Friday night's sold-out performance at Benaroya Hall, Amos cheerfully displayed all her facets for the adoring audience.

Wearing layers of flowy chiffon (my companion thought she looked like Sissy Spacek channeling Loretta Lynn) and spiky heels, Amos pranced around the cluster of keyboards she called Tori's Piano Bar, alternating among sexy, earnest and dead-serious personas with ease.

She opened with "Original Sinsuality," from her newest CD, "The Beekeeper," one of many songs on that album which re-interpret biblical or spiritual tales from a more, shall we say, woman-friendly point of view. The lilting tune belies the force of her rejection of religion-imposed guilt.

Amos' soprano was in fine form, on songs such as "Yes Anastasia" and "Blood Roses" (though that song's final line, "Sometimes you're nothing but meat" seemed to fall sort of flat). Early on, Amos encouraged the audience to clap along, saying, "This has got to be the only city where people can clap in time." Yay, Seattle!

There was an easy mix between Amos' original songs (another highlight was "Cool on Your Island") and covers. The audience swooned at her sensual delivery of hometown Heart's "Magic Man," and a melancholy version of Billy Idol's creepy "Eyes Without a Face."

While Amos was at the top of her game, the production and sound people could have used some help. It's hard to imagine in pitch-perfect Benaroya Hall, but the sound was assaultive during most of the show, far too loud and bass-heavy for Amos' music. Even her vocals occasionally seemed keening and shrieky, apparently due more to the sound mix than to her delivery.

And the light show, featuring colored, flowing water globs on a projected screen, seemed so retro as to be campy -- but it was hard to tell for sure. It would have been nicer to have used the screen instead for close-ups of Amos' face for those sitting at the back of the hall.

Opening for Amos was singer-songwriter Matt Nathanson, whose songs and lyrics show sophisticated influences such as Michael Stipe and Elliott Smith, but whose onstage patter leans more toward Adam Sandler. He said his job was to "fluff up" the audience for Amos, and that he surely did.

Anne Hurley:

Posted by: Mikewhy

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