The October 2005 issue of the online magazine Being There includes a 4 star review of Tori's August 27, 2005 concert at the Molson Amphitheatre in Toronto, Canada by Lisa Hood-Anklewicz. You can read the review online at beingtheremag.com.
You can read the article below:
Live at the Molson Amphitheatre in Toronto, Canada
August 27, 2005
Reviewed by Lisa Hood-Anklewicz
The Toronto stop of Tori Amos' Summer of Sin tour kicked off with Los Angeles-based band The Like. An all female trio, The Like performed a set of about twenty-five minutes which left a lot to be desired. They seemed to disappear in the size of the venue, and their sound mix was so muddy that it was nearly impossible to discern the instruments from the vocals. In this case I think The Like were victims of their surroundings. The tour had great potential to give them some excellent exposure; however, I just can't help thinking that they are not ready for this scale and would benefit much more from playing smaller clubs.
After a short break, the mood of the evening took a wild turn when The Ditty Bops made their way to the stage. It was quickly apparent that The Ditty Bops performance was going to be more that just an opening act; it was much closer to a Vaudeville performance. The duo, Amanda and Abby, had a couple of extra musicians accompanying them on stage, as they played an acoustic-based, ragtime-like set riddled with humour. There was an unfortunate echo cast about the venue throughout their whole set, but the added level of amusement in their performance more than made up for the oversight in the audio.
When Amos took the stage, it was to a very receptive and appreciative crowd, given that it has been a little more that two years since her last tour stop in Canada. Opening her set with "Original Sinsuality" from her latest album The Beekeeper, Amos could have chosen to take this crowd down any number of musical paths with the remainder of the set list. On this particular night, Amos chose a slightly dark tone in her set list, and it would not be a show that casual listeners of her music could fully appreciate. Over two hours, Amos played only one single, which reached back to 1998, and she filled in a number of spots with some rare numbers and b-sides.
Navigating between her signature Bosendorfer piano, a Rhodes keyboard and two B3 Hammond organs through the night, Amos played a passionate show highlighted by "Blood Roses," "Spark," and the 1992 b-side "Here in My Head." The night's "theme" seemed to centre on different senses of loss, and the set list was anchored by "General Joy," a song from The Beekeeper in which Amos expresses some of her views on current world affairs. Opening the song with improvisation, Amos appeared to be lost in the song as she performed: "Ride the tanks boys / Ride the tanks boys / You feel me coming / Soldier girl / Ride the tanks boys / For these pieces / Over the body bags coming home / For the big boys deals / You're coming home / Ride the tanks boys / Ride the tanks boys / Feel these pieces of Ishtar / Feel these pieces coming back to the heart."
A major highlight of The Summer of Sin tour and the previous Original Sin tour has been "Tori's Piano Bar," a brief break mid-show where Amos pays homage to her roots of playing in piano bars. Two pre-selected songs are chosen from suggestions emailed to Amos by fans for her to cover each night. On the Toronto stop, Amos made a very Canadian tribute during the Piano Bar segment, playing Gordon Lightfoot's "If You Could Read My Mind" and Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now." Just before playing the songs Amos commented "If you don't know these songs, you should be spanked."
Being solo on this tour and playing a venue like the Molson Amphitheatre not only gave Amos a chance to shine, but her crew as well. The Amphitheatre isn't necessary great for acoustics, but Amos' crew pulled together a very tight soundscape that night, and with the earlier sound problems of the opening acts, the solid work of Amos' crew became that much more apparent.
Despite the tone of the set, Amos was in quite a playful mood throughout the evening, with mischievous grins and numerous playful moments of dancing. Finishing the night with "Baker Baker" from Under the Pink, Amos brought her set to a soulful close that just happened to correspond with a fireworks display on the other side of the pavilion, pretty much directly in Amos' line of sight. The last lines of the song were sung with a giggle, breaking any tensions that may have been left over from the heavy set list.