Thanks to Mandie and karen whyte for making me aware of this review. You can read it online at enquirer.com or below.
Tori Amos unites her rainbow coalition with song
By Larry Nager
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Part shaman, part elf princess and all rock star, Tori Amos returned to Cincinnati Thursday to play a sold-out Taft Theatre.
The many talents of the flame-haired singer/pianist do not include political commentator, however. "Oh boy, what a crazy world," was her only comment even vaguely connected to the war that was seemingly everywhere else that night.
But her 2,490 fans seemed glad to get away from Iraq, at, least for a while. Her audience was staggeringly diverse, ranging from teens to 50-somethings - gays, straights, hippies, yuppies.
For two hours, it was one nation under Tori, as she united her rainbow coalition with a riveting performance combining new-age spirituality with arena-rock moves and classically-trained virtuosity.
She sat centerstage, straddling her piano seat, hovering between her instruments -- a grand to her left, electric keyboards to her right. She switched between them, often between verses, constantly changing the textures of her music.
Backed only by a rhythm section, she augmented her keyboards with her voice, which she often used as a wordlessly, wailing over rich beds of piano chords.
Her rhythm section was equally stellar. Ex-Smashing Pumpkins drummer Matt Chamberlin was a masterful foil to Amos' ever-shifting moods, switching from sticks to brushes, full-on rock to supple jazz. Her longtime bassist Jon Evans was just as flexible, moving from slinky fretless electric to bowed upright to driving rock riffs.
The concert opened with the red curtains closed and Amos intoning her "Wampum Prayer" (she'd been burning sage backstage, a Native American cleansing ritual). Then the curtain fell and she and the band kicked into "A Sorta Fairytale," from her new Scarlet's Walk.
She did the title track and several other songs from her concept album about traveling the country after the 9-11 attacks.
But she also dipped into her catalog for such early crowd pleasers as "Cornflake Girl," from 1994's Under the Pink.
During her "Roadside Cafe" solo segment, she lived up to her reputation for unusual covers, alternately crooning and wailing the Moody Blues' 1967 hit, "Nights in White Satin."
Before returning for 30 minutes of encores, she closed her 90-minute show by cranking up the volume for a powerful "Iieee," from 1998's From the Choirgirl Hotel album.
Maybe that was her real comment on the current state of this "crazy world," as she passionately sang, "Can't we get a little grace... Why does there gotta be a sacrifice?"
Rhett Miller of the Old 97s opened with an energetic 30-minutes. He gave it everything he had, doing fine new material and such Old 97s faves as "Barrier Reef," but he still really needed his band.