Thanks to Adidas2576 for making me aware of this press concert review. You can read it online at siouxcityjournal.com or below if the link is expired:
Ap-peeling Amos wows Orpheum crowd
By Bruce R. Miller
Journal staff writer
Tori Amos is like an onion. Peel one layer and there's another, just as interesting, underneath.
At Saturday's concert at the Orpheum Theatre, the eclectic, almost ethereal, singer showed enough range to please the faithful and convert the unconvinced. Drawing heavily from her "Scarlet's Walk" album, she sat behind two banks of keyboards, fighting and loving both. The visual show was as strong as the aural one, particularly since Amos was so in control of her environment she could hit a light cue better than the man behind the spot. Singing something as lethal as "over my dead body," she could convey plenty. Think Eartha Kitt mixed with Stevie Nicks and blended with a little Shirley MacLaine.
Though the grand piano and keyboards tended to look a little like a prison, Amos writhed around them adequately. When her drummer opened up with a tribal beat, she was in sync, moving her hair in ways that suggested it, too, was under her spell. The drummer and a bassist provided support almost throughout the show. They gave her the sound of a 50-piece orchestra and knew her whims almost as well as she.
Amos' best turn, though, wasn't on something like "Cornflake Girl," which recalled a less complex time in her career, but on a cover of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Done as part of her "Roadside Cafe" set, it revealed the fragile cub, not the aggressive lioness. Using a Dylanesque approach to lyrics (how about "oop" instead of up), she made it her own, and just as mournful as Judy Garland's version.
Amos revealed her inner Buffy St. Marie at times, too, and got a jazz vibe out of "Mrs. Jesus" before striking the tubular bells of "God."
While even the faithful weren't sure what she was leading up to with each grand intro, they learned to follow her aerobic lead and head off into Amos' middle earth. Her "Little Earthquakes" provided the full concert experience -- rotating lights, pulsing sound and a dramatic performance worthy of Zoe Caldwell.
Amos is a woman in charge, obviously. Her performance was as highly choreographed as a Russian ballet and just as awe-inspiring.
As a contrast, opener Rhett Miller accompanied himself on a guitar and achieved as much respect. While he didn't have all the bells and whistles (or the incense that tended to overpower the theater before Amos arrived), he did have some incredibly fun lyrics and an aw-shucks attitude.
"She draws a true music audience," the likeable Miller said of Amos. He wasn't wrong. The crowd was as in tune with him as they were with her.
Peel another layer and they, too, found something out about themselves.