Tori performed in Camden, NJ on Friday, November 15, 2002 at the Tweeter Center at the Waterfront (Formerly the E-Centre). The show began at 7:30PM and Howie Day was the opening act. Tori's performance was from 8:44PM until 10:58.
a sorta fairytale
In The Springtime Of His Voodoo
Wheels on the Bus (about 4 versus of this children's song...WITH the band!)
Take To The Sky
I Can't See New York
Black Swan (with band)
Putting The Damage
Tear In Your Hand
For more reviews, please check out the Dent's Tour Reviews Forum. Please post your own review if you were there!
Danica called me after the show with a report. She said Tori did a wonderful job tonight and there were some surprises. But there were some very rude and irritating people in the crowd where she was sitting.
Before or after Bliss (I forget when), Tori talked about how other musicians make her go "eh..." but not the ones she has on stage with her.
The crowd was shouting requests to Tori after secret time when the band returned. She told them "Maybe and maybe not" and than launched into the children's song "The Wheels on the bus go round and round" which included the band. She did about 4 verses! Then she debuted Your Cloud for this tour!
At the start of the first encore Tori told the crowd she was about to do something she had never done before. Tori said they needed to rehearse it, but that they would rehearse it for them. Then she did Black Swan WITH the band! She messed up and started it over. At some point Tori told the crowd that her mom was there as well.
Info- tori did the ballerina improv before Amber Waves
tori did an improv with the lines "somedays i can't get my feet on the ground... somedays i cant keep my feet on the pedals"
This was my first Tori concert and I was blown away. I thought that Tori was extremely lively tonight, which is good becuase it seems like the past few concerts she has been a bit tired. She talked to the audience a few times... the first time right after Bliss. This was quite a treat. As Danica said, Tori talked about some musicians being "eh"... she said "i know some of you guys are musicians here, and sometimes you just go eh when playing with people" she went on to say she doesn't feel that way about Jon and Matt. She introduced Jon and then referred to Matt as "the creature." She was very funny.
She started off with Wampum Prayer (I could have sworn this was the album version....) and then with A Sorta Fairytale. The band was amazing during this song. However, Tori lacked a lot of the enthusiasm inherent in the studio version. But, her playing was excellent.
Hearing "Voodoo" was a treat. I have only heard the studio version once (as i bought Boys for Pele in France- and Voodoo was kicked off the Int'l Version). She played well, playing both the Wurlitzer and the Rhodes at the same time. "Bliss" followed "Voodoo", and this was simply amazing. I loved Bliss to begin with- it was the first Tori song I had ever heard. The light show that accompanied this song was wonderful- and Tori seemed like she enjoyed playing this one.
I have never been a fan of "Cornflake Girl" but after hearing it tonight, I think I will give it a second chance. It was so lively, fun, and enveloping- I can't believe how well this piece went. Tori was a genius at the piano (as usual)- her hands were flying all over the upper range of the keys. Her voice was perfect- Matt and Jon deserve major kudos for their work on this piece- they gave it an amazing beat. "Pancake" followed, and I had a Cornflake Girl transformation with this one as well- I never liked the studio version of Pancake, but after hearing it live, I have become a fan. It was wonderful.
Crucify did have a bit of the workings seen on the Strange Little Tour- and this song was thoroughly enjoyable. I have always liked this song- it has never strayed from being in the top five of my favorite Tori songs. Seeing it live was grea- it has certainly evolved from the original version on Little Earthquakes. "Wednesday" followed- and it was apparent that Matt, Tori and Jon were having a lot of fun playing this piece. I particularily like this piece. It stayed very close to the studio version, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
Then came "secret-time" or the "Roadside Cafe" as it has been called as well. It started out with "Dougnut Song." I have never liked this song very much, and hearing it live didn't help. I thought it was stretched on too long. I got a little restless, hoping for a "cooling" or "Josephine" to pop in somewhere. She then went on to "Gold Dust" which I had also wanted to hear. It was very well done. Tori once again showed her prowess at the piano bench- she truly is an amazing pianist. The only part missing about this piece was the lack of strings- which give the song a lot more personality.
I did feel the concert slowed down and lost a lot of its momentum during parts. I was blown away with Tori's cover of "River" by Joni Mitchell, and then the lively "wheels on the bus," however she lost a lot of that energy when singing "Your Cloud." I also felt " Take to the Sky" and "I can't see New York" were stretched to their limits, and started to feel a bit forced. "Spring Haze" was a great way to end the first set- it was very tight, and Tori's voice was awesome.
However, Tori made up for all the lack of energy found in "Your Cloud" in one little 3 song set she did- and it wasn't the "secret-time" part of the concert. It came near the end when she did "Concertina", then "Sugar" and followed by "Taxi Ride." My best friend who went to the concert with me (who is also named Peter) really likes the song "Sugar"- and by this time i was doubting we would hear it. Then those few chords in the beginning swept all doubt away- it was wonderful... I had been praying that she would play Taxi Ride all night. It was the only song I had REALLY wanted to hear, and she answered my prayers.
I was also very impressed with the encore of the show. The first encore, consisting of "Black Swan", "Black Dove (January)" and "Sweet Sangria" was full of energy. She started the encore with Black Swan, and said that she had never done it before, so they would rehearse it then with us. She also said her mother was in the audience. She stopped near the end of the first verse to "slow it down a bit." Nevertheless, the song was magnificent. Black Dove (January) was very good as well, but I thought "Sweet Sangria" was better. It was so powerful- the lights were amazing, Tori's voice was commanding, and the band was extremely tight. This isn't my favorite song off of Scarlet's Walk, but it was amazing.
The second encore was great as well. She did an unexpected "Putting the Damage On" where Jon Evans played the standup bass- with his fingers, and then with the bow. It was a bit slow, but it was amazingly beautiful. The "Tear in Your Hand" came- and I couldn't contain myself. I sang along with every word, and was afraid this was going to be the last song of the evening. This song was full of energy, and very well done.
I hope to see Tori when she comes back to Camden, or Philadelphia on the second North American part of the tour. This being my first Tori concert, I was simply astonished with the diversity of Tori's setlist. I have fallen in love again.
From Becky Wall:
Although this show wasn't my most favorite by far, Tori and the band had a lot of energy and you could tell that they were having a good time. It was nice because the set list was very varied, and there were several new songs that she hadn't played before.
Because there was traffic on the way in, I got to the venue as Tori was starting sorta fairytale. I quickly found my seat and realized that I was sitting next to her parents! They were very nice, and you could tell that they really enjoyed watching her perform. Her Dad was right next to me and he had a setlist in his hands. I saw the first half of the show and it kind of ruined the surprise. I made a huge effort not to look at the second half!
Highlights of the show were Bliss, which was powerful with the band; Tear in Your Hand, which is always one of my favorites; and River, which is a Joni Mitchell cover. This song was fantastic. It was really sad because one line talks about getting ready for Christmas and cutting down trees and looking for peace, and at that line (peace) Tori paused and shrugged her shoulders in the air as if to question our current political situation and the lack of peace in the world. It was powerful.
Black Swan was also really great. They came back on stage for the encore and Tori explained that they hadn't practiced this song yet, and they were just going to practice it now. They messed up half way through and started over. It was neat that they played it because her mother had requested it!
At one point Tori was talking about how she performed well with her "brothers" and she kept saying that some musicians made her feel limp (and she demonstrated this with a cute little limp hand motion) and then she talked about how she understood boys not being able to get it up sometimes. It was really funny.
After the show, her father shook my hand and thanked me for coming. We chatted for a second or two. He was so nice!
Overall, this was a solid show with a varied setlist, high energy and fun atmosphere.
Here is my better-late-than never review of the Camden Show. This was my 5th Tori show and the first one I've seen this tour. I hope this isn't too long for y'all.
Howie Day, the opener, was awesome. One of the best opening acts I've ever seen. It was so enthralling to watch and hear him record loops, play with them, over and over to build beautifully complex music.
After Howie, the scent of sage filled the air, the lights dimmed, and out of the darkness came Wampum Prayer. I'm not sure if Tori is performing this live or if it's a recording, but it is a powerful opener, in any case. Unfortunately, the cheering never died down, and I could only just hear it. This rowdiness would continue throughout the show and detract from an otherwise excellent concert. During the night, so many people were moving around, I was frequently annoyed and distracted. Not cool. I really liked that on the Strange Little Tour there were signs posted on the theater doors informing folks they would not be admitted during songs. I think that is something Tori should do for future shows.
After Wampum Prayer the curtain goes up, and out comes the band. They start up a groove and Tori bounces to the stage. She was wearing this white and red dress (floral pattern?) with flowing sleeves. It was sort of Stevie Nickish. She raised her hands, sank to her knees, and then sprang to the piano to start A Sorta Fairytale. This came off OK, but the music seemed to drown out Tori's voice. Luckily, this problem was resolved by the end of the song.
In the Springtime of His Voodoo: Tori put a lot of energy into this one, and although not a personal favorite, it kept my attention and interest at the peak. The rhodes filled in for the harpsichord very nicely.
Bliss: This totally rocked. I liked that it started with this sort of subsonic growl. Tori nailed the piano on this one. I loved the fiery red and orange lighting.
I think at this point she made the little speech about how some musicians make her go eh (makes a gesture with her hand as if going limp) so she knows how guys feel. But the band she plays with now never makes her go eh. Then she introduced Jon and Matt, referring to Matt as the creature.
Amber Waves: She started this with the Ballerina improv as has apparently been normal for the tour. Very nicely done.
Cornflake Girl: Wow! I was so impressed the Tori played the rapid guitar beginning part on the piano. It was excellent and really got the crowd up and moving.
Pancake: Tori played most of this song standing up at the whurly. Very intense, and the red lights cooked the stage again.
Crucify: This is not your mom's Crucify; there is a whole different personality for this girl on this tour. It started with this kind of crackly, techno beat and Tori drew the opening vocals out slowly. The verses were played on the rhodes and the chorus on the piano. Tori's vocals were killer. After this, my friend said, That was worth the ticket, right there.
Wednesday: This one got faster and saucier live. It was really apparent that Tori and the guys like to play this one. They seemed to be having a lot of fun.
The guys leave and the Roadside Cafi sign comes down out of the ceiling. Tori starts an improv about not having her feet on the ground or on the pedals and this leads to...
Doughnut Song: Tori really drew out the piano parts and the part that goes so if you say it's over... Just beautiful.
Gold Dust: Again, Tori drew out the piano part making the music come alive. In my opinion, this song is more poignant without the strings; this solo version was perfect.
River: Totally unexpected and it knocked me on my ass. At first, I just thought Tori was fiddling around with a Xmas song, but then she sang out the first line and I nearly died. Wonderful. When she got to the last bit about singing songs of peace, Tori sort of shrugged and the audience cheered.
The boys start to come back and someone in the audience yells Play 'Cooling.' Tori said in a cute voice, Maybe. Maybe not. And they launch into The Wheels on the Bus, that old children's' song. This was really wacky with audience participation. Strange and funny, but I hope she doesn't start doing it regularly.
Your Cloud: This is my least favorite from SW and it gained nothing for me live. I will say that Tori played well and the band gave it more of a jazz feel. Also, the white, indistinct lights on the screen seemed to move and float like clouds, so that was cool. The Roadside Cafe light goes back up into the ceiling.
Concertina: Tori's voice seemed to get drowned out again at the beginning of this one, but it was quickly fixed. This song was slowed down a bit and played on the rhodes and piano.
Sugar: Very similar to the version on Venus but still rocked the house. The music was intense and Tori's vocals soared and dove in a very Robert Plantesque fashion.
Taxi Ride: Didn't seem much different than the studio version, but it kept the energy level up nicely.
Take to the Sky: At first I really enjoyed this version with the band, but it seemed to drag on too long at the end and lose some of its intensity. However, the blue and green kaleidoscopic lights moving on the ceiling and walls held my attention when the music didn't.
I Can't See New York: The lights were awesome! The stage started out totally dark with just some deep blue lights on the edges (sort of like runway lights. hmm...). The lights got a little brighter when Tori started singing, but it was still all blue. Then when the drums kicked in, the stage got very bright. This song came off really well live, and Tori really nailed the vocals.
Spring Haze: This was cool and well played, but sort of anticlimactic after New York.
Tori and the band come to the end of the stage, hug, and bow. Then they leave, Tori practically bounding like a deer. After a short break, they came back.
Tori and the band are playing and Tori says her mom is in the audience and wanted to hear this song and the band wanted to do it with Tori. Tori told them that they didn't know it and they said they could rehearse it right now, so that's what they are doing...
Black Swan: It started out quite a bit up tempo compared to the studio version. After the first verse Tori says OK guys, we need to slow this down a little because I'm getting confused. They do and start at the beginning again. This was a sleepy, jazzy version that came off really nicely. Lots of blue lighting again.
Black Dove: Played on rhodes and piano. The loud parts were very intense and the red lighting was back in force.
Sweet Sangria: Tori stood for much of this one and did a lot of swaying with the music. This song has a killer groove when played live.
They leave again, but are back in short order.
Putting the Damage On: Jon plays the stand-up bass on this one, and in the middle uses a bow on it, which was just awesome. Again, the sound on this one is very jazz.
Tear in Your Hand: Awesome. Just awesome. The audience cheered wildly on the lines about Neil. Tori waves goodbye at the appropriate line.
Then it was over. Tori finishes another fantastic show.
Thanks again for the ticket, Paula.
Hope I didn't bore any of you.
From the November 18, 2002 edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer
From The Morning Call
From the Philadelphia City Paper