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Columbus Dispatch
November 25, 2002

Added January 4, 2003

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Lucy sent me a review of Tori's November 23, 2002 concert in Columbus, OH from the November 25, 2002 edition of the Columbus Dispatch newspaper.


Tracy Zollinger Turner

A drawing of a woman's face that looked like something that had been peeled off a 1960s shampoo bottle was projected onto the backdrop of Tori Amos' stage Saturday in the Palace Theatre. But instead of the slick fedora or fashionable coiffure you'd expect to see in an old commercial drawing, there were leafy, ivylike tresses protruding from her head.

It was an appropriate reflection of the identity that the singer-pianist has been developing for a decade or so. She walked onto the stage wearing a shimmering, flowing dress, with a giant red flower pinned into her wavy hair. An odd combination of glamour princess and New Age woman-power proponent, Amos played one song after another from her repertoire for two hours. Backed by a bassist and drummer, she twisted dramatically between her grand piano and organ, morphing her body into a variety of yogalike lunges as she sang. "We are in the town of the victor this evening," were among the few words Amos spoke during her entire set. A portion of the crowd responded enthusiastically to her reference to the Ohio State game. Lest the audience mistake her for an advocate of football rivalries, she added, "Tomorrow we are heading for Detroit, and we'll make it good for them, too."

Amos' show couldn't have felt more distant from the Dumpster fires on campus. As others celebrated the Scarlet and Gray win, Amos dreamily explored the life of a woman named Scarlet, a character she created who narrates every song on her latest record. Several past hits were mixed in, and fans yelped appreciatively when Amos made her signature, lyrical digs at sexism and organized religion.

Although she periodically hammered out something with a groove, the music primarily remained in the realm of sedated melodrama. Too gratuitously theatrical to be truly eccentric, Amos seemed like a Walt Disney version of Kate Bush. Spinning lights depicting patterns of fauna and cloud formations spun slowly on the stage and into the crowd, making the Palace a warm, sleepy and tranquil place for audience members to embrace their inner drama queens.

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