A review of Tori's April 8, 2005 concert in New York, NY appeared in the April 11, 2005 edition of Newsday.
You can read this review at newsday.com or below. All the reviews for this New York City show can be found here.
Tori's still abuzz with lust
BY RAFER GUZMN
It never takes too long at a Tori Amos concert for the singer's right knee to start flirting with the crowd. Friday night, it happened midway through the second song, "Blood Roses." One minute, Amos sat at her piano, legs together like a normal musician. The next minute, boing! Her bare knee popped out from under her white tulle dress, moving in suggestive circles. Then it stopped suggesting and simply went up and down, up and down.
Like everything Amos does, this was a not-too-subtle allusion to sex. Soon, Amos was shuddering as if in the throes of it, uttering nonsense: "I'm into se-se-sexy, sexy ..." And all this before the third song. Gee, lady, what happened to foreplay?
Amos, at 41, is more provocative than all those Britneys and Christinas nearly half her age. She raises temperatures using a highbrow approach, playing classical-caliber piano and infusing her lyrics with florid, blush-inducing metaphors. Her latest album, "The Beekeeper" (Epic), is inspired by goddess myths, nature and the gnostic gospel of Mary Magdalene (recently popularized by "The Da Vinci Code"), but its underlying themes are Amos' usual favorites: desire, seduction and consummation.
During her two-hour concert, Amos ran through several new songs. Her style seems to be ripening, but those who aren't fans might find it a bit rich. She opened with "Original Sinsuality," a truly unimpressive play on words. On "The Beekeeper," she muddled her imagery and her grammar: "Wrap yourself around the tree of life/And the dance of the infinity of the hive." On "Sweet the Sting," she went into bodice-ripping mode, singing about a man with a "pistol fully loaded" who asks, "Will it end or begin in your cinnabar juice?"
Whatever taste those lyrics leave in your mouth, there's no denying Amos' command of her material.
She remains a fine, highly controlled pianist who colors her melodies with shades of Satie and George Winston. Throughout the evening, she switched between piano and three electric organs (a new instrument for her), each attuned to a different mood. On "Bells for Her," her clear, resonant voice perfectly matched the shimmering tones of the organ.
But there's something untrustworthy about Amos' sexual persona. While her lyrics strive for high-class erotica, in concert she still resorts to the equivalent of pole-dancing, whether it's hooking her chin over one shoulder, stroking her microphone or - during the otherwise powerful "Take to the Sky" - rhythmically spanking the flank of her piano. Like those Britneys and Christinas, Amos is just trying to turn us on.
Or, as she put it herself: "All I can say is, if you're under 30, you've got so much to ... ohhh ... se-se-sexy, sexy ..."
TORI AMOS. Is that an organ, or is she just happy to see us? Friday at Hammerstein Ballroom, Manhattan.