A review of Tori's April 22, 2005 concert in Seattle, WA appeared in the April 25, 2005 edition of the Seattle Post Intelligencer.
Thanks to Carlie Partridge and gerrie galpin for first telling me about this press review. You can read it online at seattlepi.nwsource.com or below. (You can read all the Dent reviews for Seattle here.)
Tori Amos captivates fans with songs from her past
By BILL WHITE
SPECIAL TO THE POST-INTELLIGENCER
Tori Amos commands a reverent adoration from her fans, and a cathedral hush settled upon Benaroya Hall as she took the stage Friday night.
As abstract images rotated on a six-sided screen, Amos played a bold preamble to "Original Sinsuality," a variant reading of the "Tree of Knowledge" story in which the singer decries the notion of original sin.
The next two hours offered an energy transfusion to the faithful from the high priestess of erotic spirituality. With the exception of five songs from her current release, "The Beekeeper," most of the music she performed was drawn from 1994 to 1996, with an emphasis on "Boys for Pele" from 1996.
While longtime fans were ecstatic with a set list peppered with rarely played gems such as "Happy Phantom" and "Take to the Sky," recent converts may have been disappointed by the absence of anything from the intoxicating "Scarlett's Walk" from 2002.
Accompanying herself on both organ and piano, Amos created a musical world that was as devout, ritualistic, and, at times, incomprehensible as a Latin Mass. Her vocals were dark and rich. With impeccable pitch, she held notes longer than the longest kiss, dusting them with strange yet seductive tonalities. Her keyboard playing was equally passionate, with dramatic transitions between the organ and the piano that provided high contrast in new songs such as "Parasol."
She played organ throughout "The Beekeeper," a song that could almost pass for a sacred hymn were it not for the mystical lyricism of lines such as "I am the one who taps you on your shoulder when it's your time/Don't be afraid I promise that she will awake tomorrow somewhere." Earlier, Amos stood at the organ for a ghostly version of "Cool on Your Island" from 1988, evoking the long-lost Lenore howling her answer to Edgar Allan Poe.
A midshow hiatus from her original material came with "Tori's Piano Bar," during which she covered Heart's "Magic Man" and Billy Idol's "Eyes Without a Face." The former suffered from an attempt to find musical value in a song that, excepting the chorus, was fairly dull. She fared better with "Eyes," from which she extracted melodic possibilities that were buried deep within Idol's original recording.
For encores there were "The Power of Orange Knickers," which lost some of its accessibility without Damian Rice's vocals and Matt Chamberlain's drums, and "Ribbons Undone," a lovely lullaby for children who are in no hurry to grow up.
Bill White is a Seattle-based arts and entertainment writer. He can be reached at Bwhi61@hotmail.com.