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A review of Tori's April 25, 2005 show in Los Angeles, CA from the Orange County Register
April 27, 2005

Updated Thu, Apr 28, 2005 - 2:54am ET

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Read a press review of Tori's April 25, 2005 show in Los Angeles, CA from the April 27, 2005 edition of the Orange County Register.

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You can read this press review online at or below. (You can read all of The Dent's Los Angeles reviews here.)

Fans rewarded by a captivating Tori Amos

Review: She uses the piano and organ to unique emotional effect, reworking songs at her UCLA solo concert.


Tori Amos gave herself an organ transplant onstage Monday night, and boy, was it pretty.

In a mesmerizing solo performance at UCLA's Royce Hall on the last stop of her 15-city "Original Sinsuality Tour," the celebrated songwriter mated her beloved Bsendorfer piano with a Hammond organ to haunting effect.

The marriage transformed some of the relatively upbeat songs on her latest disc, "The Beekeeper," into darker, more complex journeys - not that anything is wrong with lightness and fun.

But the eclectic Amos always has been her best at her most intense, and the organ/piano reworkings of two new songs - "Parasol" and "Jamaica Inn" - gave them the depth that is lacking in the studio versions.

Showing off her freakish talent, Amos at times played with one hand on the organ and the other on the piano, as she straddled a stool and faced the audience, her soprano moving effortlessly from throaty growl to siren wail.

The quirky songwriter evokes rapture among her devoted fans for her soul- baring lyrics and stunning piano playing. She performs with an emotional and physical intensity that can be cathartic to watch.

Much has been made of Amos' suggestive wriggling on her piano stool, but it's never been just about the physical - it's also been about channeling her spiritual side.

Hunched, at times, Gollum-like over her piano during Monday's two-hour set, her long red locks splashing over a green gown, Amos seemed to torturously summon up some of the songs from her nine-disc canon.

Under simple but moody lighting that bathed the stage, Amos at times sat rigid-straight.

She accentuated certain parts of songs with powerful but compact gestures: lashing her mane like a whip, quickly uncrossing and crossing her legs, lifting an arm and flicking a wrist.

No movement was wasted during Amos' 18-song performance, which included an extended version of the relatively unknown "Ruby Through the Looking Glass" and an old favorite, the opus "Yes, Anastasia," in which her piano swoops from thunderous downpour to the gentlest of showers, then back again.

The preacher's daughter and former Peabody Institute prodigy began the concert with the new "Original Sinsuality," her playful female- oriented take on the biblical story of creation.

She then launched into a slowed-down version of "Silent All These Years," during which fans sat spellbound during this beloved song from her breakthrough album, "Little Earthquakes" (1992), erupting into applause only after the last note.

At Amos concerts, no one stands or hoots during the songs - well, usually no one (but this being Los Angeles, text-messaging on cell phones appeared to be rampant).

After the organ-piano dance of "Parasol" came a haunting piano-only highlight, "Doughnut Song," off the scorching "Boys for Pele" (1996).

Perhaps as an acknowledgment that she knows she's still a hottie as a 41-year-old married mother, Amos grabbed her crotch during a cover of Bon Jovi's "Living on a Prayer," getting as many hoots from the women as men in the sold-out 1,800-seat auditorium.

Amos surprised many by playing "Cool on Your Island" off her ill-fated "Y Kant Tori Read" album, which preceded "Little Earthquakes," and she raised appreciated grins with her second cover, Cyndi Lauper's "All Through the Night."

A new song, the rollicking "Barons of Suburbia," which contains the killer line "carnivorous vegetarian," was a lively lead-in to an audience favorite, "Take to the Sky," during which Amos slapped a hand against the piano.

The lovely and plaintive "Cloud on My Tongue" followed.

The spaced-out keyboard drone of "the Beekeeper" ended the regular set before Amos returned for a pair of two-song encores: "Tear in Your Hand" with "Toast" and "Sweet the Sting" and "Twinkle," which ended the evening like a lullaby.

Opener Matt Nathanson, possessing a Bryan Adams- like voice and a witty way with the audience, thrashed away on his 12-string acoustic guitar through an emotionally raw set of five songs, conducting a sort of self-exorcism of his romantic demons.

Posted by: Mikewhy

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