Summer Of Sin Tour: The set list and reviews for Tori's August 24, 2005 concert in Baltimore, MD
Updated Wed, Aug 24, 2005 - 11:02pm ET
You can now see the set list and reviews for the Baltimore, MD concert at the Cavalier Telephone Pavilion At Pier Six. Tori set list included A Sorta Fairytale, Caught A Lite Sneeze, 1000 Oceans and the covers Someone Saved My Life Tonight (Elton John) and Superstar (Carpenters) during Tori's Piano Bar segment of the show. If you were at this concert and want to send The Dent a review, please email Mikewhy at firstname.lastname@example.org with your review or comments. You can also post your review of the show on The Dent's Summer Of Sin Tour Forum. Thanks for sharing your reviews with The Dent. Please feel free to review Tori's supporting acts as well!
Tori performed in Baltimore, MD on Wednesday, August 24, 2005 at the Cavalier Telephone Pavilion At Pier Six. Tori's supporting acts were The Ditty Bops and The Like and the show began at 7:30PM.
Special thanks to Matt Page for calling me with the set list after the show!
A Sorta Fairytale
Caught A Lite Sneeze
Cool On Your Island
Someone Saved My Life Tonight (Elton John cover)
Superstar (Carpenters cover)
Cars And Guitars
Sweet The Sting
The latest reviews are at the bottom of this page. If you were at this show and want to send The Dent a review, please email Mikewhy at email@example.com with your review or comments.
You can also go to the Summer Of Sin Concert Review Forum and post about your experiences as well, or read additional reviews.
From Matt Page:
Tori gave a solid performance tonight, and had a beautiful piano bar segment with the Elton John and Carpenters covers, which Tori said were both requests for the city. Tori called Elton one of her favorite piano dudes, and said that the song Superstar is a song she used to hear driving around Baltimore in the past.
Tori mentioned early in the show that there were a lot of family there that night, including nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. (She motioned to the audience while saying friends.)
Tori had different songs picked for her first encore tonight. Her written set list had Crazy and Flying Dutchman listed, which she of course did not do. Tori also had both Sweet The Sting and Sleeps With Butterflies listed as the first song of her second encore, and of course she chose Sweet The Sting.
There was an interesting improv before Crucify. See a review below for more details.
The Crucify improv was something to the effect of " I have walked these streets before...I have walked these streets...looking for peace...will I ever find peace..I have walked these streets." It was kinda long and most of this was repeated.
There was a beautiful improv at the near the end of Marianne that was something like" I see you in the shadows..in the trees...I see you playing in the trees...in the shadows..."
After Originial Sensuality, Tori launched into an improv on the organ. Thelyrics were along the lines of "I've walked these streets, I've sung from pier to pier, in search of a fisherman to bring peace to this land. Who will bring peace to this land?" (repeated a few times). It was gorgeous andset the tone for a series of songs about the patriarchy.
During an intense CALS, after singing the words "you're not here," she whispereda name a few times. I'm pretty she was saying Joe. She did this again during 1,000 Oceans. Anyone know what that was about?
During Marianne, she added an improv about a bridge in the trees and marianne running in the shadows.
Her parents were in the audience tonight, and she sang an emotional Winter to her dad ("When you gonna love you as much as I do, dad?").
Tori looked beautiful in a white, Greek-style dress and silver jewelry.
Jessica, Chelsea and I (those Hartke girls) drove up from Clifton, Virginia to see the open air show tonight at the Pier. It was a beautiful evening and the port of Baltimore was lovely.
Enter Tori looking lovely in her classic white draped dress a la grecque with sparkly low belt that reflected beautifully in her piano. I was struck by how sad Tori seemed tonight and wondered if it was only me imagining things when my 15 year old leaned over and whispered, "she seems so sad!" So I wasn't the only one. It appeared that most of the songs she chose to perform had a melancholy thread running through. I love sad songs so I enjoyed them, but it is the first time I've felt the pathos right through the performance, and this is my twelfth -- we counted. I must say, she put a lot of care and energy into this show, whether or not she was up to it. It was first rate, though I found the bass overpowering. Perhaps with so many family and friends there she was a little wistful. This is just my impression, mind you.
As usual, the fans were appreciative and supportive, giving her thunderous applause, and a very nice reception in her home town.
Happy birthday, Tori. Thank you for a memorable evening!
It was one of her best shows ever! She looked and sounded angelic. I love it when she plays solo, without the band she seems to make an intimate connection with her fans! I really enjoyed the way that she played winter. Well that is about all i have to say.
I agree with Brigitte, I felt as though Tori seemed very sad. So Brigitte you were not imagining anything. I have been to 11 shows and I am somewhat sad now too. Everything was melancholy, I felt that something was missing. It seems the sound tech wasn't paying too much attention. The bass of the piano consumed her lyrics occasionally, and the organ was extremely loud in my opinion. Along with mic flickers and pops, I am just eh. I would like to assume that spending time with family all day is overwhelming. So I will use this to justify the ridiculous expense of tickets.
From Lorraine Eakin:
Well, the best part of a Baltimore show for me is driving seven minutes down the road and parking at a friend's house for free. When Tori comes home and her family is in the audience, there are pretty much two inalienable truths - you will see a lot of Little Earthquakes and very little in the way of debuts, surprises, or rarities. For a Tori fan that travels all over, when you see a Baltimore show you take what you can get. That said, what I got last night was a very emotional first set and some great versions of songs I've seen way too many times. (As an aside, do you ever wonder if her father greets her after a show and says, "Jesus, Tori Ellen, do you have to do Winter *every single time* I come to a show? Do Juarez next time.")
Anyway, the set was pretty much made up of her major radio hits - only God and Bliss were absent. I don't have a problem with this - in fact, they were the highlights of the show for me. Crucify was very similar to Camden, but it had an amazing and achingly sad introduction that made it one of my favorite versions. A Sorta Fairytale solo at the Bosey is the way it's meant to be played, I think. Ever since I heard the boot of her solo version of this on a radio show in '02 (Radio FM4, maybe?) I have been aching to hear it. Caught a Lite Sneeze sounds creepy and powerful solo - she did a killer intro on the really high keys that was awesome. Marianne is always a treat, and it was a little different tonight - someone else has already mentioned the improv at the bridge. It was really emotional. Cool on Your Island! I thought back to my first show, U-Del in '98, when she used this song as an introduction to Mother, which is the last time I saw this song - a real treat. The only clunker in the first set was Jamaica Inn, which is still awkward on the organ. I've heard folks complain about this song, and I don't hate it, but its flaws are so clear when set up against songs like Marianne and A Sorta Fairytale - it's missing an emotional core that is crucial to all Tori songs.
I will try to say as little about the Piano Bar as possible so as not to offend Tori fans that are also Carpenters and Elton fans...what I will say is this - there are zillions of songs out there, so playing Elton John every third show is emphatically NOT NECESSARY. It took me a minute to figure out what the second song was, but I got all giggly at the chorus because this particular Carpenters song is crucial to one of the best scenes in Tommy Boy, when Chris Farley and David Spade are crying and singing along to this song in their car. I know my friends who were sitting in another section, Angie and Jeremy, are also big Tommy Boy fans, and must have been cracking up. Tori looked so serious when she was singing it too! So she must not be a big Chris Farley fan. Then I started thinking about Tori watching Tommy Boy on her VCR on the bus and I got all giggly again.
I found it strange that, in the midst of a show highlighting some of her best-known songs, she chose to do the two weakest songs on Beekeeper. Cars and Guitars, like J Inn, isn't terrible so much as hollow - I just don't feel any emotion from it. It's very anthemic live, and it's better solo, but I certainly would have preferred Martha's Foolish Ginger (HELLOOO! We were *physically* on a pier on the harbor! Boats are passing by as she sings! Oh well.)
Anyhow, a friend of a friend that I talked to before the show had accurately predicted that Cooling would appear - always lovely. And of course, there's Winter. I saw Winter at my very first Tori show...and my second...and my tenth...and my sixteenth...but it's one of her strongest songs, so there are worse things in life than seeing an amazing song a whole bunch of times. It was a great version, she really played that piano for all it's worth. Spring Haze is one of my all-time favorites and is welcome in any set, as far as I'm concerned. I've never seen a version of this song that wasn't fantastic, so it was a great way to end the main set.
Before the show I predicted Leather in the main set, Cooling as an encore, with Sweet the Sting and 1000 Oceans or Merman for the second encore. Pretty close. I did *not* expect Playboy Mommy as an encore - as always, very emotional.
The crowd was ridiculously appreciative - the applause was, indeed, thunderous, and everyone seemed very attentive and happy to have her there. Although I would have preferred a more adventurous setlist, her playing and singing were dead-on, and the versions of the songs were really strong, with lots of improvisation and hard playing on the Bosey, really beautiful stuff. I'm sad to say goodbye to Tori for this tour, but these last show have been really memorable - well done, Tori!
This was absolutely amazing show. This was my 5th Tori concert and I was in heaven. We were upgraded to front row- center.
This was my 14 year old niece's very first concert - and can it get any better than it being Tori and being seated in the front row?
Tori was in top form and the improvs she added to Marianne and Crucify were beautiful. The highlights for me were "Cooling," "Spring Haze," Superstar," and "Playboy Mommy." But, "Winter" was at its most beautiful with the feeling that Tori was singing directly to her father who was in the audience.
I truly wish this performance would be added to the Bootleg series as it was one of the most incredible concerts I have attended.
From Richard Handal:
Just waking up from having attended last night's concert in Baltimore at the Pier Six Pavilion. I'm glad I had given a ride to a friend, because I had lots of energy to share after this one. A while back my number of Tori Amos concerts surpassed the 150 mark, and this absolutely was one of the top half dozen of them overall. Lights were doused at 8:59 and the concert was over at 10:56, the main set having ended at 10:32.
The Peabody Institute being a mile or so up the hill provided a springboard for nostalgia, some of which came out as quickly as the introductory organ section of the evening's second song, Crucify, in which Tori extemporized something about "I used to walk these streets" in a segment that lasted several lines. During Marianne, randomly in the middle, she extemporized "I'm starting to hear things/ I'm starting to see things in the shadows . . ." and indeed, the second song during the piano bar portion of this concert was one she said she had remembered hearing on the radio during her times in Baltimore rather than its having been anyone's request for this concert; and this opening line of Superstar in itself captured a great deal of the sensibilities of the evening: "Long ago, and oh so far away. . . ." How brilliant it was for her to take a song that deals with both memory and hearing a song on the radio and to turn it back onto itself by performing it due to the inspiration of having remembered *it* on the radio many years earlier in an area that had been a big part of her life. Recontextualizing art changes its meaning, and this served as a fine demonstration of that.
Lots of family were there: Dr. and Mrs. Amos, sister, members of the niece/nephew contingent, and friends who are close like family. This clearly was as much or more a springboard for the emotional tenor of the evening as was the physical location itself.
This concert had great emotional depth, much of it rooted in the purely personal, such as when she sang Winter while looking over frequently to her father, but it never got mired in the maudlin, and there was a sense of playfulness and acceptance that life does go on after even the tragic personal losses of those who are close. In this vein I especially enjoyed the humor of her performing Cool On Your Island while evening breezes drifted through this tent pavilion performance space, as the venue is located on a tiny island or at the least a narrow peninsula onto which one comes aboard via a wooden walkway much like the gangplank of a ship. I love when art brings itself to its own consciousness by turning self-referential, so long as it doesn't dwell there and thus become self-obsessed, remaining rather a nod and a wink.
I hope it will be possible one day for me to hear a recording of this concert. One reason being that she was doing at least one thing musically that I don't recall hearing her do before (other than perhaps in Charlotte on the day before her 1996 birthday), which was the way she interwove what seemed to be three discrete voices on the piano as part of the introduction to a song, but I must apologize for not making note of it and forgetting which song that had been. The way she dealt with turning Superstar into a pure ballad from what was originally interpreted by the Carpenters as an introspective pop song--cue the oboe obbligato--was brilliant: the manner in which she adjusted rhythm between verse and chorus and back again is something I'm interested to further investigate. As it approached in the song I wondered what she would do to cope with it yet remain true to her vision of the song, and it was the sort of great solution to such challenges to which some of us have come to expect her to rise.
Tori has come to seem rather comfortable contorting herself to play both piano and organ at the same time, and I might be wrong about this, but it seems that it isn't always anything she'd worked out in advance. Some songs are begun on organ, she swings around to continue on piano, then swings back to the organ or halfway 'round to straddle the bench and play both at once. Once last night as she did this it was clear she had become a pretzel, and she meekly smiled out into the audience as if to say, "Yeah, this is kinda nuts, but the music is being served by it." I definitely found myself understanding that the way she was playing different parts ("parts" as in "each separate voice or line of music in a composition") of a song on both instruments was as if they were parts for different sections of an ensemble, and I have to think this may serve to lead her in the direction of more fully arranged works of a type which would differ in nature from how she has typically worked thus far with band members in which they are left to more or less come up with their own parts--the doubtable Mac Aladdin notwithstanding. If so, then Mark's Christmas gift of an organ a couple years ago will have helped her make the pivot to a new method and direction. Good deal, I say.
As I was wandering around inside the Ten Thousand Villages store in Fells Point before coming to the venue I noticed many cabasas--gourds wrapped in nets laced with stylized beads of a type which are percussion instruments common in many cultures around the world--and I thought about the wonderful KMTT Seattle radio interview Tori did this year on 22 April in which she talked about how Sweet the Sting came into being. She described how they were "having one of those great evenings where all the musicians and the engineers were; you know, you have nice food and margaritas and Natashya was at a princess party, and all of a sudden the cabasa was going, and, uh, I just had the best ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay- ay-yea-ah, ti-ti-time . . ." as she began with the left hand, leaving the impression that this cabasa was what had given the rhythm to the song. (I think this tells us where the lyric "shake me sane" came from, too.) Funny stuff. Anyway, I wasn't surprised when Sweet the Sting showed up last night. I don't see her ever playing a better version than she did that time on the radio show, though. A major wow.
Ending the concert last night with 1000 Oceans on both organ and piano was gorgeous and highly appropriate in every way.
Before wrapping up these comments I will note that I attended the Camden concert over the weekend, and the improv she did last night during the opening section of Crucify on the organ (and its being played as the second song of the evening) mirrored exactly what was done at that concert, each with an improv appropriate to that particular concert's sensibilities, so this seems to be a repeating theme on this tour. These were my only two planned concerts over the summer and I've not gone back over setlists to determine how often this opportunity has been presented, let alone taken advantage of, but it's something I noticed having attended these two concerts. I also found myself wondering if I had started out walking toward Cleveland this morning I could arrive in time for Tuesday's concert. Combined with hitchhiking, perhaps.
I maintain that there are layers of meaning in these tours which can reveal themselves only when having experienced longer portions of them together, and while this is beautiful, it's a shame that more of the folks who might reap the rewards of attending at least sections of the tours are unable to. Travel can be taxing in many ways and I well understand this, but if there's anyone who was considering going out on a musical road trip, I want to encourage that. If it's anything you think might bring about rewards great enough to have made it worth the effort and expense, here is someone who also believes this to be true.
As usual, Tori was at the top of her game tonight, although I didn't take copious notes on her set list or any improvs she sang, so this isn't that kind of review. I just want to say two things: One, is it me, or did Tori looked pregnant? Perhaps it was the style of the long, flowly dress she wore, but while the rest of her body was in proportion, there was a noticeble small hump around her belly. It really stuck out when she simultaneously was playing both pianos, writhing up and down on the piano bench. I was in the 6th row and have good eyesight, but I could be mistaken.
[Note from Mikewhy: I seriously doubt that Tori is pregnant. Because of her problems in the past, it is very unlikely she would be actively touring if she were pregnant enough to be showing..
My other comment is that the venue wasn't all that impressive. I have seen her a number of times in the DC area, most recently at the very ornate Warner Theatre. To go from chandeliers to a small venue with barely basic essentials was a bit jarring. Sorry to sound like a DC snob, but the contrast was pretty stark.
Regardless, I was very happy to be able to see her twice on this tour and have great seats.
From Jonathan Cass:
Was anyone else throughly disappointed with this show???
I've seen Tori several times now and I never would have thought I'd walk out on a Tori concert, but sure enough by the second encore I began to leave. I just couldn't bear to hear her ruin another song!!
For some reason she kept holding notes extremely long throughout every single song. It was as if she couldn't make it through two lines of the song without deciding to pause and hold the note.
Now I'm all about mixing up the songs and experimenting with your delivery, but when your experiment or change in delivery is the same through the entire concert it gets real old real quick.
What disappointed me the most was hearing some of my favorite songs continued to be delivered this way. When she started playing Marianne I was all excited until I realized she was singing that song in the same crazy manner. It wasn't original, it ended up being predictable...at the start of every song you could almost follow a pattern of when she would hold a note...
Is this the new direction she's going in?? Has the rest of the tour been this way or was this just a fluke??
It was as if she was singing in a k-hole the entire time...
From Sara E. Townsend:
I have to also agree, it was a very somber show @ Pier 6.However, she looked absolutelygorgeous!! The white number with the crystally accessories - amazing. She literally took my breath away when she walked out. Loved the venue, not so impressed with the setlist. I love all music, don't get me wrong....but what was up with the covers?? I look at other shows and am blown away by her choices, but last night was a dud. (I am sure it meant something to someone out there, that's cool, I respect that) I just anticipated a jaw dropperfor Bmore. I'dliked to have seen that more daring/playful sideof her, ya know? I appreciate all the other Tori'sas well (the intellect, the romantic, the lioness,the pot stirrer, the nurturer, the old friend - all of em), but she just played it way toooo safe for me last night. She sounded incredible, but not my fav concert. I was wishing on every star for BOS, but that was a no show. Big bummer. And Parasol, as well.Ya win some and lose some! But you know what?That's the beauty of Tori live - you never know what you're goina get. It'slike Christmas morning opening presents. I just wish she'd mix the "girls" up a little more often (there endless possibilities).Give them all propermoments in the spotlight. I try andattend atleast 2 shows per tour, that's all I can afford (for decent seats) - so I'd like them to be more diverse.
That's all. Love ya just the same, T. Can't wait for the bootlegs. See ya next round!! Hugs.
I additionally felt the need to leave. I was bored of the drawn out phrases and words. I have heard this from her before, mostly when she is solo but Ineverhad found it so annoying as last night.
I also noticed the larger belly, I still haven't figured out whether it was the outfit and the belt that made it bunch or not. InCrucify, shesad the line"bowling ball in my stomach" and gestured outward with her larger belly and face. I hope this is joke withweight as I would be nervousif she was pregnant.I was also extremely SAD when I saw 3 close ups showing a the tracks of hair extensions on the scalp. Now I will stick with the fact that performing the night prior and spending all day with extended family could be very draining, but I really expected more. Maybe its because she was home, and that isn't fair. I am still mixed.
The Pier Six pavilion was a much worse venue than the last time I was there. You can directly blame this on Cavalier for buying it, redoing the seating (It was never so tight as now) This also contributes to my disgust in paying so much for the show there. For those of you not native, you are paying for the view of the surrounding harbor waterand the location. I do feel a seating revamp is SERIOUSLY in order. I felt more achy than being on plane sitting there. I still feel its better than Meriwether, not as many posts everywhere blocking view.
From Meredith Coleman:
I was reading some of the comments and I have to agree it was a very somber show. There was a huge lack of energy and I kept waiting for "Tori" to come out. This is my 6th show and I had the best seats I have ever had and did not enjoy the concert very much. In fact I could have stood along the peir for free and listened and had just as good of time.
The highlight for me was "cool on your island" I didnt expect it and it was wonderful. I have to agree that the covers were booring, I just kept thinking "get on with it". Each song was drawn out in the same way, you would get excited to hear something, but the way she did the song was slow. Her voice was amazing as always, but I just didnt feel that spark I feel at other shows, it really felt to me like she did not want to be playing that night.
I also saw the pooch on the tummy and I think it was just her dress bunching over the belt. I also noticed the hair extentions, ouch. I noticed many people leaving 3/4 of the way into the show, I also actually wanted to leave but felt sure I would miss some spectacular performance, which I did not, I was very dissapointed and I hope that Tori is OK, I really feel that there was something wrong with her that night.
From Kari C. Gray:
While many people thought that this was a somber show, I found it to be as amazing as any concert Tori has given. Somber? Try the Tori concert at DAR Consitution Hall in D.C. after 9/11. She looked absolutely goddess-like in her white flowing dress, but then again that's no surprise to any Toriphile out there. Highlights, for me were "Winter" ( especially touching with her dad in the audience), the Carpenters cover " Superstar", "Cooling" , and "1000 Oceans". Again, I thought it was awesome. I have to add, however, that I may be little biased b/c I was the last person to receive a hug and an autograph at her m&g. That was a total dream come true as many there probably heard me say that I have waited 14 long years for just such an opportunity. She was just as warm and friendly as I thought she would be. I have to also thank a lovely blonde girl (never did catch her name) for being my angel that day and pushing me through the crowd toward her. My b-day is next Wednesday and I couldn't have asked for a better gift. Tori, thanks for giving yet another wonderful performance and Happy Belated Birthday to you!!!
I thought this was a great show and it was clear to me that she was playing to the tastes of her parents and other family present. "Winter" was just amazing. She was obviously playing this for her father and seemed to be very lost in thoughts. As always I was glad to hear "cooling" and I really like the mixing of the organ and piano on "1000 oceans".
The thought also crossed my mind that she may be pregnant but I doubt this is the case. Anyone who has read the book will know what trouble she had to go though just for her girl. I decided it was just the dress bunching up above the belt.
As a local I was happy with the venue. The weather was perfect with a great breeze. I also loved how small it was.
I was VERY annoyed at the amount of people getting up during the middle of the show. If you were right up front you may not have noticed this so much. I was in the middle and there was a lot of it. I was most upset that this happened during "Beekeeper". I had the feeling it was for her mother (which was key in the lyrics of the song when T wrote it) and I was very angry at the disrespect.
All in all I thought this was a very good show. Tori sounded great and hit the high notes right on. I think it's sweet that she would cater the show for the family and I was more than happy to be a part of it.
From Stefanie Lyon:
The Baltimore show was my last of this tour and 11th Tori show, total. To be honest, it was not one of her best. Sadly, this review is going to come acrossassomewhat negative. I am nottryingto insult her family (because they are dear to her and wonderful people, of course), but it seems that her shows suffer a bit when they are present. I am sure that some will disagree with me. However, I left this show with a similar feeling that I had after the Cary North Carolina show. The songs were definitely intended for her family and (in my opinion)she tends to censor herself. I canrespecther choices, but do not always find a deep connection with them.
I judge a show on far more than the set list, but must admit that I less than thrilled with it. I became even less thrilled when I found out that "Flying Dutchman" was supposed to be played. I have been waiting since 1994 to hear FD live (in person). Well, "Winter" was a highlight because it was a debut for me. And,it was sung to her father in a touching and sincere fashion.
I have to agree with some reviewers that Tori's notes are drawn out. It was extremely prominent at this show, though this style is not a new phenomenon this tour. Some nights it is far more grating than others. I adore Tori, but I am just being as honest as possible. Sometimes she does fall into a strange vocalization that can be annoying and distracting. She holds notesfor a very long time and theystart to descend out of pitch, only to be recovered at the last second.Her voice seemed to be more "on" the night prior (Saratoga Springs, NY).
The venue looked promising from the outside but turned out to be a sardine can. Intimacy is one thing, but when your surroundings lull you into a full fledged anxiety attack, the experience gets diluted. The cramped seating (I was in the center section, 7th row, BTW) contained sweaty people that were coughing, snifflingand getting up and down every other song. The respiratory problemsmight have been attributed by the strong aroma of gasoline thatwafted throughout thevenue (especially noticeableduring "Cool On Your Island").While my view was not obstructed, it was definitely not a comfortable set up. This all might sound like whining and complaining, but it was pretty bad compared to other venues I have been to. Not all outdoor theaters are unbearable. Even thevending/rest/facilityarea was overcrowded and poorly setup. I didget to say hi to Tori's motherwhile standing in the bathroom line. She was adorable and very sweet.BTW, you would think she would have the VIP bathroomaccess, lol.I felt sorry for the poor woman as she was getting jostled around and lost in swarms of people. Anyhow, inmy opinion surroundings and crowd energy make or break a show more so than thesongs chosen orsound system. If you are miserable, then your outlook will obviously be clouded. I am going to assume that this is the reason why this show is near the bottom of my list as far as Tori shows rank.
On a happy note, the crowd did give her a very warm and welcome reception. They seemed more than thrilled just to be in her presence, and that it always nice to see. Even though I had a lot of grievances with the show, I do not regret attending. Tori always brings something unique to each and every show. Also, sometimes we all have to remember that she can't always cater to fans that see several shows. I am sure that some in attendance walked away with a magical evening and I do not want to take that away from them.
Overall, this has been an amazing tour and Tori has managed some stunning performances. She continues to amaze me. I get tired just going to the shows! I respect her professionalism, integrity and devotion. Until next tour....
A perfect night on the water. Tori's voice was perfect. I keep reading reviews that say Tori's mood on this tour seems very somber. Though I agree; I just think it's the teaming up of the Bosendorfer with the organ that make the songs sound darker and more melancholy. I too couldn't get over the number of people milling around. It was very distracting. I had very good seats (but to the right).As soon as Tori started performing Playboy Mommy, Isaw thiscouple out of the corner of my eye walking along the outside of the venue. They had a little toddler boy and the mother was pushing a baby in a stroller. The little boy ran ahead of his father into the venue. He stopped short when he saw Tori on the screen and then plopped himself down into one of the seats facing the side of the stage. He couldn't see Tori from that angle of course, but he justsatthere very still with this sweet angelic smile on his face listening to the music. I thought it was very touching.
GOD, I wish we'd gotten the Rochester Hills, MI setlist. And I feel bad saying that 'cause I promised myself I wouldn't compare setlists 'cause I was more than lucky enough to get tickets at all (and they were damn good seats -- well, the seats themselves, in terms of comfort, kinda sucked, but great placement), and it was cool being able to go with my roommate and and one of my Toriphile friends. And it wasn't wasn't wasn't wasn't at all a bad show.
But damn, "Siren," "God," "Twinkle," "Baker Baker," "Karma Police," "Starry Starry Night"(oh my god), and "The Doughnut Song." The fucking Doughnut Song. Come on. Throw in "Jackie's Strength" and "Butterfly/Hyper-ballad," and it's as though I wrote the setlist myself. :-)
Ah well. I'm being dumb. It was a great show. My one gripe was that she did too many slow songs. From what I've gathered from other fans who've posted reviews, it's pretty much always like that with Baltimore shows. And her parents were actually in the audience, so "Winter" was a given. But by the time we got to "Winter," we'd already been through 2 slow-to-mid tempo covers, "Cars and Guitars" (which, without the drums, moves a bit slower), and "Cooling," a song I LOVE, but she has a tendency to leave out my favorite verse when she does it live, and this show was no exception.
So by the time she got to "Winter," I was kinda like "Give me some 'Agent Orange,' or 'Sugar,' or 'Take to the Sky' (which she did when I saw her in DC last year, and it fucking rocked)."
And the thing is, she gave an incredibly solid performance. So it's hard to bitch about it. Even when the songs dragged, she was still playing and singing like a goddess. And the sound quality at this show was MUCH better than in DC, which made me very happy.
And there were some things in our setlist that made me very happy/surprised me: namely "Marianne," and "Caught a Lite Sneeze," which was a TOTAL shocker 'cause I've only known her to do that song one of two ways live -- the true-to-the-album way like she did on SNL back in 96, or the harpsichord & electric guitar effect drones way like she did on Unplugged and for the 96 tour. NEVER heard it on solo piano. It was gorgeous. I kinda freaked out when she started it.
And "Marianne" may have been my favorite performance of the night 'cause she nailed the section where the piano (accompanied by strings on the album) get very suddenly loud and intense. Amazing.
She also performed "Jamaica Inn" which is one of my favorite songs from The Beekeeper, and a song I really missed when she didn't do it in DC. The way she did it was really interesting though -- there was an organ riff that she ran throughout it that's not on the album version at all. Sort of a Renaissance-sound to the melody of it. She also through in some piano/organ duo which is ALWAYS mindblowing to watch.
Especially when she did it for "Spring Haze." It seemed entirely spur of the moment in that song, and she almost lost her balance. But she drove it through and wailed on both instruments at once, standing between them with this look on her face like she was driving a chariot. Gorgeous.
She also did "Cool on Your Island," which I thought was a nice addition. 'Cause it's really a pretty song, but the lyric is very "not-Tori" in places, otherwise I'd never guess it was from Y Kant Tori Read.
I wasn't happy with the covers 'cause I didn't recognize either of them (and also because I submited songs and she didn't do them -- yes, I knew it was a long shot to begin with :-P ). But they were an Elton John song and a Carpenters song.
But what was really nice were the improvs she threw in -- one as an intro to "Crucify" and one during one of the bridges to "Marianne" (a really interesting placement). She's an improvisational genius, but these were particularly well done, I thought. The one for Crucify spoke of looking for a "Fisherman who can bring peace to this land," which as we were literally sitting on the harbor, it was just to beautiful. And the improv for "Marianne" was spooky as it spoke of "shadows moving in the trees." Haunting.
Now, what really surprised me was "The Beekeeper" 'cause when she did that song in DC, I actually dozed off for a second (I know -- blasphemy). But this time it kept me riveted. I guess because I did more reading up on the writing process between the DC show and the Baltimore song. It's really a powerful lyric. And the fact that her mother was in the audience -- wow.
The 1st encore was incredible. "Leather" and "Playboy Mommy" (which both helped bring some rhythm back into the show). I actually kind of embarrased myself 'cause when she started up "Playboy Mommy" (on the rhodes rather than the piano, a decision she seemed to make right on the spot, as she looked back and forth at them for a few seconds before pressing on), she did a bit of an intro for it. And I recognized the chord progression and let out a scream, 'cause it's one of my favorite songs by her, and I was the only one. Later, when she started the lyric, other people screamed. Whoops. Yeah, a little embarassing.
And the second encore was "Sweet the Sting" (nice, but I think I prefer the album version for the percussion) and "1000 Oceans," a good closer to be sure, but again bringing us back to the slow-paced realm.
All-in-all, an amazing show. And I can't tell you how happy it made me that my roommate came. 'Cause I've played him some Tori before, and he's never pronounced any objection to it, but he's not a fan, you know. And I know Tori's hard to take for some people. Difficult. So when I asked him if he wanted to go back when I bought the tickets, I was surprised. And then when he actually took his final exam early so he'd have time to come down, I was really kinda touched by it.
'Cause when you attach yourself to the music you listen to as much as I do, having someone give it a chance, even if they don't love it as much as you do, just the fact that they're willing to try it is really one of the best feelings in the world. No joke. And this wasn't just listening to an album or whatever, this was buying a ticket and driving down to the harbor to see it live.
And of course ('cause everything's a double-edged sword), this made me wish even more that she'd thrown some more piano-rockers into the setlist. I kinda wanted her to prove herself to my roommate, in a way. Silly, I know.
I grew up in Baltimore. I even remember hearing Ellen Amos' "Baltimore" played on WBAL radio. I found Tori in college, and have been to about six or seven of her concerts.
This one, however, left me disappointed. The venue was not made for organ, and Jamaica Inn and the Beekeeper (I think that's what it was--it was so distorted in the back) left my entire section's ears ringing. She did look gorgeous, but amazingly tired, and melancholy. During 'Cool on Your Island,' she frowned a number of times, in 'Winter' she teared up looking at her father, the song 'Marianne', which I know is sacriledge but is not one of my favorites, had an improv section on it about seeing her in trees and shadows.
This was my husband's first Tori show, and he tried to be attentive, but soon I saw him doing a Buster Keaton with his feet. I nearly did the same, as songs trudged on, with very little enthusiasm, and half the audience leaving. During some songs, the "old Tori" came out for a glimmer of a moment, but for the rest of it, while the audience was, as always, very loving, she seemed distant.
Bear in mind, those of us who went, though, that she's been touring relentlessly with a child and a husband in tow. Her mother was sick, her brother passed away, and I'm sure coming back to Baltimore brought back a lot of memories for her. So, maybe it was a fluke. She may have been simply exhausted. However, I must admit the last time I saw her as well it did lack some of the energy of earlier shows. But we all age, and we all settle out, and maybe this is simply a natural progression.
I was one of the lucky few to purchase an autographed tour program. According to the vendor, Tori Amos only autographed a dozen or so programs before the show. When I first looked at the program I didn’t think much of it, but as I compared my program with those of other concert goers, I notied a HUGE signature in the middle of my book that said “Tori Amos”. I was so happy ( I just hope the vendor wasn’t bullshitting).
In additon to the autographed program, my friend and I got to see/speak to Tori’s Parents. After the concert my friend and I waited around outside the pavilion with the hopes of getting to see Tori in person or at least catch a glimpse of her. After hours of waiting there was still no sign of Tori, but we did notice a white car driver past us and in it were her parents. As the car slowly drove past us with its windows down, I vigoroulsy waved my hands around (I probably looked so retarded LOL), while Katie said “We Love Tori”. Mr. Amos smiled at us and said “thank you”, while Mrs. Amos smiled and noded her head. That alone was worth the wait : )
As for the setlist, this was my first time seeing Tori without the band and I think she did an amazing job. I really liked “Caught a Lite Sneeze” and “Sorta Fairytale” with just the piano. Anyway, by the first encore she played “Leather”. Needless to say, I went crazy..........Not only because of my love for dead animal flesh LOL, but because the lyrics really speak to me and remind me of a past relationship/current romantic situation.
All in all, it was a great show, but I will say I was annoyed at the constant movement of all the fans. I don’t know how many times I had to get up out of my seat to let people out to get beer or go to the bathroom. Maybe it’s just me, but I always thought it was rude to get up in the middle of a live preformance?