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A review of Tori's August 19, 2005 Holmdel, NJ show from Billboard magazine

Updated Wed, Aug 24, 2005 - 11:39pm ET

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A review of Tori's August 19, 2005 concert in Holmdel, NJ was posted to on August 22, 2005. It includes interesting comments about crowd behavior at that show. Thanks to Stuart for telling me about the review.

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Tori Amos / Aug. 19, 2005 / Holmdel, N.J. (PNC Bank Arts Center)

The full moon that shone Aug. 19 definitely cast a spell on the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, N.J. A degree of lunacy touched the concert Tori Amos performed as part of her Summer of Sin tour, sparking mishaps and unruly behavior all around.

Lite rock/pop trio the Like had its lead vocals and guitar cut out twice, the second time lasting for almost a minute. Americana swing quartet the Ditty Bops didn't have any problems, but Amos caught the brunt of the technical gremlin.

Shortly after launching into second song "Father Lucifer," her mic lost its power. She jokingly blamed it on "those griping Christians coming after me" and promised not to leave the crowd in a lurch. The stage went dark for a half-hour, and when she returned to an encouraging reception, Amos was visibily tense, her earlier ease gone.

Resuming with "Little Earthqaukes," "Blood Roses" and "Yes, Anastasia," she did not resort to histrionics to vent her frustration, instead maintaining her composure by pounding the keys of her Bosendorfer piano, channeling her aggravation and fervently singing extended versions of the songs in pristine voice, giving them a darker undertone than their original versions.

Keeping her word to give fans their money's worth, Amos likely incurred a fine from the venue for continuing past 11 p.m., bringing forth 90 minutes of music that included a pair of encores. The 20-song set featured the spellbinding opener "Original Sinsuality" and covers of "Love Song" and "Purple Rain" that drew whoops of delight. The power of her voice soaring through heartbreak songs "Cooling" and "Here. In My Head" was tear-jerking, and when she sang the lyric "We've all been pushed too far" in "Taxi Ride," her expression and the crowd's cheer said it all.

Amos deftly carried off an in-concert trademark by performing such songs as "Parasol" while poised between the piano and a Hammond organ in a half crouch, making a formidable picture in spite of her guazy, flowing pinafore and shiny spike heels. She seemed to be feeling more relaxed during the soothing "Rattlesnakes," but the song title became ironic when Amos abruptly halted and told unknown persons offstage to "shut the f*ck up, you're in my light," then resumed as if uninterrupted.

Working a different organ with a harpsichord effect for the sinister "The Beekeeper," Amos' face was intense and trance-like while she sang about conversing with death, as if she were challenging it to a showdown. The song's deep resonance with her is understandable, given that its genesis is related to the recent loss of her brother Michael and a health scare with her mother. She immedately quit the stage afterwards before returning for her first encore.

Suddenly about 75 people rushed to the front -- a common occurrence at her shows. All night long people in the audience had been bickering and jumping seats for a better view, and the lemming-like mini-stampede added to the bizarre atmosphere.

Amos finished her set with "Sweet the Sting," turning it into a torch number and bouncing to its slinky flow. She also may have loosened up since the end was in sight; thumping her heart while she waved good bye, her grin said "Whew! I made it!" as much as it did "Thank you."

-- Christa L. Titus, N.Y.

Posted by: Mikewhy

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