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Details of Tori's taping of WTTW's Soundstage in Chicago on Friday, May 2, 2003

Updated Sat, May 03, 2003 - 3:54am ET

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On Friday, May 2, 2003, Tori taped for the PBS TV show Soundstage at WTTW 11 studios in Chicago, IL. This show will be broadcast nationally on U.S. public TV sometime this summer. I have the set list and some details from people who attended the taping.

More Details

image WTTW 11 studios is located at 5400 N. St. Louis Avenue in Chicago. The taping began there around 8:15PM and lasted until 10:15. Roughly 350 people were able to watch the concert taping. People were able to get tickets to the taping in several ways. Radio station WXRT reportedly gave away seats. People could also buy pairs of tickets for either a $150 or $275 donation to the TV station WTTW. You can see to the right one of tickets for the taping sent to me by Micah.

Set List from the taping

Many thanks to Matt Page who phoned me with the set list after the taping.

Wampum Prayer
a sorta fairytale
Cornflake Girl

Taping break

Black-Dove (January)

Band Leaves

Jackie's Strength

Band returns

Taxi Ride
Precious Things
I Can't See New York
Spring Haze

Taping Break

Wampum Prayer (again)
a sorta fairytale (again)
Bliss (again)
Cornflake Girl (again)

Reviews of the taping

From Matt Page:

Matt called me after the taping of Soundstage. He said there were about 250 or so people and that the taping began around 8:15pm and ended about 10:15. It was a very enjoyable taping on a very nicely constructed set.

The taping was set up roughly like a regular Tori concert during the Scarlets' Walk tour. Wampum Prayer came on and then the band walks out. They begin playing a sorta fairytale and Tori comes out and plays. Before Cornflake Girl, Tori introduced the band and mentioned that her tour was over and that she would be missing people like crazy.

After Tombigbee, they take a break from the taping. Someone named Jenny comes out and touches up Tori's makeup. While this is happening Tori is tinkering on the piano and playing a little ditty. Even the band plays some during this. Tori says something about making love under a microscope. The taping then begins again with Black-Dove.

Tori plays two solo songs with the band off the stage. They are China and Jackie's Strength. Tori stops in the middle of China, smiles, and starts it over again. Before China, Tori did an improv about her Bosey, with lyrics that roughly included, "Strange days...packing to go home...She's going on a boat... She'll be home in a month.

After Spring Haze, Tori waves goodbye and leaves the stage. The people in charge then tell the audience that Tori will return for 3 more songs. They get excited thinking it will be an encore, but it turns out that they have Tori perform a sorta fairytale, Bliss and Cornflake Girl again. They even play Wampum Prayer at the beginning. Matt said the second taping of these songs was much stronger than the first. The first was rather low-key and humble, while the second was more energetic and the crowd seemed to be more into it. Before Cornflake Girl the second time Tori again mentions that she will miss people, including the band. I think the guys in the band commented that it would not be too long before they are playing together this summer though.

Tori looked really beautiful wearing a green dress-like thingy with what looked like a gold leave pattern on it. There were some interesting monitors set up showing Tori and/or the band as they played. One large monitor showed some very interesting footage. During a sorta fairytale, they showed video footage of a road and then of a book as the pages in it turned. It seems to be a nice metaphor for the tour and the fact that Scarlet is telling a story while on a road trip. During Spring Haze, that same large monitor showed some trees or a forest. Most of the other times though the footage showed Tori playing. It should be interesting to see how they edit it all together for the broadcast this summer.

From Missy:

i attended yesterday's taping of WTTW soundstage. the setup was really neat with big screens on the walls flashing some of the polaroids from sw along with the sw map and some other things. most of the time they showed footage from the show, matt and jon and tori's hands, tori singing and her hand movements and stuff. it should make for an really interesting tv show.

she did a cute improv before china about packing to go home and the bosey going off on a boat tomorrow and she wouldn't see her for a month.

the tape changes were a lot of fun. tori had her makeup touched up during these. during the first one matt started playing a little drum beat and tori joined in on the piano and jon on his bass. it was really cute to hear an little improv like that, it lasted for a minute or two.

during the second tape change tori started talking about these brownies that duncan had made, you could tell by the tone in her voice that they were "special" brownies and that she hadn't had any because she was the mommy. she said that tash had been eyeing them and she was wondering if she had any of them because sometimes you just don't know what tash was "on". and she put her hands up to her head like horns. she also mentioned that tash was only 2.5 and that she runs the tour, and she put her hands on her hips and said "but i'm the mommy" and said that she felt better, then she started playing again.

From darlene:

overall, i really enjoyed myself and it was a nice change to see tori in such an intimate venue. the setlist, i thought, was fairly generic, but since it was for a tv taping, i was kind of expecting that she would mainly play her old standbys, so this didn't really bother me. because of the intimacy of the venue, i thought that even the songs i've seen at every show seemed a little bit new.

during the first three or so songs that she played, tori seemed to be a little off. almost like she was being really, really careful and not letting herself go or getting into the music as much as one would normally expect. she seemed subdued and maybe a little self-conscious, which i guess is to be expected when there's a camera shoved right in your face. :) i think this is why they had her do the first three songs over again -- which, btw, were *much* better and more energetic and passionate the second time around. also, the sound seemed a little off during the first couple songs -- i thought the bass was overwhelming. but they straightened it out, and actually, for most of the show, i could hear tori and the piano/keyboards much more clearly than i have been able to at other shows.

tombigbee really kicked ass! it was my first time seeing it live, and it seems like she really, really enjoys playing it. during "precious things," tori grabbed her crotch quite enthusiastically when she did her "grrrrrrrl." it will be interesting to see whether that makes it onto tv. :)

i think one of the nicest things about this show was the utter lack of inappropriate screaming. no "we love you myra ellen," no shouted song requests. for the majority of the show, the audience was dead quiet and respectful. there was some screaming during the second take of cfg, but it wasn't overly annoying.

tori talked to us a little bit while the camera people were changing tapes. she said something about there being "organic gatorade" going around backstage that was making everyone *very* happy. then, she asked jon if he'd been eating the brownies that were backstage, and went into this whole thing about how tash was eyeing the brownies. she talked about how while they're on tour, tash is on the bus with the crew and she has no idea what they're letting her kid consume. she said something to the effect of, "she thinks she's the one running the show, but i'm the mommy! ... ok, i feel better now."

one thing i was not expecting was how cold it was in that studio! there we all are, sitting there in our summer wear (we were instructed to wear lightweight clothes since this will air during summer), and we weren't allowed to bring coats in. i was shivering through the entire show! also, the stage setup wasn't really conducive to a tori show. there are seats directly in front of the stage, and to the left of the stage, but on the right side of the stage, there is a wall. so a fair amount of audience members mostly saw the back of tori's head. but there were screens overhead showing tori, which was pretty cool because sometimes they'd zoom in really closely on tori's or jon's hands, and that's not something you see every day in great detail.

at any rate, this was definitely a unique experience and i feel really fortunate that i had the opportunity to go!

From Nikki:

I personaly think the whole event was exciting!!! I though the stage set up was beautiful with all the drapes hanging everywhere. The sound in the place was definitly different the the norm. The accoustics in the place were great. You could hear everything so clear and crisp. When Tori would sigh or take a breath it went straight though you like the spring breeze in the morning when you wake up and step outside for the first time. She seemed very sad when she play this improve about the ending of this part of the tour and having said good-bye to her piano. She said "she" is getting send on a boat over seas to England and she wouldn't see her for about 2 months. Then when they were having a taping break she talked about not getting the "Organic gatoraide" that everybody was talking about back stage and wanted to know why she didn't get any. Right after then she started talking about these great cookies they had back stage that she didn't get to have...and then refered to them as "Brownies" lol...and asked how come she didn't get any of those either. I thought that was cute. There was a lot of disscusion inbetween sets and that was the best part of the night in my opinion. She also played "Horses" which I was excited about b/c I haven't heard her play that song in a long time. It was more relaxed and melow this time, but it was definitaly something I will never erase from my mind. Then last but not least at the end of the show she came and grabbed my hand and said "thankyou for coming" or something like that...I was so excited that she came and grabbed and shook my hand I didn't really interpret anything else at that point. That is what I gather from the other night and I can't wait to see how ridiculous I look on television. :)

From Mindy Kinney:

I just wanted to clarify the number of people at the WTTW taping last friday night. Someone else reported†that there were †250 people were there, however, the group I came with was 295-298 (we asked the woman counting at the door) and there were many people who came in behind us. We were the last group seated on the main floor and then they began filling the balcony (which was fairly small). My guess is that there were 300 seats on the main floor and another 50 or so in the balcony. (The balcony is also where all the WTTW employees were sitting. The Wells-Fargo employees - the sponsor- of the show appeared to have seats on the right side of the floor). Overall the show was wonderful. It was so great to be able to see a tori show with an entirely respectful crowd, with no screaming during songs. It was so much easier to concentrate on how great the music sounded when there weren't people trying to get tori's attention.

Posted by: Mikewhy

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