North American Plugged '98 Tour
Tori performed in Springfield, MA on August 2, 1998 at Symphony Hall during the main North American leg of her Plugged '98 tour.
Tori performed Merman, Marianne and Landslide solo. Many thanks to Matt Page for being the first to tell me the set list by calling me on the phone from Springfield. Zachary Burnham was the first to email me the set list.
From Eric (with a 'c') Thelen
August 12, 1998 - This is a great review of Eric's experience seeing Tori in the United States, including Springfield. Eric lives in Germany and came over with several other Europeans to see some concerts. This great post describes his American experiences and how the tour in the U.S. differs from the European tours. "Merman" in Springfield was actually played for Eric and the other dedicated European Ears With Feet!
Some of you, who have read the reviews about Tori's recent
show in Springfield and about the appearance of Merman during
this show, may have already noticed that there have been a
few 'Europeans' following Tori for a week from New York via
Philadelphia and Boston to Springfield.
I was one of them and have now been motivated - by somebody
whose reviews I always enjoy reading very much - to write
a few comments about my American tour experience.
So what is different between the United States and Europe?
It is always Tori, but there actually are some differences,
in my opinion, which is, of course, subjective.
First of all, it is much easier to actually meet Tori in
Europe. The number of people showing up at the meet&greets
before soundcheck is significantly lower over here. If you
are at the stage entrance before Tori shows up you can almost
be sure that you will get to talk to her for a second and
can ask her to sign something for you. 5 pm might even be
early enough, if Tori has not yet arrived.
In the States, you better show up around noon and you
still cannot be sure that you end up in first row at the
barricades. For some shows in Europe (e.g. Vienna) they did
not even need barricades at all - with not more than
10 people waiting!
On the other hand, the communication with Tori is a little
different over here, because most people only speak so much
English as they have learnt in school. But Tori is very
patient and very friendly and nice to everybody - no matter
whether the sentence spoken to her makes any sense. And the
communication works somehow, anyway.
But in America, it is a little more relaxed. Tori actually
makes jokes with people, there is more interaction.
In Europe, Tori played very different venues this time.
There were some open air shows and some festivals. But there
were also shows in philharmonic halls, e.g. in Munich and
Frankfurt. The acoustics there can hardly be compared to
places like Madison Square Garden or the Spectrum in
Philadelphia - those philharmonic places have been designed
The Springfield symphony hall came close to the sound
quality in these venues, but the bigger arenas cannot
really be compared with that. I think that Tori actually
choses different songs to take the different environments
into account. She plays more 'rock songs' in the arenas,
while slower melody oriented piano based songs occur more
often in the philharmonic halls.
Oh, I realize that I should be careful with my statements:
I do not say that arena shows are worse - they are just
different. The atmosphere is more like a big party with
everybody enjoying themselves and having a good time, where
in other places the music itself is a little more in the
I have to make a couple of comments about the American Ears
With Feet. I met very nice people during my tour in Europe
and I still have contact with many of them. But the hospitality
that we encountered during our days in the States was incredible!
I am not going to mention names here, but there were some
really wonderful people I very much hope to keep in touch with
and I like to thank all of them very much for making this
experience so very special. In general, the Tori experience
in America is like a huge party during the entire day of the
show, starting from the time the first people arrive for the
meet&greet until after the show when everybody leaves again,
after Tori and the band have already left, of course.
And everybody talks to everybody, because we all have something
in common and we know that.
I cannot say that I observed much more screaming during songs
during the shows in the States - the venues were just bigger.
A little difference is that in Europe people usually remained
seated during the entire show - only sometimes people stood
up after 'Waitress' and remained standing for the encores.
In the States - except the symphony hall in Springfield where
it did not seem to be appropriate - everybody stood up when
Tori took the stage and remained standing during the entire
show. Some people rushed to the front and started to dance
there - while this seemed to be the usual habit in the
States this was only exceptionally the case during the shows
I really believe that it makes a difference for Tori where
she is playing. She has stated that before the show she tunes
in to the atmosphere of the place. And I have the impression
that she actually feels at home in the States. During our trip,
we were the visitors. In Europe (London - and maybe England
in general - is different, though, because she is also at home
there and her husband is British) she may have sometimes felt
like she visited us when she arrived for her shows.
Does this make sense?
Finally, please allow me some more words, because there are so
many people reading all those messages who might not have the
chance to see Tori during the tour at all.
Being a 'Toriphile' and joining the 'Ears With Feet' really
has nothing at all to do with how many shows you have seen or
how many times you have met Tori or how many autographs you
have or how many pictures taken together with her.
Nothing at all.
In my opinion it has to do with being touched by her music,
being moved so much by just listening to her that you actually
feel an emotional connection with this woman who creates all
this beauty and who you do not know at all (except the scratches
on the surface that you observe via interviews) and who does not
know you. It means that you actually care about what happens to her
and hope that she is well.
Those of us who have the chance to thank her for what she has
done for us can try to give back to her a little bit of the
energy that she gives us in her songs and performances.
I am sure she knows that those of us that she sees at the
meet&greets only represent many more who feel the same.
And I hope she is proud of that.
Everybody enjoy 'your' shows,
Some of you, who have read the reviews about Tori's recent show in Springfield and about the appearance of Merman during this show, may have already noticed that there have been a few 'Europeans' following Tori for a week from New York via Philadelphia and Boston to Springfield.
I was one of them and have now been motivated - by somebody whose reviews I always enjoy reading very much - to write a few comments about my American tour experience.
So what is different between the United States and Europe? It is always Tori, but there actually are some differences, in my opinion, which is, of course, subjective.
First of all, it is much easier to actually meet Tori in Europe. The number of people showing up at the meet&greets before soundcheck is significantly lower over here. If you are at the stage entrance before Tori shows up you can almost be sure that you will get to talk to her for a second and can ask her to sign something for you. 5 pm might even be early enough, if Tori has not yet arrived. In the States, you better show up around noon and you still cannot be sure that you end up in first row at the barricades. For some shows in Europe (e.g. Vienna) they did not even need barricades at all - with not more than 10 people waiting!
On the other hand, the communication with Tori is a little different over here, because most people only speak so much English as they have learnt in school. But Tori is very patient and very friendly and nice to everybody - no matter whether the sentence spoken to her makes any sense. And the communication works somehow, anyway. But in America, it is a little more relaxed. Tori actually makes jokes with people, there is more interaction.
In Europe, Tori played very different venues this time. There were some open air shows and some festivals. But there were also shows in philharmonic halls, e.g. in Munich and Frankfurt. The acoustics there can hardly be compared to places like Madison Square Garden or the Spectrum in Philadelphia - those philharmonic places have been designed for music! The Springfield symphony hall came close to the sound quality in these venues, but the bigger arenas cannot really be compared with that. I think that Tori actually choses different songs to take the different environments into account. She plays more 'rock songs' in the arenas, while slower melody oriented piano based songs occur more often in the philharmonic halls. Oh, I realize that I should be careful with my statements: I do not say that arena shows are worse - they are just different. The atmosphere is more like a big party with everybody enjoying themselves and having a good time, where in other places the music itself is a little more in the foreground.
I have to make a couple of comments about the American Ears With Feet. I met very nice people during my tour in Europe and I still have contact with many of them. But the hospitality that we encountered during our days in the States was incredible! I am not going to mention names here, but there were some really wonderful people I very much hope to keep in touch with and I like to thank all of them very much for making this experience so very special. In general, the Tori experience in America is like a huge party during the entire day of the show, starting from the time the first people arrive for the meet&greet until after the show when everybody leaves again, after Tori and the band have already left, of course. And everybody talks to everybody, because we all have something in common and we know that.
I cannot say that I observed much more screaming during songs during the shows in the States - the venues were just bigger. A little difference is that in Europe people usually remained seated during the entire show - only sometimes people stood up after 'Waitress' and remained standing for the encores. In the States - except the symphony hall in Springfield where it did not seem to be appropriate - everybody stood up when Tori took the stage and remained standing during the entire show. Some people rushed to the front and started to dance there - while this seemed to be the usual habit in the States this was only exceptionally the case during the shows in Europe.
I really believe that it makes a difference for Tori where she is playing. She has stated that before the show she tunes in to the atmosphere of the place. And I have the impression that she actually feels at home in the States. During our trip, we were the visitors. In Europe (London - and maybe England in general - is different, though, because she is also at home there and her husband is British) she may have sometimes felt like she visited us when she arrived for her shows. Does this make sense?
Finally, please allow me some more words, because there are so many people reading all those messages who might not have the chance to see Tori during the tour at all. Being a 'Toriphile' and joining the 'Ears With Feet' really has nothing at all to do with how many shows you have seen or how many times you have met Tori or how many autographs you have or how many pictures taken together with her. Nothing at all.
In my opinion it has to do with being touched by her music, being moved so much by just listening to her that you actually feel an emotional connection with this woman who creates all this beauty and who you do not know at all (except the scratches on the surface that you observe via interviews) and who does not know you. It means that you actually care about what happens to her and hope that she is well.
Those of us who have the chance to thank her for what she has done for us can try to give back to her a little bit of the energy that she gives us in her songs and performances. I am sure she knows that those of us that she sees at the meet&greets only represent many more who feel the same. And I hope she is proud of that.
Everybody enjoy 'your' shows,
From Damian (posted to the rec.music.tori-amos newsgroup)
August 6, 1998 - Well I just got back from my weekend trip out to Massachusetts to catch both the Boston and Springfield shows (making me an official tour groupie, with two shows left this week to go). I had a blast, both at the concerts and in Boston, and as sleep-deprived as I already am I figured I'd let you know how the shows went.
That intro took a little too long there... a few notes about the Boston show. I was enthusiastic about Tori's transition to the arena atmosphere after catching her stunning performance at Madison Square Garden, but the FleetCenter brought all of the faults of a big venue drastically to the fore. =P The acoustics well, weren't even worthy of being called acoustics, for one; the whole night it seemed as though Tori were too close to the microphone, when she wasn't, and effects like the echoing on 'Jackie's Strength' and backing iieee's on 'iieee' were pitifully muffled. Also, the dead-on-arrival audience was for the most part apathetic, somehow managing to stand stock still throughout 'Raspberry Swirl' and 'She's Your Cocaine', not to mention the constant milling back-and-forth in the aisles for beer runs. Tori and Company delivered a solid performance, notwithstanding, and I got to hear 'Cooling' (missing a verse/bridge there somewhere *sigh*). And 'Winter' didn't put me to sleep, which is good.
The Springfield show made up for the night before however. For one thing I was really pleased with the size of the venue; I finally was able to read the "Bosendorfer" on the side of the grand, even with only fairly decent seats. Tori and the band almost seemed too loud and showy for the place! In any case she wore a dark off-the-shoulder top with slacks, and this quirky silver-apron-ish sort of thing over the whole deal. Also I believe silver strappy-type shoes. And Caton was practically glowing in the dark in an orange shirt. I couldn't get over how close they were--after the two arena shows I'd attended I'd forgotten how nice seeing such details were. Onto the setlist.... lots of twists and turns tonight, a little more geared towards the more die-hard Tori fan perhaps. LE was virtually ignored, what with just the inclusion of 'Precious Things', and maybe 'Sugar' if you count that. Also, four Pele songs were played, maybe a record for the tour so far....
PRECIOUS THINGS, SPARK, and CRUEL
CAUGHT A LITE SNEEZE
From Springfield Union-News newspaper
August 5, 1998 - Toriphile Deb Desjardins sent me a press review that appeared in the August 5, 1998 edition of the Springfield Union-News newspaper.
Full of Passion, Amos on a Roar
by Donnie Moorhouse
SPRINGFIELD - She came and she roared. Backed by a full band for the first
time in her career, singer/songwriter Tori Amos, known for penning music with
passion, added power to her repertoire with her nearly two-hour set at the
sold out Symphony Hall on Sunday night.
With a booming drum sound and the stage shrouded with smoke and intermittent
lights, Amos appeared at her grand piano and set off an aural explosion with
"Precious Things," the first of 14 songs on the night.
Tori emits a tangible intensity when she sings. On "Cruel," she sat with her
hands held behind her back as if they were bounc, her head shaking as if in a
catatonic state, and her voice emanating a breathless, melodic howl.
As passionate as she was as a solo performer, Amos is that much more powerful
with the band behind her. Utilizing bass, drums, and guitar, Amos took a shot
at a Zeppelin-esque mood and achieved it on more than one occasion.
Twists and turns are a trademark in Amos' show and she offered several gems in
the set including the unreleased "Sugar." Except for her opening and closing
songs, it was an entirely different set than was performed in Boston the night
Amos performed two songs solo, again leaning toward the obscure with a song
that has only been released on the Internet. She followed that with an equally
haunting take on "Marianne."
The band returned and added some urgency and a somber touch to "Jackie's
Strength" and the boom was back to full force with "Caught a Lite Sneeze."
Amos worked her grand piano and occasionally swirled in her chair to play an
electric piano set up behind her.
With the smoke machine in overdrive, Amos closed the set with "The Waitress,"
which was all subtlety and innocence on the verses and complete crash and burn
attitude on the chorus. Amos received an ovation and returned for an encore
that began with "Black Dove (January)," a song that also started quietly but
erupted with the full band.
The room took on a dance club atmosphere with the rhythm and lights of
"Raspberry Swirl," and Amos was treated to another ovation, causing her to
take a seat at the piano again where she pulled off another coup.
Amos eased into "Landslide," and vaulted over the Stevie Nicks/Fleetwood Mac
version. Amos dropped so much emotion into the song, it is a wonder she didn't
break down. She closed the second encore with "Horses." Ireland's The Devlins
opened the show with a 40-minute set.
by Donnie Moorhouse
SPRINGFIELD - She came and she roared. Backed by a full band for the first time in her career, singer/songwriter Tori Amos, known for penning music with passion, added power to her repertoire with her nearly two-hour set at the sold out Symphony Hall on Sunday night.
With a booming drum sound and the stage shrouded with smoke and intermittent lights, Amos appeared at her grand piano and set off an aural explosion with "Precious Things," the first of 14 songs on the night.
Tori emits a tangible intensity when she sings. On "Cruel," she sat with her hands held behind her back as if they were bounc, her head shaking as if in a catatonic state, and her voice emanating a breathless, melodic howl.
As passionate as she was as a solo performer, Amos is that much more powerful with the band behind her. Utilizing bass, drums, and guitar, Amos took a shot at a Zeppelin-esque mood and achieved it on more than one occasion.
Twists and turns are a trademark in Amos' show and she offered several gems in the set including the unreleased "Sugar." Except for her opening and closing songs, it was an entirely different set than was performed in Boston the night before.
Amos performed two songs solo, again leaning toward the obscure with a song that has only been released on the Internet. She followed that with an equally haunting take on "Marianne."
The band returned and added some urgency and a somber touch to "Jackie's Strength" and the boom was back to full force with "Caught a Lite Sneeze." Amos worked her grand piano and occasionally swirled in her chair to play an electric piano set up behind her.
With the smoke machine in overdrive, Amos closed the set with "The Waitress," which was all subtlety and innocence on the verses and complete crash and burn attitude on the chorus. Amos received an ovation and returned for an encore that began with "Black Dove (January)," a song that also started quietly but erupted with the full band.
The room took on a dance club atmosphere with the rhythm and lights of "Raspberry Swirl," and Amos was treated to another ovation, causing her to take a seat at the piano again where she pulled off another coup.
Amos eased into "Landslide," and vaulted over the Stevie Nicks/Fleetwood Mac version. Amos dropped so much emotion into the song, it is a wonder she didn't break down. She closed the second encore with "Horses." Ireland's The Devlins opened the show with a 40-minute set.
From Heather Goodson
August 5, 1998 - I arrived at Symphony Hall in Springfield at around 11:45 am and walked around a bit, looking at the guys unloading the equipment. I noticed where I thought Tori may be arriving later (an confirmed it through an *extremely* nice staff person) and then went back around to the front to meet Mike Curry, who is quickly becoming my best Tori show buddy. We chatted a bit about the fact that I was carrying a basket full of Echinacea tea, honey sticks and throat lozenges for Tori, and I complained that I felt like a doofus. We decided to walk around the side of the building and get in line with the 5-10 people who were there before us. On the way, I stopped and asked one of the roadies if he could take my basket of tea to Tori's dressing room for me, since it was awkward carrying it, to which he happily obliged (only after checking through it to make sure it was tea and not something that could cause problems).
Mike and I lined up and I chatted a lot with a sweet girl named Lisa (who Tori fondly refers to as Mary, since she always requests that song) about everything from year 2000 doomsday prophecies to how cute Michael Jackson was back in the early 80s. I talked to one of the security people as well, who was also unbelievably nice and friendly, about divorce, kids, travelling, and anything else we could squeeze into the time it takes to suck down a cigarette.
I then squished back up against the building, in the little sliver of shade Mike and I managed to claim as our own, and we began having our own conversation about the fact that I talk too much, but that it was okay with him. That made me feel a lot better :) I hate it when I don't know where I stand with people. Even if they hate me, I need to know so I don't make an ass of myself.
The words that come to me to describe the next 2-3 hours are "pure, sweaty misery." That morning, I took it upon myself to wear my UtP shirt I got back in '94, which had long sleeves. Bad move. I also thought I'd wear my favorite jeans. A worse move. Then to top off my painfully fashionable ensemble, I opted for my 5-inch chunky heels. Suffice it to say, after 2 and a half hours of being plastered to the omni-present barricades, squished up against very kind, but very sweaty people and having my face cooked to the point of Sizzlelean, I was wishing the fashion police had shot me on-sight. It was *so* hot. And standing in one place in the blaring sun was downright dangerous. Everyone was dehydrated and dizzy.
Then this absolute angel of a man named Lance brings us about 4 or 5 bottles of ice-cold spring water, without asking a thing in return. So we passed the bottles around, and soon it was gone, and we still had over an hour to wait until Tori was supposed to get there. Then here comes Lance around the corner again, this time with 4 or 5 gallon JUGS of water, and a big bag of cups. Everyone got as much to drink as they needed, and we all felt a whole lot better after that. Let me tell you, I think Lance may have saved a few lives that day. I was minutes away from passing out, and people around me felt similar.
Now onto the good stuff. Tori arrived as usual in her big blue bus, at around 4 o'clock. Once the bus was parked, a small woman with red hair dashed off the bus and ran inside. Shutters flew, confused expressions abounded. It wasn't Tori! (Does anyone happen to know who she was?) After a few more minutes elapsed in the blessed shade of the bus, Tori gave us her little puppet show, and then came out. As I, Mike, and the majority of other people who were trapped in by the side of Tori's bus began to realize, we wouldn't have any one-on-one interactions with Tori. But since we were close enough to the front, Tori said her hellos to us down through this little crack between the bus and the barricades. I handed some things to her from some of the girls behind me, and then looked her in the eye. For that split second, everything was worth my pain. I stretched out my arm, Tori took my hand. We looked at each other. What bit of wisdom did these lips shower upon her in that moment our eyes and hands were locked?
"Tori, I put some tea in your dressing room."
Tori, puzzled, whispers, "Thank you."
Why can't I ever express myself in situations like that? I mean, yeah, I wanted her to know the tea was from me. But why couldn't I have said something to her that made her notice me? What prevents me from singing my dreams to her just as clearly as they are in my head? I guess my tragic question is, why don't I effect her the way she does me? Am I obsessed? I don't think so. I feel uniquely connected to her, just the same as everyone else.
But it was most definitely worth it.
After Tori went in to start the sound check, Mike and I drove up to North Hampton for dinner. We found this excellent little restaurant that serves homemade pasta. Mike had spinach and cheese ravioli with pesto sauce, and I had linguini with grilled salmon. And a side of steamed broccoli which I love. Mike couldn't quite grasp the whole "eating broccoli because you like it" concept, but I forgave him. We also had incredible garlic bread, soda (we wanted a bottle of wine, but had a long way to drive) and tiramisu. Yum! We were now properly energized for a great Tori show.
And a great show it was! You all know the set list, so I won't make this any longer by including it. I was in heaven. I was in my own dreamworld the entire show. I love what she does. I did think she seemed a bit disconnected with her audience, but as Mike pointed out, that was most likely due to the fact that she has been sick. I didn't see her smile much during the singing of the songs like she usually does (I especially missed it during the mooning David Cassidy line, which I thought for sure would get a grin out of her), but she smiled a lot before and after the encores.
While the music was no less than phenomenal and Tori was engaging as always, I feel like she's withdrawing somehow. Mike mentioned that perhaps it was that she has this band dynamic happening on stage and expends most of her expressions communicating with them. I agree with that theory. I couldn't shake the feeling like we in the audience were voyeurs of sorts, being allowed to view this really incredible thing happening in the next room, but weren't involved ourselves. Please don't misunderstand... I thought musically that Tori, Caton, John and Matt were in their absolute prime. I just feel things changing a bit. Not worse or better -- just different. This was the image I took away after she performed Landslide for her last encore, that it was really a song to us, about growing and changing, and her wanting us to let go a little of the past, and trust her by moving forward with her...
"I've been afraid of changing
She certainly has built things around us, her EWFs, in many ways, and I think we need to let her grow, as she's helped us to grow.
The show was wonderful, thanks for listening.
August 5, 1998 - Tori was absolutely beautiful last night! Just a few comments about the show, happenings, etc...my favorite moment was when she played "merman"..just a classic tori "girl & her piano" moment...the rest of the show with the band was great, but i think that she needs to turn the volume down on some of the instruments (sometimes you can barely hear her voice or the beloved piano!).
I saw joel (bodyguard) walking around the floor before show time...a guy sitting behind us had made a cool tori doll out of plaster & sculptura & stuff and gave it to joel for tori...joel was really great, saying how he'd make sure she definitely got it. yeah for the artist-guy who made it! anyways, aside from the girl behind us who kept screaming during the songs (when tori couldn't have heard ya anyway, hon!), tori's performance was phenom...she didn't even talk to the audience at all, though, which was a bit surprising. she was all business, but enjoying the performance of the songs to the full extent!
my bf and i snuck out around landslide to go wait by the tourbus...my first time doing something like this. there were a lot of ewf packed in there, but we were about 2 people deep back...right by the door! my head kinda started floating when tori walked out of the door. what struck me most (for the first time seeing her that close) was how BEAUTIFUL her eyes are...and how calm her face is (amongst all us excited ewf :) so, i was just standing there being all stupid saying something like "thank you, tori...you're so beautiful, tori" (what a dope i am!). some guy in front of me tried to take a picture of his friend & tori (face to face) & the poor guy had run out of film! (it would've been such a cute pic, too, they were both pressed face-to-face & tori had her cute kermit grin). so, my bf (not a small guy) held up my program for tori to sign...he told me later that he was just standing there calmly holding the program & tori looked up at him, he smiled (all calm, because he's not as tori-crazy as i am), she kinda grinned at him quietly, and took my program to sign!!!! i was so excited i was numb. i never dreamed i'd come home with an autograph...went to ames after work tonight & got a pretty frame. wow, what a night!
From Lisa Street
August 5, 1998 - my cat woke me up at 7am that morning. i guess he knew i had a big day ahead of me. i got to the Symphony Hall around 11:30, first in line with plenty of water and sunscreen. the guys from germany and belgium were soon to follow. despite the heat it was a nice wait. the venue security guy was super nice and made sure that the people that had gotten their early were in the front when we walked to the barricade. the bus finally pulled up and the puppet stuck his head out to entertain us for a moment. then tori stepped off looking so fabulous with her funky skirt and blue vans (she appeared to be feeling much better). today i was able to get that great hug i've been in withdrawl from. we only spoke for a moment and then she moved down to talk to matt page. she knew it was the guys from europe's last night and she kept saying there's be 'some surprises tonight'. she whispered to matt for a bit and i saw her tell him not to tell anyone what she had said. a littl ebit later we wandered to the front of the place and realized we could hear the soundcheck almost perfectly! i heard cornflake girl, and ten minutes of stops and starts of Pandora's Aquarium! it was beautiful, though it did seem they were having some trouble getting it down. then some radio station winners went in and she played Spark and Happy Phantom. after all that we decided to walk over to the hotel nearby (nothing else is open on sundays in sleepy springfield) and ran into Caton by the buses. we all chatted for a little while about nail polish and big 80's hair. then John Evans was across the street with his mom and someone else so Caton went and joined them. i didn't have the best seats for the show, but they were on the floor, left side, center aisle (just a bit far back). i was next to erik from belgium and john's mom was in front of us (she was so cute during the show, she was dancing in her seat). all i have to say is this place was such a breath of fresh air after the fleet center. it only had about 2,000 seats and everyone stayed seated (until the encore of Rasberry Swirl). it was dew drop inn with a full band. i was near the sound board so i could see the set list. then it came, the big surprise. the set list said 'happy phantom', but no, it was 'Merman' for the friends from europe. erik was so happy! i feel so lucky since i also got to see it when she played it during the club tour. i guess they weren't confident enough for pandora yet, because Landslide took her place. i was in tears during that. in the letter i gave her the day before imentioned this issue i was dealing with and when she played Sugar, then Landslide later on, it all fell into place. now i know she didn't play those as a response to me, but it was just so amazing that what i needed to hear was there when i needed it. there was a mob of people out back after the show so we said our goodbyes and exchanged a few email addresses. so, matt, carolyn, and anyone else i met that still going - i'll see you in d.c. soon!
From woj (posted to precious-things mailing list)
August 5, 1998 - seeing that the setlist for the springfield show was on the dent no less than two hours after the show was over (and in the hot little hands of mikewhy even sooner than that!), i guess i don't have to say anything about how wonderful a set tori played last night. this was my first plugged show and pretty much all of my needs were met. ;) the only sngs i wouldn't have minded hearing as well were "iiieee" and "little earthquakes", but i'll settle for "merman", "sugar", "landslide", "marianne" and "little amsterdam" in a pinch. ;)
i agree with mike curry that tori's voice was not quite 100%, but damned if i could barely notice the difference -- she was wailing as well as ever on "cruel" and "the waitress".
the venue was perfectly-sized -- big enough fora rock concert, but small enough to have that feel of intimacy that the later shows in 1992 had when tori was playing places like town hall in new york city or the keswick in the philly area.
it was a treat to finally meet firstname.lastname@example.org and nocturne -- i wasn't able to reply to anyone who had contacted me about meeting beforehand due to an unfortunate disk crash at the end of last week. but, i wore my way-old-ut-not-too-ratty rdt t-shirt in hopes that someone would notice and, sure enough, that's what prompted abbe to come over and say hi.
From abbe (posted to precious-things mailing list)
August 5, 1998 - I love Matt's deely-boppers--they even light up! I think they may be officially dubbed the Raspberry Swirl headgear, as he wore them at the Fleet Center during that song and again in Springfield the next night. So now you can predict when she's going to play...
Random Springfield Musings -
The venue was excellent. Wish she'd played here for any of her earlier tours, I don't know of any where she did. but their web site needed directions for how to get *away* from the venue as well as how to get *to* it - we drove past it about 6 times in circles after following signs to the highway that were all closed due to construction before finally getting on the highway. *sigh*.
I got to look down at the sound/light booth and at Mark's copy of the setlist from my seat in the balcony. She changed it around pretty heavily from what they'd printed on it before the show, some to my pleasure and some not. Pandora was on the setlist but didn't get played; maybe she decided it wasn't ready after all? (i don't think she's performed it live yet.) she dropped Happy Phantom in favor of Merman. I kind of wish I hadn't looked because I was looking forward to hearing Happy Phantom but I shouldn't be annoyed that she changed her mind. =) but I did get to look forward to Little Amsterdam with a band, which she *did* play as the setlist said, and it was worth looking forward to. Worked well with her voice not having its usual range too; such a deep and smoky song.
From Michael Curry
August 5, 1998 - I was lucky enough to have a chance to attend Tori's wonderful performance at the Springfield Symphony Hall last night, so I thought I'd share some of my thoughts on the event. This bit of luck came about thanks to the same person who provided me with a ticket to Tori's preview tour show at the Avalon, so I am once again in her debt. Thanks Heather!
The meet and greet was certainly much better run than the one at the Avalon had been back in April, mainly because the security guards actually took an interest in what was going on. While I once again failed to meet Tori (*sigh*), at least this time I didn't get crushed in the process and I did get to hang out with some pretty cool Tori fans while I was waiting.
Symphony Hall is one of the smaller venues that Tori is playing in on this leg of the tour (and also where she played during the Dewdrop Inn tour), and the smaller audience and truly excellent acoustics made an extraordinary show even more enjoyable.
While Tori gave a great performance she was obviously still not 100%, and during the show she avoided the very top of her normal vocal range. I guess having been ill for a while has given her time to figure out how to best deal with the limitations on her voice. She never reached for the high notes and failed to get them, instead wisely choosing to avoid the need to test her voice in front of a live audience by adjusting her delivery to keep things within her current range.
Overall it was a great set. I was happy to have a chance to hear the band arrangement of "Sugar," but I think that I prefer the older live versions of the song. Some songs do very well in their new guises, but I don't think that "Sugar" is one of them. I was also glad to get a chance to hear "Merman" live again and was thrilled that the set included my favorite song off FtCH, "Liquid Diamonds." "Raspberry Swirl" sounded damn good live, and Matt's choice of headwear (glowing star antennae) during the song was really funny. I could have done without the extended version of "Waitress," but the set was of such high quality otherwise that I can live with one song I wasn't thrilled about.
So now I'm looking forward to the show at the Oakdale on Tuesday and hoping that another day off will mean that Tori will be futher recovered from her cold/flu, though this time I'll be skipping both the meet and greet and another boring set from The Devlins.
August 3, 1998 - everyone started lining up for the meet and greet around 2:30. she got there around 4..and came out and waved and signed a bunch of things for people. at this point i was leaning over the barrier trying to see her..and she saw me leaning over and she waved at me and like.mouthed "hi". i don't know if it was directly at me..but she was looking at me..i don't know..i'd like to think it was for me :) but that was perfect..that was all i wanted. i took a few pictures..i think a few of them came out ok. as soon as i get them developed i'll scan them. then we went back to the car, dropped up a bunch of stuff, and decided to find a place to eat. but every place we found was closed. i didn't believe it..everything closed in a big city like springfield. so we decided not to eat..and just sit on the steps of the theater. and while we were sitting there we could hear the sound check through the doors. i guess most of the soundchecks for that place are open to the public but this one wasnt'. so the first think i hear is "do it again". i didn't recognize it at first...and i was surprised she was playing it.she only played a little bit of it though..then she did "cornflake girl" and "pandora's aquarium" i was really surprised to hear this one too..it was really good..she was practicing it for a while so i thought it might be on the set. then she did black dove, spark, liquid diamonds, happy phantom, and marianne..i think there might have been one more but i don't remember.
they opened the doors around 7. and jilla and i got 2 shirts and the tour book. the devilins came on exactly at 8. i don't really have an opinion on them. most of their songs sound the same to me. they're not really really bad..but i wouldn't say they were good either.
she came on a little after 9. she was wearing black pants..and a black off the shoulder shirt like letterman..with a lace sparkly apron thing..but it was different than letterman. it was kind of like a big sheet with a hole in the middle for your head..you know? and she had little strappy shiny red sandals on.
Precious Things: wonderful. amazing. everyone was really yelling during this one. it was so loud and amazing. and the lights. i was crying and smiling at the same time. i was just so happy. i couldn't believe i was there. finally..over 2 years of waiting and i was finally there.
Spark: right after PT she goes directly into spark. i was happy that she got this one over with early..because it's not one of my favorites..but it was amazing. she played on the keyboard for a while before she actually started singing..and the "how many fates" part was just so wonderful..so much better than seeing her sing spark on tv
Cruel: this one was really good. not much piano in it at all..and i was able to see where a lot of the sounds came from. she had her hand behind her back a lot where it looked like she was being handcuffed. the middle of the song was my favorite "girls on my line"..so intense. "some of you guys know this one..it never made it to a record"
Sugar: i was soo happy to hear this. i wanted to hear it with the band so badly. i was crying again. just so beautiful..impossible to describe. the "and you know and i know" part got really quiet and it was just her and the piano. gorgeous. it's funny, every time i seemed to calm down and really listen carefully and pay attention i would start to think...this is tori i'm finally here..finally..i was jut going insane.
Cornflake Girl: i think she introduced the band right before this. it was good...it was cornflake girl..heh. she did a little bit of a dance on her chair..nothing like the old cornflake girl dance though.
Little Amsterdam: i don't think i really liked this one with the band. it was very straight forward..a lot like the album version. i think i like it much better on the DDI tour..from the boots i've heard..even though it got kind of long on there. there was really no improv. "hi guys, it's just you and me now..some of you might have heard this..it's not released on any record..only on the internet"
Merman: i was so surprised to hear this. and i guess it was on the set list. it was beautiful. "go to bed, dream instead" was my favorite part. of course i started crying again during this. hehe..i must sound really lame but i just couldn't believe i was there. it was just so amazing
Marianne: wowow..as soon as i realized she was playing this i was soo happy. she did it in the sound check so i thought it might be on the set. and i'm so glad she chose this instead of happy phantom. it was perfect..absolutly perfect. i was smiling so big..and i was so happy. marianne was one of the songs i really really wanted to hear.
Jackie's Strength: beautiful. i don't really like this one on the album..but i loved it live. i loved it so much more than when she sang it on letterman. i think she was feeling a lot better. her voice didn't sound scratchy when she was talking and she hit most of the high notes.
Liquid Diamonds: now, everyone always mentions bubbles coming down on this one but i didn't see any bubbles. i liked this one a lot (but then..how many of them didn't i like?) i loved when she sang liiiiiiiiiiiquid diamonds. heh. it was so clear..and amazing.
Caught a Lite Sneeze: i didn't recognize this at first. i really couldn't hear the piano on this one at all. the band was really loud..and that was kind of distracting. i liked the entire song on the piano..but it just seems more right to have it on the harpsicord. i don't know...i liked it..i didn't love it.
The Waitress: jilla recognized this one before i did. it was soo good. i was smiling insanely on this one..with the lights and everything..and the "hang ten honey" part was so wonderful..i loved it i loved it..i was soo happy at this point.
Black Dove: beautiful. i was so happy that she played it..even though i think it would be so much better if it was first. with the blue lights..and it was dark...it was just so amazing.."not a helicopter not a cop out either" beautiful.
Raspberry Swirl: now i really don' t like swirl on the album..sometimes it doesn't really bother me but most of the time i skip it. but i think i really liked it live. it was fun. matt was wearing these little star glowing antennae on his head. it was cute. and pink and green lights were flashing everywhere. no one was really dancing..but it was fun..it was cute.
Landslide: this is where pandora's aquarium was supposed to be on the set list. but she did landslide instead. it was beautiful..i think i would have rather heard pandora but it was beautiful...i loved it so much..i was so happy..and yes, crying again.
Horses: now a lot of people say they really hated horses with the band. i didn't HATE it. i didn't love it. of course i like it more solo. i couldn't really understand what she was saying most of the time. the mirror balls were neat though. i liked the end..with the high notes...that's the only part i really loved.
it still seems like a dream. i know i left a lot of stuff out..even though this was realy really long..i'm sorry. i forget a lot of the improv stuff she did..and hand movements. i can't believe i get to do it all again
tomorrow..and i have a lot better seats for tomorrow too. i'm so happy. i'll never forget this. it was perfect..the perfect first tori show experience.
August 3, 1998 - Hi Mike. I know you already know about Springfield (merman!) but at the end, over the loudspeakers, they played a really beautiful mix of Raspberry Swirl - very stripped down and basic. I'm assuming it was the 'naked mix.' I liked it :)
Hey - I was just reading the reviews of the Springfield show. Someone mentioned that Marcel was at the soundboard, and I wanted to clarify that and say that he wasn't. He's in Europe right now. However, Mark *was* at the soundboard. He's cute.
Oh, and if Tori did Alamo at the soundcheck, she only did a single bar of it, not the whole thing, unless I missed more of the song. *sigh*
From Zachary Burnham
August 3, 1998 - Tori played Symphony Hall last evening in Springfield, Massachusetts on a picture perfect Western Massachusetts evening. The doors opened about 7:30, and according to the security guy posted near my seats (front row, about 3 seats from the extreme right hand side of the seating area) there were still about 150 seats available. However, taking into account that Springfield is something of a college town, this is not really surprising. We (me and my SO Jenn, who doesn't know I'm writing this review and will kill me for using her name :) had our seats, and were exited for the show.
The Devlins were fairly good, and the crowd was pleasantly receptive to them, responding to their jokes and music. From what I've seen on the Dent, they played their standard 40 minute set and thanked Tori and her crew profusely for 'looking after them'. However, Tori did not take the stage until about 9:20 pm, signifigantly later than the Boston show the night before. I couldn't help thinking that it must be total culture shock for Tori and crew to play a barn like the Fleet Center one night, then play something MUCH smaller like Symphony Hall the next. Eh, they're pros.
A word about the security: They had their act together. Weren't too many of them, but the ones that were there were really professional. We were concerned about people rushing the stage when the show started, and apparently so were the security guys. A number of people from the first few rows had taken up residence between the front row and the edge of the orchestra pit, and potentially were blocking people's view. I brought this to the attention of the security guy (never got his name, but he was cool) nearest my seat and he said that initially they were going to allow people in the first four rows to stand at the edge of the pit. Apparently they changed their minds, because 10 minutes before the show started they cleared EVERYONE off the edge of the pit and showed them back to their seats. To anyone who is reading this who was at the show, and was angry about not being allowed to stand: I'm sure that the people in the front row (like me) who had made a signifigant effort to get good seats as soon as they went on sale would have been very upset if they could not see. I'm sure seeing Tori from a comfortable seat 20 feet further away is no less impressive, and also much kinder to your fellow Ears.
Enough. About the show: If she was still sick, she CERTIANLY didn't show it.
Tori was in incredible form this evening. Her voice was limber and strong, and her mood seemed buoyant. She stopped sometime in the first set to introduce the band (I think after Spark) and had some fun with that, calling Jon a 'creature' and goofing on Caton a little bit. When I heard she was touring with a band, my reaction was probably diametrically opposed to the majority; I was really exited to see her with other players. And they didn't disappoint; to paraphrase Tori, these guys ARE monsters. I had seen Steve play on the BfP tour, but it seemed he was mostly there to fill a role and back Tori up. Not so this time around; there are definitely 4 very active contributing musicians on the stage. Jon is a freaking maniac on the bass; the only guy I've seen have more fun with a bass is Flea (of Red Hot Chili Peppers fame, for those of you who don't know). Matt plays drums like Animal on crack, just incredible. And Caton is, well, Caton :)
Highlights for me include:
-Precious Things: What can I say, she tore the roof off the dump. Blew me away. It was big and large and massive and all those other adjectives referring to increased size and mass. The crowd went positively apeshit.
-Cornflake Girl: I think this is a band favorite. She did a neat little piano intro for it that faked the crowd out nicely :D
-Raspberry Swirl: I was totally unprepared for the size of this tune played live. As much as CFG is a band fave, I think RS is more so. Matt put on this little headband with lightup stars on springs (you've seen them, they look like antennae.) and jumped over onto a percussion setup that can only be described as eclectic; things like 55 gallon drums and wierd screwed up cymbals and stuff. I was thinking it must be nice for him to get out from behind the set once in a while, since the whole rythym track is sequenced anyway. The crowd, again, went apeshit. I can't say I blame them at all, I was dancing in my spot as well. Really something special.
-Landslide: Tori, if you're reading this (or one of your knob-twiddler crew boys is), THANK YOU. Unbelieveable. She sent the boys away again for this one, and really did something for the song in her performance of it. I had always wanted to hear her do this one, and I had figured I would have to find a boot of it to make it happen. I'm happy I didn't have to, and now I can die happy :)
Only a couple of negative things in an otherwise excellent show: I can't get into the Caught a Lite Sneeze and Horses versions she's doing lately. But that could just be a personal preference.
Also, a plea on behalf of mostly myself, but also every Ear with Feet that goes to a show to hear and see Tori: If you have something devastatingly intelligent to shout at the top of your lungs like "I LOVE YOU TORI" or "YOU SAVED ME TORI" etc., don't. You are not the only fan there, and I'm sure that the rest of the audience did not pay to hear you. Go see Tori before the show, or write her a letter, or make her an action figure (I overheard the handoff to Joel of just such an item) or a videotape or something. I'm sure she'd appreciate that more than a shout during a quiet part of the show. Plus, shouting is rude anyway :) Fortunately, at this particular show, there were only a couple of individuals who participated in this kind of activity. Unfortunately for me, one of them was sitting two seats away. Overall, the crowd was very well behaved and polite.
I can't wait to see her again. She's coming back this way (NY state) in a few months, and hopefully she'll add dates in our neighborhood again. Suggestions: the Mullins Center on the UMass campus, a guaranteed sellout during the school year. Failing that, the Academy of Music in Northampton would be good, but she'd have to do a couple of dates :)
Yours in the front row,
August 3, 1998 - OK..just woke up..
I see you have the set list so I wont bother with that.THis was so far my favorite of the tori shows..Even though everyone one was dead in the audience. (Well not everyone)..We had 4th row center tickets..Perfect..
It was so great to hear little amsterdam-Marianne. Then when she started to say she was going to play a song that was only on the Internet, I was freaking because finally I was going to hear Merman. (and of course it did not disappoint me)..beautiful....
God was missing but thats ok..its good to let that go sometimes..now its time for cornflake girl to take a vacation.
As far as THe waitress goes...for me there are other things I would want to hear at every show but I have to say she did a great version of it here..Being close she seemed to be more laidback about this as she was singing then in the other times we have seen her. Liquid Diamonds sounded nice too. When she sang Black Dove I was really happy. Had not heard that one yet.At the beginning of the song she turned around a couple of times looking over her shoulder with this strange expression on her face..probably for the sound guy but it was like this scared look.kinda funny...
I cant wait to hear Jackies Strength at each show. When her album came out my cat Hammond died.The day after I was driving and for some reason WDST played that instead of Spark..THats when it hit me that I was not going to see Hammond anymore.I just broke down.Now when she sings this at her shows, I get this little movie in my head of Hammond doing all his things he use to do.Its so cool that this song brings on these memories. At this show as she was singing all of a sudden I could picture Hammond sitting up on her piano looking down at me.(he had this strange way of sitting). And tori did not even know that Hammond was just relaxing to toris song.Hearing this is like a healing process so its real good.
Well get a break tonight and then its off again to ct and albany..cant wait..
From Matt Page & Elyse
August 3, 1998 - Matt Page called me (Mikewhy) on the phone after the show. He said Tori continues to improve healthwise and gave a great performance. He was very excited about tonight's special set list. Tori performed "Merman" for some people who traveled from Europe to see her. The only difference from the official, written set list was the first song of the second encore. It was supposed to be "Pandora's Aquarium", but Tori performed "Landslide" instead. "Cornflake Girl" had the slow introduction. Elyse got on the phone and told me some of what Tori performed during her soundcheck:
Elyse said Tori performed Pandora's Aquarium for something like 30 minutes during the soundcheck. It is obvious this girl will be making an appearance at an upcoming concert!
August 3, 1998 - Hello,
It is 1:26am and all I can say is WOW!!! I just got back from Tori's Springfield, MA show...the best yet! I went with my friend Lori...she was wearing a Smurfs t-shirt, jeans and pigtails (in little buns) in her hair while I had on overal shorts & a pink/ peach colored half button down t-shirt & a ponytail - we both had Raspberry Swirl Girl neckalces. We got there at around 3:30 and headed straight for the meet-n-greet. I was surprised, there were already about 40-50 EWF there waiting. Finally Tori's bus showed up!! She did the whole puppet thing, it was so cute! Then she came out but didn't stay out for too long. I was way in the back but I caught a really good glimpse of her. While we were waiting around for her, we met a lot of cool, really nice EWF (John, Shari - sp?-, Nicole and the girl that was painting the blue stripes in John's hair - if any of you are out there, email me!) Anyway, we had lots of time to kill so we hunted around the town to find a place to eat. There were EWF all over town, it was cool! We walked past the back of the building and could hear soundcheck - it sounded like she was playing Pandora. We started to sit down in the grass outside there but got the big fat shaft.
Finally it was almost showtime! We bought our shirts, listened to the Devlins, etc. etc. Tori finally came on a little past 9. I didn't write down a set list but let's see what I can remember. She started with Precious Things which ROCKED - I LOVE the lighting effect here. I remember thinking to myself how I would've paid the $32 just to hear that one song. This is also when the tears started coming :-) She also played Spark & Cruel. Spark, IMHO, was better than last night. Cornflake Girl was wonderful! I had a much better view than last night - I love the part in the middle, when she's going nuts on the piano, just before "rabbit where'd you put the keys girl." She played Jackie's Strength which was beautiful, as always. Raspberry Swirl brought the house down, everyone freaked out! The lighting really adds to this song although it still baffles me how Tori can play w/ all that going on. Anyway, she played Sugar which was awesome! I was psyched for that one. During the just-Tori-&-her-piano bit, she played Merman which I'd never heard before since my computer sucks and has no sound. It is SUCH a pretty song, made me & Lori cry. Then she played Marianne which was a very nice surprise! Then she played a cover but I'm not sure of the name. Um, let's see. OH, she played Liquid Diamonds, one of my absolute FAVORITES! Oh, and Caught A Lite Sneeze was in there as well!! She ended with The Waitress. She did Black Dove (January) & Horses to begin the 2 encores.
We left right at the beginning of Horses to try and get to the barricades outside. We weren't the first ones there, however :o) There were already maybe 25 people there. There were a bunch on either side but on the side opposite me, the EWF got kicked out and they guards wouldn't let them stand there. By the time they had to leave, there were already like 40 EWF behind us so there was no way they'd get to see Tori - I felt wicked bad for them :-( Meanwhile, Lori & I were, if they were organized rows, in the 3rd row. We were SO squished but the EWF around us were cool! The security guy went through the whole no pens, no flash cameras, no pushing trip and FINALLY cool people started coming out. Caton came out and he headed straight for the bus but someone stopped him to talk and then he just started signing a bunch of autographs (including Lori's program!). Matt also came out and basically the same thing happened. Cheers ERUPTED when Tori finally came out! She stayed out for maybe like 5 minutes. It was SO awesome...Lori got her autograph (just from sticking her arm up in the air and letting Tori grab it & sign it). When Tori got close enough to me, I reached my hand up in the air with my gift to her - a bag full of margarita flavored jelly-bellies (the jelly beans) and a letter. She took if from me and I yelled really loud, "that's for you, Tori." I don't think she heard me - she studied it with her hand still up in the air and looked at it with a bit of a puzzled expression and sorta mumbled, "what's this?" and then Lori said that she giggled when she figured it out and handed it to the gift holder guy. I was SO excited!! The letter was very personal and I wanted to make absolute SURE that Tori got it and I was so excited that I actually handed it to her personally. I tried to get an auto. as well but she waved goodbye and headed on the bus before she got a chance...but I didn't mind at all! Me and Lori were SO psyched, we had a little personal moment afterwards, there were tears involved. I am still floating. Now I'm just wondering how I'm going to wake up in 5 hours. .
Sweet dreams :0)
August 3, 1998 - The following equation sums it up:
Tori + Good Shoes + Excellent Venue + MARIANNE and Black Dove = Great Show
After seeing how great Black Dove is as an opener in Frankfurt last month, I was disappointed to see that Tori has, for the most part, taken it out of the set lately. So you can understand my dismay as the lights went out and she began with Precious Things. PT is a great song, but BD is one of the strongest Tracks on the new Album. She came through in the encore with BD though. Wow! It was worth the wait.
Before the show I walked behind the Venue and heard Tori playing Marianne in sound check. I was psyched, but just because a song is played in sound check doesn't mean that it will show up in the show. It was and it was fantastic.
Cruel, Sugar and Spark were really sharp and Jackie's Strength, which is certainly not one of my favorites, was great. I look at that song now in a whole different light. Space Dog was missing, Waitress was incredible and Icicle was once again nowhere to be seen. Too bad.
The band is really good, but they all need to walk over to their volume knobs and turn them to the left. The fans want to hear Tori. Congrats to the sound engineer who did a great job of bringing the piano to the front, but it took a couple songs to do so.
One question for all the fans out there; would we really enjoy Tori's songs more if Stevie Nicks was covering them? Landslide is a beautiful song, but I would have preferred to have one more Tori original and leave the Fleetwood Mac/Stevie Nicks material to them.
Tori Amos is simply a pure and natural talent. I think that speaks for itself and she showed it again tonight. I can't wait until Tuesday in Wallingford.CT
From *Ang* the Superfan
August 3, 1998 - Okay, so Springfield was an absolutely amazing show, The last time I saw Tori was when I met her in August of '96, so it was awesome to be in the same vicinity as her again. I got to Symphony Hall at about 3:30, and she'd arrived at 3, so I missed by a silly little half hour. So I just grabbed some food and sat on the huge staircase in front of the Hall until the doors opened. WHen they did, I rushed in like a little mouse to my 2nd-row-got-'em-for-my- birthday-seats. (Thanks, Mom!) They were absolutely fantastic seats, right in the center, and all was well in the world. The Devlin's played and they really were awesome, but obviously all I could think about was the fact that that my one-and-only little nugget was going to be out onstage in mere minutes.
So, finally, it was time - the lights dimmed, Marcel took his place behind the sound board and the band walked out - Caton had rather dope sunglasses on this evening, I might add. John had a preety cool shirt on as well. So, anyways, Tori came striding out and did a huge yoga-like sun bow to the entire audience who was screming bloody murder for their favorite chick. So, she sat down and busted into Precious Things, of course. I've never heard it with this full band before, and let me tell you, it was amazing.. Different than in the past, but smashing nonetheless. She did a great Spark and Cruel, and then she introduced the next song as "one some of you may have heard, even though she's not on an album," - it was Sugar, and with the band it was stunning. It was at a level I'd never heard before - actually, Tori was at a level I'd never heard before..she was soooooooo into everything and gasping and pounding and gyrating. It was amazing, truly. After that was Cornflake, and then a great Little Amsterdam with her lighted in red. Yum. It sounded so good that I could have just gobbled it up! Then the band scooted offstage and Tori said that thw next song had never even been on the album, only on the Internet and starting to play Merman! Oh, my goodness, this was the most amazing thing I've ever heard. It had such a beaautiful lullaby-style quality to it, but still with that little twist. It was gorgeous - one of the best moments I've ever heard from her. Then she did a stunning Marianne, and her progressions onthe piano are so natural, I can't even deal with the fact that she sings and plays this at the same time. It was gorgeous.
Then came Jackie's Strength, back with the band, of course, and it sounded so rich and full and wonderful. I was melting the whole time. She just makes my heart burst! After that was Liquid Diamonds, right into CALS, which was very different than the last tour. Less clear, and more cluttered, in the perfect way. There were so many different sounds going on, it was like an ear banquet. The last song of the set was The Waitress, which was possibly the most animated I'd ever seen her. She was just totally into it, and like freaking out and pounding again. She ended it with this crazy in-and-out superbreathing that made it sound like totally unreal and also like nothing I've ever heard before. Like you all know, she just has this knack for doing this one thing that makes the whole song about ten levels above the highest you thought it could be. Amazing. She also did a lot of arm waving and pumping and reaching and knocking of the front of the Bosie. It was fab. And, she put on lip gloss at one point, but it was so fast that it almost didn't even happen ;)Alright, so then the band and Tor walked off, trying to trick up into thinking the show was over.
Okay, so 1st encore, she came in and plopped down on her bench and started to play Black Dove, which elicited such a scream from me that I think everyone almost had a coronary. I was so happy to hear this. It was like old-school Tori, but a little different, but still amazing. She played it really well (um, whatever, she played it perfectly...) and she said "By the woods" in the coolest way. I loved it. Then she played an absolutely INSANE version of Raspberry Swirl, all colored lights and happiness and jive and it was fabulous. Everyonw was like the bouncing balls on a karaoke screen, they were just bobbing in time with the ridiculous tempo she had going - it was beautiful! It was smiley and great. After that, she took off again, and came back by herself for the 2nd encore.
I was kinda nervous that she'd only play one again, but she was so obviously feeling better that I hoped beyond hope that she'd play two. Well, she came out by herself and staring to tinkle the keys, until finally, the strains of Landslide could be detected. Oh, Landslide...oh, okay musical piano goddess, why don't you just bust out some Fleetwood for us tonight, thanks! It was aaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwweeeeeeeee sooooooommmmmmmmmmeeeeee! She sounded so delicate but solid and just overall wonderful. It was a gorgeous version. So, after coming down from that, she, of course, played Horses in a way that it was like Huh? but Huh? with a smile on my face. Totally new, totally different, aand absolutely bamazing. Adored it. So, that was the end of the show. Sadness. So I rushed outside, and got maybe five rows deep into the crowd. She finally came out ofter Steve told us a million time to "get off of the walls and STOP PUSHING!" He was a tad grumpy tonight. So, she finally came out, and I took some pictures and she leaned by a ton of people and grabbed my hand and was like, "Hi! Thanks so much." and gave me this Cookie-Monster smile and stuff. She's awesome. Amzing. I can't even think of adjectives that adequately describe the woman! So, after that I got out of everyone's way and just stood back and watched. Not long afterwards, I crossed the street, and who popped out o the bus but Mr. Puppethead! Isn't that awesome?! Some girl ran over to the bus and Tori made Mr. Puppethead act all shy and stuff, and then she popped his cute little head out again and he just played for awhile, and then Tori's bus took off, and my amazing evening came to an end. It was sad, but the best night I'd had in ages. Tori has once again managed to make me feel amazing and special and just all-around wonderful and her show tonight was just perfect. That's it! Thanks!
she had on black cargo pants, the black off-the-shoulder bodysuit, a really beautiful white sequined top that was kind of like two squres of material sown together with slits up the sides, and GREAT red sequined Lucite wedges, maybe Prada? Anyways, she looked bomb, of course, and way healthier than on Monday night!
From Yael Harlap
August 3, 1998 - I can't believe no one has posted this yet. It was AMAZING!
(band came back)
This show was SO unbelievable... and the venue was pretty small too. :) :)
From Deb Desjardins
August 3, 1998 - I just returned home from my first Tori concert, and what a day this has been!
We arrived at Symphony Hall about 4:30 p.m. Unfortunately, we missed a chance to meet her as she had already gone inside. Not long after, we heard the music start inside as she did her warm-up. I just sat there on the steps thinking, "I can't believe it's actually her in there, singing!" She practiced Cornflake Girl, Pandora's Aquarium for the loooongest time, Black Dove (January), a bit of Spark, Liquid Diamonds and Marianne, and Happy Phantom.
After waiting what seemed like forever, we got inside and took our seats in the balcony. Fortunately, Symphony Hall is not huge (it probably seats several thousand), so even though we were pretty high up we had a good view of the stage. The Devlins were okay, but I just wanted to see Tori! They started at 8:00 and ended at 8:45, and Tori didn't come on until 9:30.
"Precious Things" led things off...I was really impressed with the band and the "fullness" it gave to the song. Next was "Spark," another good one, and then "Cruel." I don't like the song that much, though I know many people do love and would probably disagree with my feeling that it went on too long. After that I was happy to hear "Sugar!" I love that song and thought it was another gorgeous one with the band. "Cornflake Girl" was awesome as always, and then came "Little Amersterdam." Normally it's not one of my favorites but I thought it sounded better with the band.
The band disappeared, things got quiet, and Tori sang "Marianne." Beautiful, beautiful, I only missed the incredible string part. After that came what I think was "Merman." Tori said something about saying goodbye to some people from Europe, and that she was going to sing this song and that it wasn't anywhere yet except on the Internet. Whatever it was, I loved it, with a very sweet, lighthearted melody.
The band came back and next was "Jackie's Strength," which mildly disappointed me. It's almost like they tried to tone it down when it's meant to be a "big" song. Plus, on the chorus, there was this echo that I thought detracted from the song.
"Caught a Light Sneeze" was gorgeous, and then "The Waitress," which I have to say was to me one of the highlights of the night. It wasn't so much the song as the ending, which Tori just took further and further until she seemed to be off in another realm. It was simply incredible.
She returned for her 1st encore with Black Dove (January) and Raspberry Swirl. Both were fantastic...the lights and music with Swirl really rocked. Then she came back again and did "Landslide." It was so beautiful, the place just fell into a hush, and I think everyone was mesmerized. She finished with "Horses," which, as others have said, is barely recognizable.
Final thoughts...A great show, and I was very impressed. Tori didn't talk much. I think she's still battling that cold. I noticed on several songs she stuck to the lower octaves, such as "Cornflake Girl." Her voice also sounded somewhat raspy when she talked. Still, you could feel she put in a great effort. I was particularly impressed on several songs when she played keyboard with one hand and piano with another! The only thing I was disillusioned with was the crowd in my section. Dead. I couldn't believe some of them were so unenthused. But otherwise, it was a wonderful experience!
From Melissa Thompson
August 3, 1998 - Just a quick E-mail - the show, of course, was powerful, amazing, loud, orgasmic, and full of energy!!! Tori came out, bowed to her audience w/ outstretched arms, and bursted into Precious Things. She was wearing black pants and shirt, with a white overshirt and strappy sandals. The show started at around 9:20 and ended around 10:45 or so.
She didn't talk much in between songs, but she did introduce her "brothers."
The crowd was fairly contained - got a little wild during Raspberry Swirl (dancing and stuff) but I was surprised at how calm the crowd was.
We hung out after to catch a glimspe of her. She came out around 11:30 or so, signed a few autographs, and hopped into the bus. Everyone rushed to the other side of the street, where she treated us to a puppet show from the bus window! :) Very Cute!
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