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Toronto Sun
November 23, 2002

Added January 4, 2003

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Lucy sent me the following review of Tori's November 22, 2002 concert in Toronto, Ontario from the November 23, 2002 edition of the Toronto Sun.


Talk about your acquired tastes.

We speak, of course, about singer-songwriter-pianist Tori Amos, who arrived in Toronto Friday to play the Air Canada Centre as part of her Scarlet's Walk tour. And while there are certainly people who just don't "get" Amos' abstract lyrics and unique delivery, they were few and far between last night. The packed house of some 6,000 fans -- mostly women -- were clearly diehard fans of the redheaded chanteuse, often screaming and applauding wildly whenever she struck the opening keys to her songs. But for those who don't count themselves among Tori-worshippers' ranks, it was difficult to get in synch with the show. After a while, it became more and more difficult to distinguish one song from the next, which may be attributed to the fact that Amos doesn't really enunciate her lyrics. Oftentimes, they come out sounding less like words than keening sounds -- beautiful sounds, mind you. Amos has a superb voice, and her piano-playing skills are impeccable.

And the concert, in support of her latest, critically acclaimed concept album Scarlet's Walk, was certainly skillfully mounted and performed. Opening act Howie Day, especially, was a revelation, as he sang pieces from his fine debut effort, Australia. He took the stage alone and basically turned his excellent set into a live recording session, recording his own soaring vocals and guitar-playing right on the spot and then impressively mixing them into his performance.

Meanwhile, Amos and her longtime bandmates -- Jon Evans on base and Matt Chamberlain on drums -- performed beloved favourites and material off of their new album. Of course, the Amos faithful were most pleased when the trio launched into renditions of such staples as the rousing Cornflake Girl, a lower-tempo version of Crucify and the touching Winter and Precious Things.

Meanwhile, Scarlet's Walk songs like the haunting Wampum Prayer, which opened the concert, the radio-friendly A Sorta Fairytale and the Sept. 11-themed I Can't See New York also received enthusiastic responses.

She also delighted her fans with her trademark expressive piano-playing, writhing and posturing while seated before the keys. And while she didn't stop to chat much, the crowd laughed and cheered when one fan screamed "I love you, Tori!" and Amos responded with a playful smooching sound.

Sure, there was a lot of love going around last night -- but we figure you had to be a Tori Amos fan to really share in it.

Sun Rating: 3 out of 5

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