Marathon Life

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Front Row Center Tori Amos

I don't even know where to begin. I saw Tori Amos perform at LA's Greek Theatre last night and it was one of the best shows I have ever attended. Getting upgraded to FRONT ROW CENTER certainly didn't hurt! The photo on the left is one I took in 2005 when I had a photo press pass (was a journalist at the time). Last night my phone went dead so I have no pics unfortunately.

I've been a fan since 1995 and saw Tori for the first time live during her Dew Drop Inn tour of 1996. I recall the day, it was during finals week. I was a sophomore at UMass Dartmouth. I had a Portuguese final the next morning at 8AM but I didn't care. I drove up with a friend from southeastern Mass all the way to UNH in Durham, NH. Those were certainly the times. How innocent and young I was, barely 20 and so naive.

Last night's show was packed with songs from the 1990s. There were 22 songs in all, performed in just over 2 hours. Tori is like an elite marathon runner of musical performance. She played the classics the entire night with sustained energy. We were transported to the mid-90s watching this show. Flashback central. There was "Graveyard" that went straight into "Cornflake Girl". There was and updated arrangement of "Bells for Her" using both the piano and her synthesizers. She did and aggressive version of "Sugar" with full band and my all-time favorite song "Precious Things" from her first album Little Earthquakes. This is a staple for most of her tours. Every since she incorporated a full band for this song I have fallen in love with it even more than her studio version. So powerful.

A rare song called "Siren" came out of the bag last night. It's one of my all-time favorite non-album tracks. Tori wrote it for the Great Expectations soundtrack (film from 1997 starring Gweneth Paltrow and Ethan Hawke). This song is so chaotic and I love how fast Tori plays it on keys. She was jumping up and down while throwing her hair around like a crazy bitch - classic Tori. I loved it! Check out the entire set list at Undented.

My favorite part of the night was early on when she did "Icicle". Tori incorporated the band into it and the middle section exploded in rage when she sang "I could have, I should have...". "Icicle" is one of my all-time favorites. It brings back the rage I felt while in my early 20s. I had so much drama pent up inside. I would listen to this in my dorm room and just let go. I listened to it a lot during the later part of my college years (1996-1998).

Another highlight for me was the new arrangement of "China". It was just superb. The drums and bass were a nice addition to its delicate and emotional core. "China" always reminds me of not being able to see people who live very far away. "China/All the way to New York/I can feel the distance." It reminds me of my long-distance relationship of almost 2 years with J**.

Tori only played 6 songs from her new album Abnormally Attracted to Sin. My favorite was "Curtain Call", a more paino-based uptempo song, so fitting for LA since it deals with being in the entertainment industry for so long. I did enjoy the interlude when she explained her song "Mary Jane" to us. The song, performed solo on the piano, is about a 15-year old boy asking his mom for permission to bring "Mary Jane" over for the weekend. Little did she know that he was referring to the smoked substance, not a female. She then did "Jackie's Strength" solo at the piano as well. I love that track from From the Choirgirl Hotel.

This was probably my 25th or 30th Tori show. I have to go back and count all my ticket stubs. I will always be a fan and attend as many shows as I can.

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posted by Anthony at 10:07 AM


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