Tori Amos concert last night – second in two weeks at the same theater. It was interesting to compare the differences in the two shows. Security, for instance: at the Counting Crows show, security consisted of shining a flashlight into people’s purses and bags as they walked in. At the Tori show, everyone also had to walk through metal detectors. (As Katie pointed out, Adam Duritz probably hasn’t had problems with stalkers.) Another change was that the Tori concert had video screens to zoom in. The most interesting difference was that last week’s not-quite-a-mosh-pit up front was filled with rows of seats.
It was a very good concert, even if the sound balance made it hard to understand the already difficult-to-hear lyrics (although this has been true of just about every concert I’ve ever attended, with the exception of Weird Al at the Greek Theater). She was set up in the center stage with a grand piano on one side and an organ on the other, close enough that she could just sit on one bench and turn around to switch quickly – something she did on several songs. On a few of them, she actually would play the organ and piano simultaneously, one hand on each! Behind her and to each side were her guitarist and drummer.
She had a good mix of songs from different albums. About 7 or 8 from the latest, Scarlet’s Walk, 4 from Little Earthquakes, three each From the Choirgirl Hotel and To Venus and Back, three off of her singles, and one each from Under the Pink and Boys for Pele.
While she focused more on more rock-like songs that made use of the guitar and drums, she also did piano-only set including a fantastic rendition of “China” and silly stuff like “Toodles Mr. Jim.”
Tori has to be the most acrobatic piano player I’ve seen. In addition to the rapid switching and occasional simultaneous playing between the piano and organ, she has a tendency to play on her feet, sometimes looking like she wouldn’t need the bench. One thing I found distracting at first was her tendency to look out at the audience between lines, until I realized it was so that people on the other side of the audience could see her face.
The only downside to the concert is that it reminded me how few times I’ve listened to Scarlet’s Walk. I awaited it eagerly for months, but in the 6 weeks or so since I got it I think I’ve only listened to it all the way through three times (although I’ve heard a number of the songs on iPod rotation). While I was able to recognize most of the older songs from the intros, there were some of the newer ones that took me until the chorus to identify.
I’ll have to change that.