Last night was my first trip to the Royal Albert Hall and despite having a giant pillar right to the right hand side of me, the venue was absolutely beautiful – a perfect setting for Tori Amos and the Apollon Musacete Quartet to cause an absolute riot on stage.
From the opener “Shattering Sea” we were treated to some of the most sumptuous versions of Tori’s catalogue to date. As with the last tour, things have suddenly tightened up onto an on rails approach but this time it’s amplified because the quartet are providing a stunning backdrop. “Shattering Sea” along with “Precious Things” were the two big screamers amongst what was a relatively ballad heavy set list although with it just being strings and piano that was to be expected. Other surprises were fantastically dark renditions of “Suede” and “Cruel” where the quartet turned the strings to percussive plucks to provide some excellent backing. As a personal highlight I got a simmering version of “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, a unique version of “Hey Jupiter” and one of my very favourites “Siren”. I say unique for “Hey Jupiter” as sadly during “Way Down” the previous track Tori’s piano suddenly became very distorted through the speakers making that song sound like it was coming through a dodgy bootleg. The problem persisted into Jupiter and so they turned the piano off to sort the problem so the first part was just the strings and vocals!
Another snippet I’d like to mention was that “Star Whisperer” in its full glory live was sensational.
All in all, despite the random technical problem, I was blown away. I always have been entranced with her live and she continues to do so even when she isn’t grabbing her crotch, screaming at high volume and straddling benches.