After the orchestral plumes of her last tour, I was ready for just Tori Amos and nothing else and was delighted that was exactly what I got.
The main set saw Tori flit between the Piano and the keyboard with a Hammond Organ coming out for an intriguing version of Iieee and then being quickly shuffled off again. Amos’ voice has really improved over the last two tours and she seemed to be hitting high notes again without having to test the water first. She felt stronger and happy to be there, calling us all friends.
The performance itself gave me many highlights including the beautiful reworking of Parasol which continues to surprise me, the slower Taxi Ride which exploded into a powerful final chorus and Pancake which saw an insert of Neil Young’s “Ohio” in the middle. The utter highlight though was the immensely powerful Take to the Sky with the Datura bridge inserted into the middle. She spanked the piano, we clapped along and then she pulled into another gear from nowhere and absolutely belted the Datura section. It flowed and I was genuinely elevated by it. Favourites Hey Jupiter, Sugar and Rattlesnakes where also good.
There was one single downside and that was Cornflake Girl. Out bounced a backing track with all the backing vocals and so on still attached and Tori was drowned out. I could bearly hear her or her piano playing. It didn’t really work for me, yet I could hear others saying they enjoyed it as we left. Each to their own!
However, that grumble aside, it was a stellar concert, slightly shorter it felt than usual, and I was enthralled even if most of the other set lists she’s done this year had more of my favourite tracks on. There is simply no one else whom captivates a live performance like Tori Amos and long may that last. Sublime.