Tori Amos - 11/27/02 & 11/28/02 @ the Chicago Theatre

I can call this review…My Thanksgiving with Tori Amos…cause it was just that. Starting with her Wednesday night show @ the Chicago Theatre and taking a day off to “not be with her family” and then doing a meet and great @ Borders on Michigan Ave. (where I literally "hung" with her for 4 hours) and then seeing her show once again @ the same venue.

Here are the details: Tori was back this year with a new album, “Scarlet’s Walk”…a total grows on you album, which is good…the bad…is her band. Similar to Ani DiFranco…many fans weren’t much of a fan when Tori went “Choirgirl...” and added many beats and guitars…yet later she went on to “Strange Little Girls” and this new album has that mellowed out feel I’m not to found of.

The Tori sound gets lost in the bands 2 members…simply a drummer, Matt Chamberland (also know with works with Fiona Apple and others) and a bass guitarist who’s trying to act like a guitar player. Tori lost her guitarist in 99’ after “To Venus and Back.”

The show started with her first single to the new album, “sorta fairytale” and into “Little earthquakes’” “precious things.” The show overall was heavy on those two albums, “crucify,” (which was butchered do to the band) & “amber waves.” Other tracks played were “spring haze,” “cornflake girl,” (with no guitarist this song isn't the same) “jackie’s strength,” “black dove,” and then playing a b-side from the “winter” single, “take to the sky,” and even hitting into her soundtrack hit from the Mission Impossible 2 sndtrk “carnival” that was during her Roadside Café which was several songs all done solo.

The opener was Howie Day…who’s debut album “Australia” was a very impressive piece of work for the singer/song writer. In the album he works with a band…but live…he wins for best opening live act! Using petals to pick up every note he plays and adding some beats by simply hitting his guitar made it all sound like a full band was on stage.

Tori day # 2 was a day I got to feel what it was like to be in her shoes…waking up early, dealing with the 250 fans allowed in to see her was tiring just watching them…so I could image she was beat talking to everyone single one as if they were old time friends…and to almost any person there, they ALL considered Tori a friend for the past ten years. ME on the other hand...I got tot see Tori as a person...a regualr on the street person. Seeing her show that night was WAY different than seeing it Wednesday...she didn't loose that image I had of her, but I oddly saw her as a women who is down to everyone's level and need not be a pedicle

Friday night’s show was a better-set list…some repeats, like the opening song, yet some rarities even diving into her 80’s days of “Y Kant Tori Read” by playing “ATN” during her 2nd encore.

Other songs performed where “little earthquakes,” “space dog,” “winter,” (solo) “cooling,” (a ONLY played live track that debuted on to Venus & Back's live cd) “taxi ride,” “girl,” “horses,” “can’t find NY,” “pancake,” “sugar,” “spring time of her voodoo,” and ending the night (each night she palyed 2 hours by the way) with “playboy momma.” Several songs were requested during the in-store and all where played.

Tori knows she has a lot of people around her…listening, watching, living her. There seems to be a lot of pressure for a woman who already has been through so much and is now trying to keep on top of things.

It’s her time now to take yet another break and spend time with the family and work on some work that will make ears bleed. With some small chat with her @ the in-store, she is currently working on a musical of sorts.

Tori has one of the largest followings I know next to the Dave Matthews Band…she puts out great work and does pretty good shows. She never was a cornflake girl…but maybe she’ll continue to take that taxi ride and continuously give us a fairytale.

--Todd, Chicago -

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