Sunday, November 18, 2007

New York Round Up Part The Second: Tori Amos (1)

I have mentioned on here before how I was not a big fan of the new album, how I found the concept a little tiresome and as for the tour, well, I didn't really care for the set lists and wasn't bothered I was missing her London dates. Well, having seen her New York dates, let me state for the record how wrong I was. The concerts were off the chart amazing, the best I have ever seen her (and that includes the 2005 concert with the gospel choir which I thought would never be beaten).

Concert #1

Act I – Pip

* Cruel
* Bliss
* Fat Slut
* Smokey Joe
* Teenage Hustling
* The Waitress


* Professional Widow

Act II – Tori

* Big Wheel
* Crucify
* Pancake
* Cornflake Girl
* Bells For Her
* Siren

T & Bö

* Silent All These Years
* Cool On Your Island
* Cooling [complete with brambles]

Band Returns

* Digital Ghost
* Hotel
* Code Red

First Encore

* Precious Things
* Bouncing Off Clouds

Second Encore

* Hey Jupiter

Before I talk about the concert itself, I want to take a moment to vent about MSG. There was a basketball game on in the main arena and so getting into the venue was a freaking nightmare. There were metal detectors up all the way across the main entrance and it took me a fair while to get through as I picked the line with the jobsworth dullard who was letting one person through at a time, ensuring they had cleared the exit before letting the next person through. Sigh. Then I go and line up to pick up my tickets. After a long time, I get to the front whereupon I am told I'm at the wrong window and I have to go do it all over again. You can imagine how that pleased me. Luckily, the nice man at the window allowed me to collect my ticket for the following night at the same time or I would have pitched a fit.

So, the concert itself. It was nowhere near sold out, whole sections at the back were empty which was a real surprise to me. I know this album hasn't been flying off the shelves or anything, but still. So the show starts and Tori comes out dressed as Pip. In my earlier blog about the tour, I mentioned how disappointed I was she had reverted to the 1998 versions of "Cruel" and "The Waitress". Well, I take half of that back too. She opened the set with "Cruel", performing it as if she were the bastard offspring of Cat Power and Steve Tyler. It was pretty fucking amazing. The rest of the set as Pip was equally as astounding, insanely high energy and hard edged, covering two of the better songs from American Doll Posse ("Teenage Hustling", which was tremendous and "Smokey Joe" which was fantastically eerie), as well as one of my favourite songs from To Venus And Back ("Bliss"). Unfortunately, I still hate the overlong version of "The Waitress", but you can't have everything.

So Pip goes away and after a brief interlude of the hateful remix of "Professional Widow", Tori comes on and launches into "Big Wheel" which is much much much MUCH better live than on the album. There is not, in fact, a low point to the rest of the evening (unless you count the woman singing so far off key she's practically back in tune again, who was sat right behind me). There isn't much talking to the audience, but so what? During the solo section, I just about lost my shit. Why? Glance up at the set list and look at what it says next to "Cooling". Probably my most favourite of her songs and my most favourite of her lyrics. It's the name of this blog, it's engraved on my iPod, it's the welcome message when I turn my mobile phone on. Until this tour, the bridge that contains said lyric has always been skipped when it's performed live. But not anymore and hearing it sung live made me a very happy gay boy indeed.

I was so fucking happy to have a ticket for the next night when this gig was over. If I hadn't, I would have bought one immediately. It was really that good. Unfortunately, continuing the theme that my camera flash sucks ass, here's the pic I took:

So I figured I would steal someone else's. Here, see, much better

And here she is, as Pip, performing "Teenage Hustling". Not the best quality, but you get the idea.

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