Sunday, November 18, 2007

New York Round Up Part The Third: Tori Amos (2)

Concert #2

Act I – Santa

* Body and Soul
* My Posse Can Do
* Sugar
* Dragon
* Secret Spell
* You Can Bring Your Dog


* Professional Widow

Act II – Tori

* Big Wheel
* Space Dog
* A Sorta Fairytale
* Cornflake Girl
* Doughnut Song
* Spring Haze

T & Bö

* Winter
* Carbon
* Baker Baker

Band Returns

* Almost Rosey
* Spark
* Code Red

First Encore

* Precious Things

Second Encore

* Bouncing Off Clouds
* Hey Jupiter

So the second night is still not sold out but it's less empty than last night. I wonder how much word of mouth about the previous night has to thank for a last minute surge in ticket sales. So anyway, if I am going to go see Tori, I will always book every night she's playing near me (in 2003, I saw the Scarlet's Walk Tour five times, twice in London, three times in NYC) as the set list is never the same from night to night. The most recent tours have been probably the most structured in terms of set lists, with opening and closing songs always being the same (in the case of this tour, that only really counts from the Tori section) but with this tour, she is really using the whole doll concept to really explore her music and performance from a fresh perspective. The early dates of the tour, each doll would only play songs from the new album, but as it's progressed, they have each been assigned songs from the back catalogue. It seems she waited to get to the US before really kicking things up a notch or twelve. This could be because the majority of the US leg is being recorded for download, but it could be because finally everything has fallen into place. Later dates after the NY gigs have seen her debut rarities such as "Peeping Tommi", "Mountain" and "Not David Bowie" as well as doing crazy shit like performing "Me & A Gun" with the band.

Anyway, back to night two of the MSG concerts. A later start time and a strict curfew at the WaMu Theatre caused a slight upset with the encore, but apart from that, the second night was every bit as astounding as the first. Seeing her perform as Santa and bring an entirely different energy to the opening part of the show made me completely eat my words about how naff I find the concept. One thing I don't understand though is with an album that has some filler songs smattered throughout the standout tracks, why it's the filler that's being so regularly performed while the standout tracks are rarely if ever seeing the light of day. "Velvet Revolution", "Girl Disappearing", "Father's Son", "Roosterspur Bridge", "Dark Side Of The Sun" have either been rarely or not played at all on the tour, while "You Can Bring Your Dog" and "Almost Rosey" are played all the damn time. And why "Posse Bonus" and "Programmable Soda" even made it on to the album but the brilliant "My Posse Can Do" is a bonus track on the DVD is truly beyond me.

This second show was a quieter and more emotional affair than the first night. Presumably this was due to Tori's parents being in the audience. Certainly it's why she played an absolutely killer version of "Winter" during the solo section. The absolute highlight for me would have to be "Spark". I love the song so much and From The Choirgirl Hotel is probably my favourite of her albums but I have never been lucky enough to hear the song performed live. Until tonight and it did not disappoint me at all.

The truncated encore was annoying ("Taxi Ride", another favourite, was supposed to be performed after "Precious Things" but was cut) but other than that I have no complaints and I have to say that having heard some of it performed live, I am now a much bigger fan of American Doll Posse than I was beforehand. I cannot wait until the bootleg downloads become available for places outside North America and Canada. Why? Well here's a terrible quality version of the absolutely storming version of "Bouncing Off Clouds". That's why.

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