tori amos – nyc – 8.13.09

Tori Amos @ Radio City

Tori Amos @ Radio City

I was excited to see Tori perform not only because this show was on my home turf but also because I’d never been to Radio City. I’d far rather be at Radio City for her concert than to oh say see the Rockettes (yeah, no – never quite had the desire there). My sister and I grabbed a bite beforehand at Pret-A-Manger. Note: lots of the casual restaurants around Rockefeller Center close around 6ish… Next time I’ll plan accordingly.

Again I missed out on One Eskimo, in part because of dinner but mainly because of the GapBornToFit party Karyn hosted (more on that shortly in s separate post). She went on 9ish again and came out wearing a very different outfit than the other two shows. Thus one had fringed sleeves, an obvious nod to her Native American heritage.

Give ~ Body and Soul ~ Cornflake Girl ~ Icicle ~ Space Dog ~ Flavor ~ Concertina ~ Jamaica Inn ~ Marys Of The Sea ~ Bells For Her ~ {Lizard Lounge} ~ Smells Like Teen Spirit ~ Winter ~ {Band Returns} ~ Lady In Blue ~ Little Earthquakes ~ Talula ~ Precious Things ~ Strong Black Vine ~ {Encore} ~ Raspberry Swirl ~ Caught A Lite Sneeze ~ Big Wheel

Best shot I was able to snag. Note the girl on the right, who was up dancing like she would be for Lynyrd Skynyrd. So out of place!

Best shot I was able to snag. Note the girl on the right, who was up dancing like she would be for Lynyrd Skynyrd. So out of place!

Overall the show was good. I wasn’t as close as I had been at prior shows (ehem, spoiled me, yup) so I wasn’t able to take as many great photos as I was at other shows. Tori’s pianos were set up further back on the stage than at other shows, which didn’t help the situation. The crowd was interesting too. There was a very loud drunk man behind us and I was seated next to a guy who was clearly a drummer based on the way he was loudly tapping his foot throughout the show and playing faux air drums. He looked like John Popper of Blues Traveler with a funny straw hat. At least he didn’t sing though! The worst though was this drunk girl sitting right up front by the stage. She was standing up and trying to dance all seductively against the stage – and it didn’t matter which song it was. She was way too close to the stage to be that kind of Tori fan.

What I did like though were the songs. So many I hadn’t heard yet that I wanted to. I really wanted to hear Concertina. It was still good, but I have to say the slower version brought out for this tour was just a tad too slow. It lacked the drive of the original I love so much. She didn’t really tell many stories at the other shows I’ve been to on the tour, so I was excited when she launched into one at the beginning of Lizard Lounge. She started talking about how she’d had three cupcakes from Cupcake Corral in New Jersey (implying blame the cupcake) and was talking about playing covers and how that everyone was playing them when she was getting her start when her daddy would go with her to the club she played at in DC (presumably Mr. Smith’s in Georgetown). She then did a little snippet from New York, New York before rounding out her story and going into Smells Like Teen Spirit – shocking! I hadn’t heard that one live since September 2003 in Orlando. I remember that performance in 2003 having more of a hauting quality. This one wasn’t quite as chilly, similar to the happier feel a lot of her songs have taken this tour, but was a great one to pull out for Lizard Lounge.

I was pleasantly surprised by Lady in Blue live. I absolutely can’t stand it on the album. It drones on and on (and onnnnn) but live it definitely took on a new energy and I love the way it builds at the end. Very old fashioned jazzy on the first portion.

I’d been dying to hear Talula. She began with a generic intro of sorts and I couldn’t place where she was going. I turned to my sister to say “I really want her to play Talula at some point” and bam! There it was. The intro was subtle and soft. She skipped the “he’s chasing tornados” part. It was also a subdued version, but somehow this one didn’t bother me. And after several shows of basically the same encores, it was such a nice surprise to hear Caught a Lite Sneeze. That one never gets old!

I thought the set list overall was great. My complaint was really with the venue staff. People rushed the stage early, moving down during Precious Things rather than Strong Black Vine. Fine. They let everyone stay in place no problem, until Raspberry Swirl came around at encore time. The venue had an odd set-up, going straight across in the center and then jutting out diagonally to each side on the lip of the stage. That paired with a weird metal corral of sorts after about the 7-8th row made it hard to get up close. As a result, some people began to actually sit on the portion of the stage that protruded. Not a good idea. Soon the workers were all up in the crowd but rather than pulling people back to their seats from the back, they instead started with us in the front. Bad idea. It was mass pandemonium and basically ruined Raspberry Swirl, which was actually one of the better versions I’ve seen live thus far this tour. Here’s to hopin for better workers (and set-up) in NJ!

For some great close-ups from the NYC show, stop by The Monitor. From our seats, even though they weren’t bad, you sure couldn’t make out it was a black and white checked dress!

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