tori amos – red bank, nj – 8.14.09

When I heard Tori added a show in Red Bank, I originally resisted the urge to go. I would have just seen her the night before at Radio City and I’m not exactly known to love exploring into New Jersey. Besides, I didn’t even know where the heck Red Bank was. It was probably something you’d need a car for, so I didn’t even look into it. After I went to the two shows in Florida, I was kicking myself wishing I had opted in for the extra show. I frantically looked online but the venue was bringing up balcony seats. Meh. I posted a request over on AtForumz hoping to find something better, and lo and behold something on row L came up. I looked online and sure enough, you can easily take NJ Transit out to Red Bank, so I was bound again to NJ.

The trip was a little under 2 hours going out and was going to be about 2 hours 15 minutes coming back. I’d looked up restaurant reviews and it looked like there were primarily a bunch of mediocre Mexican restaurants along with a Melting Pot (tasty, but not a solo spot). I ended up at Racioppi’s Kitchen. I’ll have to save that for a separate review but I was extremely impressed and loved feeling at home while traveling solo.

The town was super cute. Small and quaint. It was a short walk up the street from the NJ Transit station to the venue, the Count Basie Theatre. It was so small in fact that I bumped into Matt Chamberlain twice on Monmouth Street and saw Jon Evans pull his luggage out across the street at one point (I was sitting on a bench in front of the friendly local psychic’s office). I can’t say enough great things about the venue. It was easily smaller than the auditorium at my high school and I was right up close with my seats. Very pleased. The venue had also prepared and printed an extensive bio of Tori, which I thought was a nice touch.

Give ~ Beauty Of Speed ~ Cornflake Girl ~ Horses ~ Glory Of The 80s ~ Pandora’s Aquarium ~ Siren ~ Tear In Your Hand ~ Hotel ~ Doughnut Song ~ Lizard Lounge ~ Taxi Ride ~ Boys In The Trees ~ Josephine ~
Band Returns ~ Not Dying Today ~ Bliss ~ Fast Horse ~ Precious Things ~ Strong Black Vine ~ Encore ~ Big Wheel ~ Take To The Sky

She didn’t talk too much throughout the show, but she did mention talking to her mom before, as her mom had apparently seen her perform there the last time she as there. Her mom remembered it being in 1994, and Tori said it was actually 1992. Her mom remembered the long red carpet and she said “you tell the folks in Red Bank that Grandma Mary is there with them in spirit!”.  She asked how many people had been at the Radio City show, which brought out a loud cheer from the crowd, and she gave her thanks. She said something along the lines of “nothing like following up a show at Radio City with one in Red Bank, New Jersey!”.

There were so many treats at this show. Horses is always emotional. I was excited to see Beauty of Speed and Glory of the 80s. She was having a lot of fun gesturing through Glory of the 80s. I’d forgotten just how good that one is live.

Before Taxi Ride, she made a cute reference to her choice of clothing for the evening. She asked what she looked like, and most of the people said “a bee”, which I thought she could be going to do Sweet the Sting or even Honey, but she responded back what else could she be, and everyone responded back cab or taxi, and then she went into Taxi Ride. She began with a long intro in referencing Giant’s Disease, which I learned Kevyn Aucoin had. I love this song, but it was so much better solo. Very haunting, yet had a driving rhythm throughout. I so hope this show was taped…

All of Lizard Lounge was the highlight for me. Finally I got to see her do Carly Simon’s Boys in the Trees. I just pulled up the lyrics. Very appropriate selection for the tour…

I’m home again in my old narrow bed
Where I grew tall and my feet hung over the end
The low beam room with the window looking out
On the soft summer garden
Where the boys grew in the trees

Here I grew guilty
And no one was at fault
Frightened by the power in every innocent thought
And the silent understanding passing down
From daughter to daughter
Let the boys grow in the trees

Do you go to them or do you let them come to you
Do you stand in back afraid that you’ll intrude
Deny yourself and hope someone will see
And live like a flower
While the boys grow in the trees

Last night I slept in sheets the colour of fire
Tonight I lie alone again and curse my own desire
Sentenced first to burn and then to freeze
And watch by the window
Where the boys grew in the trees

And ending Lizard Lounge with Josephine solo was perfect. I was worried there would be issues when it came time to rush the stage, seeing as there was a four year old seated at the end of my aisle, but the mother was nice in stepping aside and letting me by. The crowd rushed early at Precious Things instead. I don’t think the venue was prepared again, and tried to get people to go back. We backed off a bit, but didn’t return to our seats. When Strong Black Vine finished, the full rush took place, and the security was stuck in the front of the crowd. There seemed to be an altercation up at the front (exactly where I would have been if I hadn’t been polite and backed off a bit during Precious). Around then, Tori’s loop for the intro to Raspberry Swirl went off and she then came out and instead did Big Wheel. I’m curious if that was an intentional switch. Couldn’t tell.

Overall, I would say this show is probably the best I’ve ever seen. What an unexpected mix and it seemed like she was having so much fun and was giving as much as possible to reward her fans. And the bumble bee/taxi dress? Definitely the cutest I’ve seen of the tour. And overall definitely worth the hike to New Jersey and being tired afterwards. More than worth it.

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