By: terri sapp
“Welcome to Sunny Florida” is a very special DVD, weather you are a Tori fanatic or just a fan. Tori Amos has a quality about her that is mesmerizing, so if you have never seen her bring her “babies” (the way she refers to her songs) to life at the same time give an enormous Bosendorfer such an animated voice, you should check “Welcome to Sunny Florida” out, as it is a wonderful depiction of her immense talents and love of what she does. Filmed at the final performance of Tori Amos’s “Scarlet’s Walk” tour at the Sound Advice Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach, Florida on September 4, 2003, “Welcome to Sunny Florida” was previewed for fans in Atlanta and San Francisco on May 12, 2004 (an example of Tori’s dedication to her fans) and released to the masses on May 18, 2004. Having seen her performance the night before she recorded this DVD, and several other times on her extremely long Native American inspired “Scarlet’s Walk” journey, I can honestly say that this was a tour that deserved to be memorialized.
“Welcome to Sunny Florida,” named after a sarcastic remark made when they arrived in Florida by Tori’s husband to the camera with heavy rain and a storm brewing in his background, has many special features and interviews. The focus on the fans shows how long they have been touring with Tori Amos, how many shows they have seen, and what they would most want to see her play. Another very precious moment is when the viewers catch their first glimpse of Tori’s long awaited child, Tash, during their new “Ring Around the Roses” ritual backstage before the show. Some of the special features that happen throughout the feature presentation include interviews with Tori Amos, drummer Matt Chamberlain, and bassist Jon Evans.
The set list from this sentimental performance kicked off with the “Wampum Prayer” into “A Sorta Fairytale” from Scarlet’s Walk. As usual, Tori threw in some old favorites throughout the show, like “Sugar” from To Venus and Back, “Crucify” from Little Earthquakes (the song that brought me together with Tori in 1992) with a cool breakdown from “the human loop” Matt Chamberlain, “Cornflake Girl” and “Bells for Her” both from Under the Pink, and “Concertina” from To Venus and Back. “Concertina” is always a cool one to watch, because Tori plays the Bosendorfer, Rhodes, and Wurlitzer. On to a few crowd favorites, “Take to the Sky” of “Winter” EP fame, “Leather” from Little Earthquakes, and “Cloud on my Tongue” and “Cooling” both off of To Venus and Back. My ears always perk for the next newer song, “Your Cloud” my favorite from Scarlet’s Walk. From Boys for Pele, “Father Lucifer,” and “Professional Widow” come next, followed by a very touching “I Can’t See New York” from Scarlet’s Walk, and ending her show with Little Earthquakes’ “Precious Things.” The encore began with one off of the Bonus CD from “Welcome to Sunny Florida,” “Tombigbee,” only to be wrapped up by “Amber Waves” from Scarlet’s Walk, and “Hey Jupiter” from Boys for Pele. There are even vignettes during the credits!
More special features, not shown during the feature presentation, include full-length interviews, a Tour Yearbook featuring “Pass the Mission,” and a Bonus CD of “B-side” recordings that did not make it to “Scarlet’s Walk” as released on CD in 2002. The songs that will be heard on the Bonus CD are “Ruby Through the Looking Glass,” “Seaside,” “Bug in a Martini,” “Apollo’s Frock,” “Tombigbee,” and “Indian Summer.”
From her impeccable voice, to her amazing piano skills, to her funky dance moves and hand gestures, to her strangely beautiful sense of style, Tori Amos’s performances have always left me hypnotized and emotionally fulfilled. “Welcome to Sunny Florida” easily lives up to the standards I have come to expect from such a well-honed entertainer. For more information on Tori Amos or “Welcome to Sunny Florida,” visit www.toriamos.com. There are also lots of Tori Amos related information, updates, and her favorite affiliations on www.thedent.com.