Concert Sutra Attracts to Tori Amos’ Sin
by terri sapp
Photographs by Leah Yetter and terri sapp
© Concert Sutra, All Rights Reserved
Tori Amos is another of those Concert Sutra favorites that we always try to see whenever we can! Until this tour at ChastainParkon July 27, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia, we had found that photo passes were nearly impossible to obtain for our girl Leah to be able to shoot photos with her major equipment of the lady! Somehow at the last minute, and with the help on my fancy new iPhone, we were able to procure ourselves access with Leah’s photo equipment for only the first song! Now, that is not much time, but we will take it!!! The photographers were also asked to position themselves back by the sound board (where Tori’s husband was running sound again), which was even behind where we were sitting. Thank goodness for Leah’s awesome huge telephoto lens! We had Ginger with us, who was a Tori show virgin, so we felt that was a good omen for us. To view Leah’s photos (and a few from my little Canon Elph), please either visit this link to our photo gallery: http://www.concertsutra.com/090727cstoriamos/ or click any of the photos within the story that are linked directly to the gallery.
Tori opened up with “Give” from the current touring album, Abnormally Attracted to Sin, which is a dark sounding song with an awesome vocal part. It is hard to think of a Tori Amos joint without an awesome vocal track. One of the things I like the most about Amos, evident in “Give,” is that as many songs as she has released, they all have their own personality and charm. Tori, like most artists, has her own sound, but I never find myself thinking the songs all sound the same. I know I am not alone when I say that Tori was on fire at this show. As always, Matt Chamberlain (drums) and Jon Evans (bass) rattled the Chastain Amphitheatre with their musical magic.
“Siren” from the Great Expectations soundtrack was written specifically for the movie, and played for us at Chastain. What a special treat! From Under the Pink, and an old favorite, “Cornflake Girl” is always welcomed by my ears. It never gets old. Like many of her classics, she always seems to give them a different spin live. I realized when writing this piece that I have actually attended every tour Tori has come around with since her third! My first show was her first tour with the band, and I have loved seeing them ever since! I can’t imagine not seeing one of Concert Sutra’s favorite drummers, Matt Chamberlain at least every couple of years. There have been tours when she left them at home, but having the boys adds so much depth to her always deep songs. I have also noticed a pattern in many of these tours of running into the same familiar faces… Kendra Triesenberg, Rhett Thomas, and Caitlin Glennon (not necessarily together) being the regulars. Another from Under the Pink, but slowing it down a bit, “Icicle” was so pretty. “I think the good book is missing some pages.” Gotta love her lyrics!
Venus: Orbiting (disc from To Venus and Back) produced many that you might hear at a Tori concert, “Concertina” being one of them. I am not sure what happened during this time, but something got Tori all hot and bothered, because she was very flirtatious and on FIRE in HOTlanta! Proof positive of her frame of mind this night was the improvisation that came directly behind “Concertina,” that preceded old fav “Little Amsterdam!” The lyrics of this improv, now known as “She Touches Herself” to the best of my understanding are as follows “Oooooo, let’s move puddin…let’s move down south for a while…a little town…a little town…she wore her favorite sun dress…yes she did…yes she did…did she pay for it? Cause sometimes man…wants what he should not have…I said girls sometimes man wants what what he should not have…and sometimes when I want it…wants what she should not have…well she just touches herself…she just touches herself…with thoughts of him…that’s the way we do it, boys…no, don’t put my dirty hands on the wolf man…I just think of him myself…I am my own wolf man myself…I don’t believe in pale man…I got myself a 9 fuckin foot sex…lord…why yeah, boys give it to me”…(crowd erupts) and then right into Little Amsterdam… First with only her Hammond, then adding the band. Boys for Pele could easily be named Tori’s “angry” album, but I absolutely love the beautiful imagery and musical messages. I never shun away from hearing anything from Pele at Tori’s shows! “LittleAmsterdam” is always welcome to the set list in my opinion! “I’m just comin’ out of the cell in my brain…but momma it wasn’t my bullet…”
And then, here come the clouds!! From such an interesting and fun album, American Doll Posse, “Bouncing Off Clouds” was first in the cloud motif. I love the way Tori (Clyde) sings this song with her unusual pronunciation of words. With the beat, you could be “Bouncing off clouds…we were…” A very danceable tune. Ever since Scarlet’s Walk, I get super excited to hear “Your Cloud,” which continued the cloud theme she had going on. Leah and I were outside of the venue during the sound check, and heard her practicing these two. Her music can sometimes bring tears to my eyes with only a melody!! This is one of those instances (and “Northern Lad” and “1000 Oceans” among many others!). The live version of this song is different for sure, because she is unable to sing with herself, but it is just as beautiful! Many in the crowd were vocally happy to hear “Curtain Call” from the newest album Abnormally Attracted to Sin. I even heard a fella going nuts with “Yeah!” and “WOOOOO” periodically the entire song! Unusual, but AWESOME! I actually had a revelation during “Curtain Call” that will forever help in the world of Concert Sutra. Thanks, Tori!
Next is a portion of the show that folks who are familiar with Tori’s shows always look forward to…The Lizard Lounge is when she sends the band out, and does a couple or few songs by herself old school style! “Sister Janet,” B-Side from “God” and “Cornflake Girl” during the Under The Pink era was the first song. The highlight of the night for many of us in the crowd (especially those of us close to the front) was when Tori interrupted the song that doesn’t get played a whole lot live to bust up some commotion happening down front…”What the fuck’s going on? (crowd goes wild!)” This was perfect, because I had told Ginger (our newest Tori show virgin, here for the first time) that Tori would not hesitate to call someone out who might be disrupting her performance and the enjoyment of others! Then, into a cute little extended improvisation (lyrics to the best of my understanding to follow)… “You gotta calm a right down! It’s hot as hell…I didn’t come to this toooown to see you fighting amongst yourselves! You gotta calm a right down. You can’t fight amongst yourselves. You gotta calm it down. If you don’t wanna be here, go give a blow job right back there! Knock yourself out! Don’t hold these people hostage to your nasty stuff! You gotta calm a right down. It’s cool to be who you wanna be where you wanna be, but not in my face, cause I’ll eat you up! You gotta calm it right down. Cause there’s some conflict going on. I’m just sayin’ right now…I respect you all a lot, so you gotta open your heart and try and just forgive. People are losing their minds. It’s so hot, they don’t know just how to just go with the wind. You gotta both forgive. You gotta feel that core now, feel that core go down into the Earth and just let that anger go (all clapping to the beat)! You gotta calm a right down! You gotta calm a right down! You gotta find your heart! You gotta find a waaaayyyy to come back to the start… And, without a beat, she went right back into “Sister Janet!” What a great moment in Atlanta’s Tori history! Another B-Side, from “Spark” on From the Choirgirl Hotel, “Cooling” was just a perfect choice for this point in the show. It is such a pretty song, just Tori and her piano! Sure to cool down any heat! I think she may have played this one for the rowdy ones in the audience, “this is cooling faster than I can.”
When the band returned, we finally got a bit of Little Earthquakes! “China” was as always very pretty, and moving. I’ll never forget the first time I saw this video on 120 minutes back in the early 90’s. I had some contact with Tori through my best guy friend in High School, Cary Howie, and so I was paying attention. The imagery was as stunning as the music itself. The first video I saw was the “Crucify” video, because, at the time it was getting more play on MTV. But, when I saw “China,” I knew we would have a long and happy life together, me and Tori! And, we have…
“A Sorta Fairytale” was the single from Scarlet’s Walk, and a perfect representation of that beautiful collection of stories from the road. Any video with Adrian Brody (even if he is just an arm and head for most of it) is going to be one of my favorites, of course! One of Tori’s most radio played (in Atlanta, along with “Sleeps with Butterflies”), many love hearing when played in concert. Abnormally Attracted to Sin is full of sensuously sultry songs, including “Fast Horse,” which was on Leah’s list of sing alongs/want to hear tonight! Love the lyrics and smooth delivery! Coming to the end of the concert, always a crowd favorite from Little Earthquakes, “Precious Things,” which I don’t think any Tori fan will ever tire of hearing her sing her heart out on and tear up on the keys; followed by the finally Abnormally Attracted to Sin’s sassy brassy “Strong Black Vine!” Any song that starts with “shut your mouth” promises to be a beloved choice for future listening! Tori sounded like she was ready to hurt someone singing “Strong Black Vine.”
We were lucky enough to get an encore, which began with “Police Me” from Abnormally Attracted to Sin. Keeping with the theme of the night, this was a very sexy version of “Police Me.” Tori played the hell out of her organ and flaunted and gyrated her organs as well! Continuing the trend of B-sides, “Tombigbee” from Scarlet’s Walk-Scarlet’s Hidden Treasures did its part in bringing this show home. The band along with Tori’s multiple instrument juggling was unbelievable. For the big finish, Tori rolled out the “Big Wheel” from American Doll Posse. Every member of the audience was clapping along and bouncing up and down. I loved all the audience participation! “Big Wheel” was so perfect for engaging Tori’s adoring fans. Nobody wanted this to end! A familiar feeling, as nobody ever does. Even though we didn’t want her to leave, she had her big finish and wheeled out with all of us watching her go!
Another great show for us all to enjoy by Tori and her crew. Already we can’t wait for her to come around again in a couple of years! For more information on all things Tori, and to keep up with when She might be taking a journey to your local Arena, visit http://www.toriamos.com/. If you have never had the Tori experience, put it on your Bucket List…you won’t regret it!