North American Plugged '98 Tour
Tori performed in Knoxville, TN on August 15, 1998 at the Civic Auditorium during the main North American leg of her Plugged '98 tour.
Tori performed Me and a Gun and Merman solo. Mikewhy's choice for the best Tori concert yet!
The most recently added reviews are posted after my review.
August 25, 1998 - There is just something about the South that brings out the best in Tori Amos. This was my 22nd Tori show since 1992, and this concert I saw in Knoxville, TN at the Civic Auditorium on Saturday, August 15, 1998 was the best Tori concert I have ever experienced. I must stress how great this show was. EVERY song was an adventure. The concert was a rollercoaster ride. I was drawn deeply into this performance, and I was so honored to be part of this show. My friend Danica who travelled with me to Knoxville said that every song made her boogie, grin, or cry. Richard Handal, who I sat near at the show, and who has seen many many Tori shows agrees with me that this performance was the best he has ever seen. J'ason (an EWF that traveled with me to this show and who was the person who got Tori to play "Live To Tell" during the DDI tour in 1996) also thought the show was fantastic. Almost everyone I talked to after the show was in awe and raved about Tori's depth and energy during this evening.
Tori's voice was in top form. The range and power were amazing. She nailed all the notes, including the final note at the end of the show during Horses, which sent several waves of chills through my body. Tori's body language, communication with the band, piano playing, and attitude were all inspiring. What is interesting about this performance is the fact that Tori did not hardly say a thing. She said hello and introduced the band, and that was it. In the past I would express disappointment that Tori did not talk alot, but it really did not matter tonight. The music spoke for itself. It spoke volumes tonight. Oh my God...
Before the Knoxville show, my favorite concert was the one I saw in Cincinnati, OH during the Dew Drop Inn tour in 1996. While that show was still more explosive that the Knoxville one, the Knoxville show had more depth and beauty. I did not notice a single flaw (not that I sit there looking for flaws!) I wish I had the words to tell you how fantastic this show was. I am not exaggerating about this. I ask you to trust me. I could get a list of 12 die-hard Ears With Feet who will agree with me on this. I was so proud of Tori that evening.
The venue was quite small, since they moved it from an arena to the Civic Auditorium. It was nice to see Tori in a smaller venue again. The seating for most people was general admission, and I somehow managed to sit slightly right of center in the 9th row. We arrive late to the venue, missing the meet & greet. I did get to talk to alot of people outside the venue while we waited patiently to get in. I actually talked with people who lived close to my hometown of Louisville, KY, including Francesine Hiltz and Lana Helm from Southern Indiana and Keith Shapiro from Lexington, KY. I met a friendly Toriphile named Jennifer Cypress, who is a native of Knoxville. Once again I chatted with Emi, Gina, Lisa, and Elyse, who I saw the previous day in Birmingham. I talked with Leslie Hermsdorfer from Nashville who is a radio DJ (a Yawternative station she says!), and Richard Handal, well known in the Tori online community. I also met Phyllis, who with Richard is a member of the Purple People, a local group of Topriphiles in the Washington D.C. area. I also ran into Adam Young, webmaster of the London Girl Wanted web site. I met Knoxville native Jessica, who made a Happy Rhodes compilation tape for me! I talked to many others whose names escaped me, but everyone was very nice and when they finally opened the doors for the General Admission crowd everyone was well behaved.
Before the show started I talked very briefly with 3 more Knoxville natives who were seeing their first Tori show, a man, a woman, and a young boy. Their names escape me, but they were so charming (great Tennessee accents) and they were really looking forward to seeing Tori. The young boy (age 11 or so) was especially enthusiastic. I did not see them after the show so I hope they had a great time!
Before the show started I looked for Kenny on stage and found him on th Bosey! Kenny is a character from the TV cartoon show South Park, and ever since Tori received a Kenny doll as a gift he appears onstage in a different location every night.
Everything started explosively with Precious Things. My eyes are still too sensitive to look directly at the stage when the bright white lights are flashing,but I could FEEL the power. The third song was Cruel, and this song remains one of my personal favorite songs to see live. It is so dramatic and so theatrical. Tori really has fun with her pronunication on this song.
This was my second time seeing Siren. (She did it the night before in Birmingham.) This song is hypnotizing live. Matt Chamberlain moves to a bongo set that is seated behind Tori's piano for this song. Matt is always amazing during these shows.
When I realized that Black-Dove was going to be the fifth song, I was shocked and thrilled. Liquid Diamonds is one of my favorite Tori songs, and it translates really well to a live setting.
Secret time was really emotional. Tori performed Me and a Gun and Merman solo. She did not say a word at the beginning of secret time, she just launched into Me and a Gun. It was the most affecting version I have heard live. She really emphasized the entire line "Flat on your stomach" which really made me jump. (During the Dew Drop Inn tour she stressed the word FLAT, but on this version she got loud and emotional on the entire line.)
I had tears during Merman. I always wanted to hear this, and it was as heart-breaking as I imagined it would be. It is starting to look like this song will not be a b-side now, and that is tragic. This song was beautiful.
Sugar, Little Earthquakes, and iieee left a lump in my throat. The Waitress was electric and really intense. It has been really illuminating to see how this song has developed over the years. That is one of the things about Tori that makes her so special as an artist. Her work evolves. She is always willing to explore and experiment, and that makes her work endlessly fascinating.
The first encore was filled with so much energy. Tori was drop-dead cute as she danced to her piano bench at the beginning of She's Your Cocaine. At one point she did a little bunny hop and was really smiling. Tori smiled alot during the performance and communicated alot with her band. She was having a blast that night! Raspberry Swirl was boogie central with all the flashing lights. Tori's vocals sounded really up-front this time and it made the song that much better. Matt deserves a metal for his work on this song.
The second encore started with Purple People. This was only the second time this tour Tori did this. (The first was in Birmingham.) The song is very bluesy and beautiful. It was a highlight for me. Tori ended the show with Horses. I am totally converted to this new version. The light was the disco balls and the high notes at the end really grab my attention.
The band was tight and really cool that night. Steve Caton was dancing around like Elvis and Jon Evans drew applause for his bass playing. Tori is the only artist who has Jesus and Elvis playing on stage with her! ;)
For those who care, Tori followed her written set list exactly during this show. I will also say that teh crowd remained seated for most of the show, which is becoming rare at Tori shows these days. But the crowd still gave out good energy, and Tori was obviously feeding off if it.
I did not do a good job of describing this show to you. In a few days I will add more reviews and I hope they are more descriptive. This show had to have been a personal best for Tori. I am so glad to have been there. Tori, you are the best. Period.
From The Knoxville News-Sentinel
December 16, 1998 - A review of this show appeared in the August 16, 1998 edition of the Knoxville News-Sentinel. This was my favorite show of the Plugged '98 tour, and I was rather appalled to read this negative review.
TORI AMOS ADDS ROCK, DETRACTS FROM HER MUSIC
BY WAYNE BLEDSOE, NEWS-SENTINEL MUSIC WRITER
In 1965, legendary singer-songwriter Bob Dylan went onstage backed up by a rock 'n'
roll band. He was booed, but it was the right thing to do.
Saturday night '90s singer-songwriter Tori Amos went onstage with a three-piece
rock band. The crowd was ecstatic, but it was a mistake.
Early on, Amos' show had the ingredients for disaster. The concert was originally
booked at Thompson-Boling Arena to accommodate Amos' extensive staging, but was
moved to the Civic Auditorium "for a more intimate atmosphere." Probably it was
because Amos had sold approximately 2,000 tickets the week before the show, which
would've seemed like a concert for a few invited family members in the 24,000 set
arena, but would be a near sell-out at the auditorium. It was a good deal for fans
who were treated to better sound, better sight lines and more comfortable seats than
the arena had to offer.
Amos' concert was like a sermon at the church of Tori. While regular parishioners
were rapt in attention, non-believers wondered what we were missing by not being
able to understand most of the words. Were Amos alone at her piano, as she has
performed in the past, the words might have made it all make sense.
Dylan's rock band deliberately punctured the self-righteous seriousness of Dylan's
folk image. Some of the songs suddenly felt good -- not just important. Amos used
her band to strip away anything that wasn't serious. With no room for any
between-song banter, Amos pound|ed her keyboard and warbled passionately, often
ending songs with wordless vocalizations. And Amos had all the trappings of a big,
important rock show -- smoke machines, disco balls and laser lights. The light show
was, in fact, very pretty and provided a nice distraction.
Some of Amos' songs have always needed to be presented seriously. Amos took time
to render the a cappella "Me and a Gun," in which the singer describes being raped.
Surely, the idea of performing this in concert was to make the listener
uncomfortable -- and it certainly did.
However, Amos later transformed the fun trifle "The Waitress" into an ominous
melodramatic epic, ending with the singer nearly hyperventilating into the
microphone. Hey, maybe Amos really did want to kill that waitress after all!
Maybe Amos decided to add the instruments and effects because she was bored.
But now I know how she felt.
BY WAYNE BLEDSOE, NEWS-SENTINEL MUSIC WRITER
In 1965, legendary singer-songwriter Bob Dylan went onstage backed up by a rock 'n' roll band. He was booed, but it was the right thing to do.
Saturday night '90s singer-songwriter Tori Amos went onstage with a three-piece rock band. The crowd was ecstatic, but it was a mistake.
Early on, Amos' show had the ingredients for disaster. The concert was originally booked at Thompson-Boling Arena to accommodate Amos' extensive staging, but was moved to the Civic Auditorium "for a more intimate atmosphere." Probably it was because Amos had sold approximately 2,000 tickets the week before the show, which would've seemed like a concert for a few invited family members in the 24,000 set arena, but would be a near sell-out at the auditorium. It was a good deal for fans who were treated to better sound, better sight lines and more comfortable seats than the arena had to offer.
Amos' concert was like a sermon at the church of Tori. While regular parishioners were rapt in attention, non-believers wondered what we were missing by not being able to understand most of the words. Were Amos alone at her piano, as she has performed in the past, the words might have made it all make sense.
Dylan's rock band deliberately punctured the self-righteous seriousness of Dylan's folk image. Some of the songs suddenly felt good -- not just important. Amos used her band to strip away anything that wasn't serious. With no room for any between-song banter, Amos pound|ed her keyboard and warbled passionately, often ending songs with wordless vocalizations. And Amos had all the trappings of a big, important rock show -- smoke machines, disco balls and laser lights. The light show was, in fact, very pretty and provided a nice distraction.
Some of Amos' songs have always needed to be presented seriously. Amos took time to render the a cappella "Me and a Gun," in which the singer describes being raped. Surely, the idea of performing this in concert was to make the listener uncomfortable -- and it certainly did.
However, Amos later transformed the fun trifle "The Waitress" into an ominous melodramatic epic, ending with the singer nearly hyperventilating into the microphone. Hey, maybe Amos really did want to kill that waitress after all!
Maybe Amos decided to add the instruments and effects because she was bored.
But now I know how she felt.
September 12, 1998 - Before the Knoxville concert, I had never seen Tori. And I don't mean that I had never seen her live. I did not know what she looked like before this August. I owned one tape that my friend made for me. If you are looking for the objective opinion, mine is it.
The tickets for the show got all screwed up when, at the last minute, Tori decided to move the concert from the enormous Thompson Boling Arena to the more intimate Civic Auditorium. Accoustically, both rooms stink, but, Knoxville had never had a good concert hall, just good crowds. They let us in under general admission, good for me, becouse I had last row seats on the floor at Thompson, and I got middle of the floor at the Auditorium. I ended up sitting right in front of Gina and Lisa. In fact, if you still keep in touch with them, ask Gina about me. I'm the tall skinny blond guy who gave her directions. In any case, I got to know them, and they gave me and my girlfriend each copies of From the Choirgirl Hotel.
The bad thing about being a new fan is that when you leave the show, you don't know all the names of the songs, so the individual perfect moments all run together in your mind. I had speculated that she would probably open with Precious Things, but nothing could have prepared me for that soul-crushing wave of sound that eminated from the tiny face behind the red curls. At home, I could always turn it down, so I never really experienced the raw power of her voice. Then, I watched and listened as Tori became everything from an erotic goddess, teasing the entire Auditorium with her body language and her slow, echoing vocals, to a playful child, happily bouncing around the keyboard and lifting her voice to whatever may be up there to catch it. There was another song, too.
Come to find out, the song is called Me and a Gun. It was fairly late in the set, I was starting to drift, and as she quietly sat on her stool and proceeded to pour out her subconsious to a roomful of strangers, I lost all track of time and space. In my mind, I drifted to every setting through every scenario that she described. Before the course of five minutes, I realized what the song is about. And, as I returned to the harsh reality of that song's purpose, she sang the last note, and left the whole room full of people feeling as if they were all the victims of out-of-body experiences. The accented line that you spoke of; I actually did not hear it, though I can trace back to the particular sensation I felt when she sang it.
There is no description of power that can adequately describe the show that night. It was beyond power, beyond performance. What that show was, was seven hundred people who came together once again to celebrate the music that reminds them of why they still wake up each day looking for the sunshine. Tori Amos has earned one more lifelong fan.
From Mindy Buchanan
September 3, 1998 - In my boredom at work, I just happened to surf across this site. Don't get me wrong, I've heard extensively about this website, but never took the time to actually e-mail the creator until I saw that you could post reviews of Tori's Knoxville concert August 15. I had the luck of being able to go only after working out schedules left and right! No amount of words could possible capture or recreate the scene for anyone who did not attend--it was so beautiful and so moving, with hints of a type of spirituality strewn amongst the songs. What I probalby remember the most was her captivating, utterly moving rendition of "Me And A Gun"--never before have I seen so many people in the same vicinity absolutely speechless and unable to move from the places that held them. I tried to fight back the tears, but found them pouring from my face, and from a quick glance around me, I wasn't the only one. It was as if everyone was in a trance, moved by the same voice and the same emotions and the same beating of hearts. When she seethed out "Pushed flat on your stomach," the whole auditorium echoed with her voice and every raw emotion possible--you could actually feel every single bit of pain that ever hurt her. It was absolutely unbelievable, and by far the most memorable moment I have ever had in a concert. "Merman" was also very beautiful--although I had never heard the song before, I fell in love with it instantaneously, and it's beginning lines, "Go to bed, the priests are dead," have haunted me ever since. Every song was performed with such zeal and longing that it elludes me now how I kept from bursting into sobs during the concert. It was, without a doubt, the best experience in my life and in my soul. Thank you Tori!
August 28, 1998 - I live in Knoxville, TN. An interesting item that no one seems to have noticed is that when tori first came out, she started to play Silent All These Years. Three times she began playing the first few bars. Each time she began she shook her head to herself. Then, symbolically showing that she would not be Silent anymore, she sat down on the other side of the piano and began Precious Things. Perhaps it was just because we were in the third row that we noticed this, but it was one of the most spectacular things I have ever seen Tori do.
From Richard Handal
August 25, 1998 - I never used to believe there was such a thing as "perfectly" played music. After this Knoxville show, I'm not so sure. My mind kept toggling back and forth between thinking "I have to figure out *some* way to get to more shows," and wondering if I really even wanted to go to the *next* show for which I have a ticket, because I didn't see how it could possibly compare with this one or take us anyplace new.
The first hint that greatness might be in store for us this night was during The Devlins' set, when the audience proved themselves to be not only respectful and extremely enthusiastic, but also hip, as they did not start applauding when Colin Devlin changed from acoustic to electric guitars during the song Waiting. (This was also the best set I ever saw The Devlins perform, easily topping even the Richmond show days earlier. They've loosened up considerably and seem to be having a better time of things, and are playing with more energy.)
A fabulous audience is only one ingredient in a great Tori concert, but an essential one. She'd seemed relaxed and casual in the afternoon, and I was keeping my hopes high for a wonderful show. I needn't have worried. Here's the set list--
As we were sitting there waiting for the show to begin, one friend had asked me why Tori hadn't performed Black-Dove in a while. I'd said that Little Earthquakes was the main song I wanted to hear, and almost requested it in the afternoon but had refrained. (I'm just not a song- requesting kind of a guy.) I added that I'd missed hearing Black-Dove at shows, too.
I'd also been specifically hoping for Purple People. :-)
One song after the next would begin, and we were shaking our heads in collective disbelief. I'm no set list queen, but this show included every song that my friends and I had said amongst ourselves before the show that we wanted to hear, and, in the case of Merman, one we'd not even dared fantasize about hearing. That alone took my breath away. I pretty much stopped taking notes after the third song since everything was so uniformly incredible, so let me quickly get all that out of the way and then make general comments.
Precious was even more focused and powerful than usual, and it's almost always one song that can be counted on to make a huge impact, anyway. I'll take this opportunity to say that Matt was spot-on during this entire show, adding a sense of integration of the whole ensemble. The fluid ease with which he hit them things was wonderful. All three of those guys are ALWAYS fabulous, and I can't say enough good about any of them individually, as well as how they all work as a group. I absolutely love the hell out of each of those guys. Steve Caton is like on another planet, though. He pulls stuff down from nowhere and integrates it with the songs. Mind-boggling.
As a unit, they always seem more tuned into Tori's mood than I expected would be possible for a backing band to be, and they are definitely capable of following her, and are *prepared* to follow her absolutely anywhere she wants to go. On nights such as this one, they'll follow her to new heights. On other nights, such as the Glasgow concert on May 22, they've followed her into a deep hole, from which there was no escape. Perhaps by now Matt has figured out how to avoid such a pitfall in the future by kicking a bit more life into the proceedings without disrespecting where Tori's head is. (*There's* a challenge.)
Crucify was notable for having multiple repeats with much vocal extemporizing--just the way I love hearing the song enriched.
Cruel was incredibly powerful, as was the vocal soaring portion in particular.
This was the first show I saw on the plugged '98 tour which was dominated by a wonderful mainstay feature of the Dew Drop Inn tour: the music poured down in great waterfalls, absolutely drenching us in glory. On the DDI tour, Tori was usually playing alone, and at most, all she had to concern herself with was Steve Caton's being able to follow her when she would go down the road a piece on excursions. I can imagine it would be difficult at best to be able to get to a place with three other players where she knew she didn't have to concern herself with them, and if they were going to remain with her as she followed her muse. They're at that point now, as that's where all the touring thus far has brought them.
She is now able to do darn near anything which strikes her fancy, and is able to have the peace of mind that she won't end up way off somewhere all by herself. That's not only freeing for her, but essential if she's to be able to go where she must on this tour in terms of expression--and that's what brought her to us in the first place and why we love her so much.
I honestly didn't hear a weak moment in this show, nor a wasted note--by any of them. In more than one manner, Tori seems increasingly able to work the band as an extension of herself. She knows how they'll keep ideas going and the arrangements full when she lays out largely or sometimes even entirely for sections of songs, and more and more recently I've seen her using body movements which are as if the dance moves of some sensuous conductor, to prompt the guys onward through her own personal form of voodoo.
Such episodes nearly always involve much fun and even laughter; whether it's Tori writhing on the bench nearly on her back while looking over her shoulder at Jon in the beginning of iieee, or lifting her body up from her seat and onto bouncing, bent legs during Waitress so as to engage Steve "Crazy Legs" Caton in dynamic interplay, by using little more than some well-aimed shoulders as she weaves side-to-side while he glides about at the tip of her piano. It's as if watching two playful housecats squaring off.
All of this makes for big fun and good music, and would never have become possible were not they all in such a position of mutual respect and trust, which they clearly are.
Around seven or eight songs in, I whispered into the ear of the friend on my right, "I don't know if I'll make it through the rest of this concert," then in between songs a few minutes later, the friend on my left whispered to *me*, "I don't know how many more songs I can take." It was *that* overwhelmingly, densely rich. We were creaming, alright--one after the other all night long with no let-up.
Well, so far as I know we all made it through the whole show. Yes, the July 19 Chicago concert was more powerful, and yes, the November 11, 1996 concert in Boulder--the final show of the Dew Drop Inn tour--was more achingly, heart-breakingly emotional; and I'm really not the kind of person to always seek comparisons between people and situations, but the collection of grizzled concert veterans I was sitting with at this show who had something like a hundred concerts under our collective belt all had no question that we had been concertized as never before.
I have been given to understand that there are indeed some specific surprises in store for concert-goers at upcoming shows on this tour. One just never can tell what might be in store on any given night, and I know they're working on adding new songs all the time. I'm just glad Tori's not sick anymore. That she seems to be making up for those scary, health-impaired shows is a tremendous relief. That she can even occasionally manifest the entirety of her energy in one show from start to finish is beautiful. Damn, I hate missing any shows.
August 25, 1998 - To say I was nervous about this concert would've been a bit of an understatement. The venue changes two days before the show, and I'm left wondering if the front row tickets I got up at 5 am that long-ago Saturday morning to buy would be any good. Plus I know they're ripping up the roads all over the place around the KCA, and how's that gonna affect traffic and parking, and what's with all the rumors that Tori's not feeling well and what if we have another big thunderstorm like we did the night before and -- aaagh, well, I'm 'bout due for that ulcer the doctor predicted anyway.
Much to my surprise, the navigation goes off without a hitch, but for the obliterated intersection or two -- Know Vegas is really, really ugly right now for all the work, you'd cry if you knew what I-40 West looked like before they decided to kill every tree west of Pellissippi, but enough whining, I'm there. And the sky's pretty clear. And there's a pretty fair crowd in front ( funniest were all the debs heading over to their event. The Devlins - nice boys, by the way, but was that their Dad playing drums? -- even joked about crashing the other party after their set ). Best of all, my friend's already there, and yes, yes, they are seating us Thompson-Boling refugees according to ticket. Tam and I get front row right -- very front row, knee-knocker seats. We sit between a guy who won his seat by pasting radio stickers all over his body (Sticker-Boy) and his girl friend, a Toriphile, and on the other side a pretty neat couple, the male half wearing a Trix T-shirt (Silly Rabbit). In the row behind us are three or four really neat female EWFs wearing some nice dresses and sporting some nifty body-art (the Tattooed Debs). The Devlins open nicely enough, if a little brief. A lot of opening acts have to be forced off-stage with prods, but maybe they really do wanna crash the deb ball. Then the interminable set-up delay, my least favorite part of KCA, apparently the stage has to be rebuilt between acts. It was just as bad for the DDI tour and there were less instruments then. Sticker-Boy's mumbling, 'this better be worth it.' Then the show starts.
If the Dew Drop Inn show was Cloud 9, this is the whole damn Heavenly Temple, with Valhalla throwing a kegger in the basement. Precious Things had our seats shaking and then Tori and the guys cranked it up to eleven the whole evening. All my apprehension dried up, cracked into dust, and got blown out the door. The band was tight, none of the tenative handoffs I'd seen in a couple of TV appearances earlier. Tori was as bright and dazzling as I've ever seen her, and the voice -- I'd forgotten what a flawless instrument it is, and the accompaniment only served to highlight her strength and range. I also liked the stuffed Kenny sitting on the grand (but no one killed him. The bastards!)
The set-list was uniformly excellent, mostly LE and FtCH, though 'Spark' and 'Jackie's Strength' both were apparently trying to pick up a couple tuxedo boys next door. 'Precious Things' has always struck me as a kick-ass rock song and it was great to hear it played as such. 'Me and a Gun' seemed all the more harrowing with the band absent -- it only served to emphasize the loneliness and the hurt. But 'Raspberry Swirl' was the one I left the joint humming -- if I had to really offend all the other girls and pick a favorite, that would have been it. The Tattooed Debs up and dancing might have had something to do with it.
How good was the show? It made the two years and some months since the last time I saw Tori live seem to not exist at all. I'm always telling everybody I know, you have to see her live, it's the only way you can understand. I wish T-B had sold out, so more people could have had the experience -- but 'intimate' has its nicer points too.
Hmmm -- who do I know in Memphis?
From Jeff Przylucki
August 25, 1998 - I have just returned from a weekend in Knoxville, and i am still in awe. I won one of the pairs of tickets to this show from the RAINN benefit auction, and had a WONDERFUL time. Late last week i was freaking out when they moved the venue, because, with the new general admission, the "Premium Seats" that we bid on were now worthless.. but we were well taken care of.
We showed up at the Civic Auditorium at about 1pm and was told that the ticket booth wouldn't open until 6:30.. so we went and saw the sights in Knoxville for the day, and came back at about 6:45, and had to wait for the passes to arrive. Once the doors opened we made our way to the front section and showed our passes and they took us to the 2nd row, right side along the center aisle, WOoo HOoo! They were keeping the rest of the 2nd row reserved for an unknown reason, until a couple of minutes before the Devlins took the stage a couple of groups of girls came and sat down. I asked how they got the seats, and it turns out that they were pulled out of the audience by Steve and Joel. Needless to say they were quite excited.
The show was AMAZING! She played a great list of songs (Siren and Purple people were great to hear, as was Merman. Also Cruel, and iieee sounded wonderful), and she played them all wonderfully! WOW! The band was great (man Jon and Matt can really add some SERIOUS bottom end!), Tori sounded great, and seeing her in a nice sized venue again was GREAT! This was a lot nicer than seeing her in the huge arena she played in Chicago (well, of course 2nd row seats help too..). I had certainly gotten my money's worth! But then there was more... we got to go backstage after the show to meet Tori. We got back to her dressing room and I was completly star-struck. My hands were trembling uncontrollably, and my tounge chose that second to stop working correctly. But Tori was very sweet, she took some time to talk with us, and signed all of our things, and soon it was time to go..
what a great weekend, i'll be smiling for a week ..
From Jennifer Cypress (posted to the Precious-Things mailing list)
August 25, 1998 - I just have to say I was blown away! I loved the way the crowd roared everytime the bright lights came up and Tori sang, "On the other side of the galaxy". It was like watching a [insert incredibly famous rock superstar here] concert instead of a girl and her piano. The energy in the crowd was electric. Tori was truly on fire. The way she shook her head all the time and sort of went into little convulsions (especially when she sh-sh-shocked me sane). And Raspberry Swirl was phenomenal. It was a rock opera.
Wanted to say also how nice to was to finally meet Richard, Danica, MikeWhy, Jason, and Keith. And Ellen, if you're out there, I never did get to see your television interview... did they show it? And to Elise, who's been to 22 shows this year, wow! You are some woman. Incredible. Maybe they'll put you on MTV's Fanatic (you deserve it). You'd be a good representation of the typical Tori fan... sweet, genuine, energetic, idealistic, feminine... good luck to you with the rest of the tour.
From Euchloe (Posted to ToriNews mailing list)
August 25, 1998 - This was an amazing show!
Tori had on dark pants and a light blue or green shirt with a pink sequined apron over her....very pretty! She didn't talk much just said hello then played the heck out of that piano! This was the most b-sides she had ever played at a knoxville concert. I was also very happy to hear so many LE tunes. She did the meet and greet both before and after the show, signed stuff and allowed photos both times. Kenny doll had his usual spot on the Bosey!
August 25, 1998 - WOW!!! - Where to begin???
I came to this show with three of my best friends, all of whom had NEVER seen Tori live and really just gotten into her music recently.When the lights went down after the Devlins went off, I knew they had no idea what they were in store for.....
The crowd went wild when Tori took the stage and as soon as Precious Things made her presence known, it was wild. The crowd was totally into it, as we had waited in line for almost three hours just to get in the place. We wanted our Tori. She launched into Crucify and Cruel which rocked live. Tori really seemed into the music and the new songs were fascinating live. Siren was a personal fave for me and my friend Jessica and when she sang this, we flipped. Black Dove was powerful and Liquid Diamonds was absolutely haunting.
When it was "secret time" , I thought she would start talking to the crowd and telling stories but instead shot directly into Me and a Gun which was intense. Then Merman knocked me off my feet. It was so beautiful, so full of emotion. I really can not stress how good this part of the show was. All the memories of past shows came rushing back. I think everyone was in awe.
The rest of the show and the encores were flawless.She's your Cocaine and iieee were my personal faves. I think she could tell at the end that the crowd knew they just saw one helluva show. One note - PEOPLE.... get your ass up and dance for Raspberry Swirl. It doesn't hurt, I promise...........
From Douglas Thompson
August 25, 1998 - Hi all... I'm having some trouble organizing thoughts tonight so sorry if this is somewhat random. Well yesterday (the 15th) was incredibly hectic. It was Tori-Day in Knoxville and I was very worried because of the general admission ticket situation. Anyway we (me and my friend Kim) arrived at the Civic Auditorium at about 12:45 and again the number system was being used; this time to decide not only the meet & greet order but also the order in which we went into the venue to grab our seats (it failed both ways but I'll get to that). So we were there and wasting alot of time, we met a few people; like Elise (the sorta leader/number-giver-person; her 26th show I think) and some of her friends. Well around 3 or so we went to the barricades around the side of the Auditorium and waited patiently. This is when I realized how the number system had failed. We ended up in a large throng (maybe 100 people there, the last person I saw to get numbered was 101) tightly packed in between the barricades. I was on the far right with about two people in front of me. This is where I got stuck even after Tori came out. She signed things for and took pictures with all the people in front of me but I didn't get a chance to and we weren't supposed to pass things up or move. I really wanted to get my FtCH lithograph signed but I didn't get to. I got some good pictures of her though. I was also getting completely crushed and was starting to feel sick because of the heat and all the people. So this sorta put me in a bad mood. So I went back to the car and sat there with the air conditioning on high and I tried to decide how to get my minidisc player inside the building (I planned on taping the show). So i divied up the wires, took the actual player and put in a plastic bag and strapped it to my ankle. Then I went back to the front doors around 5 and we got in line. (Michael, I think I was right next to you... I was in a maroon sweatshirt and long corduroy pants, with sorta medium length hair, and I thought I recognized you). Anyway... my ankle began killing me because the player was right on the bone (I now have a giant bruise there), and my other foot hurt because the mic had slipped down beneath my foot. I was stupid and didn't bring any water so now I'm feeling sick and dehydrated and my feet hurt like hell and I was in sorta a bad mood because of my failed attempts to meet or at least get something signed by Tori. Finally at about 7:30 they let us into the building. We had since been joined by two of our friends and we ended up sitting in the about the sixth actual row in the middle right section. So soon the concert started with the Devlins whom I had never really heard of it (except on that HBO show Reverb or Revamp or whatever). And during this time I tried to assemble the recorder, which, I must say, I did an excellent job of in the dark. So I sat back and listened to the Devlins who I thought were very good. Alot better than Willy Porter, who had opened last time I saw Tori. They really were great though. And then round came Tori. She opened with Precious Things, it was so loud and emotional. What really caught me (throughout the entire show) were the lights. They were so more pumped up then the DDI tour. Next was Crucify which wasn't too far a departure with the band. Cruel was incredible, I hadn't expected it to be so intense but it really was. Tori just sort of sat there singing and grinding as the band jammed the song out. Then was the etheral Siren. The lights became a blue swirley hew. Matt also switched to a seperate conga set which added alot. Black Dove came next. The "On the other side..." and the "But I have to get to Texas" parts were hit very very hard and the lights matched the band with power. Liquid Diamonds brought things down a bit but it built up to a very powerful ending. Then the band exited and Tori went directly into Me and a Gun. Every single person I could see sat there motionless listening. That is until the "Mr. Ed" part after which followed a very loud woman yelling "Hell No!". This completely caught me off guard and I thought it was tactless and disrespectful, but that is just my opinion. She did it once more later in the song, this time a little quieter. The end of the song was barely audible and as other reviews have said the "Flat on your stomach" line was nearly shouted. The song almost came across as angry or spiteful after that. The next song was Merman which was apparently unrecognized by several people around me. It was very beautiful and seemed like a lullaby. Following Merman the rest of the band returned and began playing very hard and very intensely and the jam became Sugar. The new loud version was very powerful (I keep using that word I know but it really was). Little Earthquakes, iieee, and the revamped Waitress followed. Then Tori went away for a very brief period of time and came back very cheerily with She's Your Cocaine. I remember this song the most for the lights. Every light they had came on on the hits which were so bright that they made me close my eyes each time. Then started Rasberry Swirl. Matt was going crazy on the 2nd drum setup he had. Many people were up and dancing. The lights were green lazers going everywhere and I thought that was cool. Then again they went away and then came back with a bluesy song that I couldn't place at first. And then when the words started I couldn't believe it. Purple People! I didn't think she had played it yet this tour but apparently she had the night before. It sounded very much like the Spark single version. Then the new version of Horses was the last song. I remember this song mostly for two reasons... one, the glitter balls and the lights and two, the final note of the song which didn't even sound human; she held it forever. Then the lights came up and we started exiting. The very slow etheral mix of Rasberry Swirl played over the loud speaker. It was really cool and I hope that it is on one of the singles. So we went back to the car and I tried to listen to the recording we had made and sadly it didn't come out well... It is incredibly, incredibly quiet. We're going to work on it and see if we can bring up the volume. This was the best Tori concert I have heard and it really makes me want to get out and goto a few more shows... perhaps the Memphis one in October. I look forward to reading the other reviews on the Dent. Thanks for reading and again, sorry if its sorta random...
August 25, 1998 - My first Tori show ever..and it was great... When I heard the opening notes of Precious Things I almost cried..I'm suprised I didn't. I'd heard from friends on the internet that her voice hasn't been very good lately and that she couldn't hit the high notes and such, but Saturday she hit all the notes perfectly.. When she did the solo Me and a Gun it was so moving..everyone was quiet except some woman down front that kept screaming "hell no!" which got on my nerves a bit because I really wanted to hear JUST Tori, but oh well. Merman and Siren were beautiful.. I would have to say my favorite song of the evening was The Waitress.. This isn't a very good review, I'm still in shock from the show..I loved it. :o)
From Lileeyore (Janet)
August 16, 1998 - Oh wow Oh wow Oh wow! I cannot even put into words the greatness of this concert. It was my second show (the first was during Dew Drop Inn), and I am so impressed with everything. Since it was general admission, we basically had choice of seats--my friend and I chose second row, balcony, so we could have a bird eye's view--I was NOT disappointed!!
PRECIOUS THINGS--When Tori started playing I was absolutely blown away. Everything was SOOO powerful. The person I was with said that he got a lump in his throat and was on the verge of tears. She hit every single note! I was completely on the edge of my seat waiting for her to sing "I wanna smash the faces of those beautiful boys...etc" And when she sang "so you can make me cum..." the band just drove in with such force and the lights were SO bright! faces of those beautiful boys...etc" And when she sang "so you can make me cum..." the band just drove in with such force and the lights were SO bright! The lights then dimmed--until she sang "...with their nine inch nails and little..." the band once again went full force, as did the lights. WOW! She was powerful....
CRUCIFY--wow! As soon as she started the first notes to this one, I knew what it was. I heard her do this when I saw her before and the band adds so much....as odd as it might seem.
CRUEL--oh she did an amazing job with Cruel. She was so into the music, and her voice was so thrilling...when she sang "...I can be Cruel..." The lights went bright red....I was swaying majorly!
SIREN--since I have NEVER heard Siren (except for a little wave) I didn't know what I was listening too. The lights were really beautiful...they were aqua blue and they shined right into the crowd. Then there were little swirls know what I was listening too. The lights were really beautiful...they were aqua blue and they shined right into the crowd. Then there were little swirls on the floor of the stage, they were also blue. I felt as if I was in an ocean.
BLACK-DOVE--this was amazing as well. I was sitting behind a girl who had come all the way from TEXAS (18 hours away) and when Tori sang, "but I have to get to Texas..." she went crazy. I was silently singing along.
LIQUID DIAMONDS--even though this is NOT one of my favorite songs, I was impressed with the live version. I am now convinced that Tori is PERFECT!
ME AND A GUN (solo)--I grabbed my friend's hand as soon as she started singing. Oh this was so emotional. At points Tori was quiet, but then she just let her voice take over...when she sang, "pushed flat on your stomach" my heart just jumped because it was so loud. I shed several tears. And at the end when she sang, "but I must get out of this..." THIS was nothing but a whisper (it was audible though) and it just was so at the end when she sang, "but I must get out of this..." THIS was nothing but a whisper (it was audible though) and it just was so chilling....Afterwards, my friend said that he thought this was extremely emotional.
MERMAN (solo)--This is another song that I have never heard, and so it took me a while to figure out what song it was. It was like a lullaby, so beautiful and moving. I figured out what it was when she sang, "he's a merman..." Oh I was so in awe! This is my FAVORITE song now--it was so extremely touching. I began crying when she sang, "who could ever say that you're not simply wonderful..."
SUGAR--it seems as if she added something to the beginning. I also think that she did some ad-libbing in the middle.
LITTLE EARTHQUAKES--I have always loved this song. It was emotional when she sang, "give me life, give me pain, give me myself again" She sang this part several times.
IIEEE--This is my friend's favorite song, and so it was great to see him smiling when the band started. Tori cradled her arms as if she was holding a baby before she started playing, she looked to be in deep thought. She held her stomach during "sa-sa-sa-crifice" also, and that was moving. This song seemed to go on forever, but I am not complaining. She did a lot of ad-libbing--singing "you took my little girl" several times. Wow!
THE WAITRESS--my friend knew what this one was before I did, and I feel kinda silly because I LOVE this song. Her "new" version is so poweful and moving. I was just nodding my head along with Tori as she sang. The crowd REALLY appreciated this one!
SHE'S YOUR COCAINE (encore)--Whoa! Tori came back on stage quickly and she was hopping like a bunny and being so playful. I loved her "odd" dancing before she started singing. OH! The lights and the band...and her VOICE--it was PERFECT! I really got into it! loved her "odd" dancing before she started singing. OH! The lights and the band...and her VOICE--it was PERFECT! I really got into it!
RASPBERRY SWIRL (encore)--Oh man! This is such a great song-- I love it...and it is 50 times better live. I couldn't sit still--many groups of people were up and dancing. I sang outloud to my friend. He was really getting into also. The lights were CRAZY. WOOOO HOOOO! I can not describe how much energy there was...it was as if electricty was flowing through my body!
PURPLE PEOPLE (encore)--Tori took a wee bit longer to come out again--the crowd was VERY loud! It was awesome to hear her sing this, because since I heard it I have been hooked. It was so bluesy and funky.
HORSES (encore)--I began crying as soon as she started singing because I KNEW that this was the last song. I was so in shock and emotional that I hardly remember anything about this song. The new version is interesting. I like the old one better though. She did hold the last note FOREVER...and she sounded SO SO amazing....I was so in awe of her vocal talents!!!
I can NOT wait to see Tori again....(October 7 in Memphis, TN)
August 16, 1998 - Hi everyone! I just thought I would throw in my own thoughts on this show.
Well, we got to the Civic Auditorium in Knoxville (after driving 7 hours from Ohio) at about 6:00. People were already in line waiting to get decent seats, although I wasn't surprised since we all know how dedicated Tori fans are. I was worried about how good our seats were going to be, but around....hmmmm, it must have been 7:30 or so they started letting people in who did not have tickets for the first 5 rows at Thompson-Boling. I was impressed by how mature everyone was at not rushing into the auditorium to grab the good seats (but why should I expect any less from the beautiful EWFs?). It ended up that since we only had two people we were able to get down very close, even though we were not really in the front of the line outside. This was so amazing for me! This was my fourth Tori show and I have never been so close to her. To my surprise Tori is not the size of an ant! Even when I saw her at one of the smaller venues last tour I did not get this close. It was great. Plus we sat by some really nice people (HI DAVID, KAT, AND HUNTER IF YOU ARE OUT THERE!!). So it was wonderful. I got to actually see what it is Tori does while she is dancing up there on that stage and seeing how she interacts with the band is also impressive. I do not have the set list memorized, but I do know that Crucify sounded like a lulluby. It was beautiful. And she played Purple People, which I love and was so glad to hear. I was surprised to hear Me and a Gun come out for a visit, but she was beautiful as always and I was sobbing withing the first three seconds! Also, she played Raspberry Swirl, which I had not yet heard live....it is incredible! Tori's magic was all there Saturday night, and I am so glad I drove there to see it. This was the best show for me yet... =)
From Dirk Krueger
August 16, 1998 - I recently moved to Tennessee from Germany, as a new grad student. Amazing as it is, I never went to a concert before. But I liked Tori Amos' music a lot. So it was a big surprise she's gonna give a concert in my new home town.
Yesterday I went there. Since so few tickets were sold it was moved to a smaller place. Really intimate. I ended up about 15 rows from the stage. Maybe 2000 people there in total. The Devlins from Ireland played quite good, massive rock music. But Tori was so great. Okay, this is my first pop concert (I never lived in places were major artists go, and tickets are much pricier in Germany), but I think she gave a great concert. Never mind I couldn't understand more of her lyrics (also from the pure language side) than on her albums.
Tori worked out on her piano like Jimi Hendrix on a guitar. Screeming, swirling, legs stretched. A pink dress over her sweaty gray T-shirt. A bombastic show. I think she played mostly songs from her first and the latest album, like Precious things, Crucify, Me and a gun, Cruel, She's your cocaine, Black dove, Raspberry swirl, Iieee, Horses, Little earthquakes. Her band played impressively, too.
Well, I hope this won't be the last and only concert for me. Only thing I was not used to was all the waiting (especially because of general admission) before and after the Devlins Waiting part. And that the security was so tough on having no bags and cameras in there. "Bring it back to your car!" (Funny since I don't have licence and car, hey, is the noone in the US understanding there are times and people WITHOUT a car?). Well, they let me in after I rolled back the film. Would have been terrible not be let in when having a chance and ticket to see Tori.
Please give me feedback, comments, or suggestions about my site. Email me (Michael Whitehead) at firstname.lastname@example.org