North American Plugged '98 Tour
Tori performed in Atlanta, GA on August 17, 1998 at the Chastain Park Amphitheatre during the main North American leg of her Plugged '98 tour.
Tori performed China and Cooling solo.
The most recently added reviews are after my review.
August 25, 1998 - While I did not enjoy the Atlanta show as much as the Knoxville show I saw 2 days earlier, it was still a stellar performance, with lots of interesting stuff happening on stage and some fun quotes from Tori!
The Chastain is an open-air amphitheatre and is in a really nice area of Atlanta. Some of the houses in the area have a really interesting architecture. The area around the amphitheater is very pretty and park-like (In fact there is a Chastain Park nearby.) I arrived around noon and the temperature was already very hot. Once again I met with many great Toriphiles at the meet and greet, too many to mention here. I did meet Toriphile Jen for the first time who gave me some great Tori tapes and who I really enjoyed talking to! I went to the show with my friends Danica and J'ason. I also met Mark from California again (He was also at the Birmingham and Knoxville shows I attended), who out of the kindness of his heart helped Danica and I get 4th row seats in the pit. I also met 2 friendly girls from Nashville (one was named Kate), as well as Nadyne Mielke, Adam Young, Sharon, a enthusiastic young woman named Laura who you can see in the Live From NY RAINN video (she is in the front with braids in the video...), Emi (I will miss you in Nashville!), Lisa, Gina, Elyse, Matt Page (who has done so much to get set lists and reviews to the Dent during this tour), Jase, Jason and his female friend, Fracesine Hiltz, Lana Helm, Erik Stone and his girlfriend Kristin and several other people I met for the first time (I am terrible with names so please don't be offended if I did not mention you!) It was cool to meet you all. Once again that Toriphile sense of community seemed to envelope most people. There are a few cases of selfish behavior, but or the most part I have been very impressed with the Toriphiles I have met!
Because the venue was outdoors I was able to listen to the soundcheck. My friend has the set list for the soundcheck and I will post it here later. We heard Tori practice Talula for over a half hour! We also heard a really good version of Bells For Her with the piano (which had not been played on the tour at this point). The sound was quite clear and it was a cool mini concert for us, plus a unique look into how Tori conducts a soundcheck.
Toward the end of the soundcheck it started to rain lightly. It really did not cool things off too much because the humidity was so bad. After a blissful dinner in an air-conditioned Arby's, we returned to the Chastain for the show. The rain stopped and it was bloody humid. I missed most of the Devlins set for various reasons. The seats in the pit at the Chastain are simply pitiful. They are flimsy and uncomfortable and too close together. It actually did not matter because everyone down there stood for the duration of the show. In fact, once the show began there was a mad rush for the stage. Since I am tall I really did not mind, though with the intense humidity it was rough at times. Thankfully the night seemed to get a little cooler as time went by.
The only bad thing about the place was all the smoking and drinking. There were people leaving repeatedly during the show for more beer, and the smoke got to me a little bit. Also, all the standing and dancing, while appropriate for the kind of rock show Tori does now, can lead to way too much talking during the slower songs. There was a noticable hum of conversation during Cooling and China that was a bit distracting.
But Tori was in great form once again! With the intense heat she was sweating more than usual, but she played as passionately as ever. I don't have the official/written set list in front of me, but it was somewhat different than than what Tori actually played, especially the solo songs. Also, some of the other songs got changed around, which resulted in some interesting communication on the stage between Tori and the musicians. At one point Matt Chamberlain did not know what drum set to go to! (He has his main set, and then a special set behind Tori that he uses for some songs.) Tori had to guide him to the right place. Tori is very interesting to watch, because she is not the kind of person who says, "Okay guys, we are doing Cruel instead of iieee" or anything like that. She gave "Cruel" a special improvised intro alone at the piano, where she sang lyrics with the word 'cruel' in them. It was really cool, and you could see the guys changing their instruments in reaction to what Tori was "singing," once they realized that she was going to do Cruel instead of the song on the official set list.
Before "Cooling" Tori remarked about the fact that some of her favorite songs never make it on an album.
Talula was a highlight tonight, especially since it was the first time she played it live on the Plugged '98 tour. She said at the beginning she was going to play a new song that the band and her had been learning all day (at soundcheck!) This somehow led into a discussion of the President and the Monica Lewinsky controversy. (I can't quite remember how Tori transitioned to that....does anyone have an exact transcript?) Anyway, Tori said something about the situation (this was the same night where President Clinton took to the airwaves to tell the nation that he had an improper sexual affair with Monica.) Tori said something like, "If I ever see that Monica girl, I just want to ask her why she didn't just swallow?" or something like that. This caused the audience to roar. During the song, Tori must have made a tiny mistake because she paused during one part very briefly and said, "oops," which was so cute.
I was happy to hear my favorites Cruel and Liquid Diamonds tonight. Both are so effective live. Finally, Tori ended the show with Horses. At the beginning of the song Tori had trouble with her keyboard. It was rather funny because she was sitting there hitting the key with one finger, but it did not make a sound. She gave a helpless look to the technicians on the side, one guy came over to the keyboard for about 10 seconds, and then all was alright.
The show was excellent. Tori is really riding a wave during this part of the tour, doing one strong show after another. The band is really together, and they are having so much fun. They have come so far since the sneak preview club tour, and there are so many shows still left! Who knows what great things lie ahead?
Everyone was chased away from the Chastain pretty fast after the show, because the surrounding neighborhood has some kind of noise ordinance after 11:00PM. I had to return home to go back to work, so I had to miss the second show there the following day.
August 31, 1998 - My name is Chris and I was one of the two people who won a set of Tori tickets and backstage passes from the Best Buy auction for the Aug. 17 Atlanta concert.
I owe all of this to you and your web page "A Dent..." for informing me about the auction and I've decided to give you my review of the concert and a form of thanks and appreciation. You have one of the best and most informative sights on the web on Tori. It won't be so much as a review of the concert but my account of what happened that night (more like a journal/diary).
Here it goes:
August 17th was quite an interesting night. Thanks to the Best Buy auction, I had "premium" seats along with the chance to meet Tori after the concert. I took my old high school friend Neecee, who is the biggest Toriphile I know (even bigger than me). However, I neglected to tell her about the after concert rendezvous. Ok, I didn't neglect it, but went out of my way to postpone her knowing of it as long as possible. I know, I'm evil, but I wanted to see the look on her face when she found out.
We arrived at Chastain at 7:30 with a crowd of people trying to get in. I had the tickets that were mailed to me, but had to pick up the backstage passes at Will Call. Hiding the tickets in one of my pockets, I told Neecee to hold our place in line at the entrance while I went to pick up the tickets from Will Call. I was getting a bit jittery with anticipation while I got the passes. Before returning to the entrance, I stashed the passes in another pocket and pulled out the tickets acting like I just picked them up.
Neecee and I met up with several of my friends there and chatted for a while. I gave my friends hushed signals about the passes so they wouldn't let it slip. Leaving them, we found our seats along with Alison and Ashley, the winners of the other set of auction tickets (Hi guys!). A part of me was afraid that Alison would go ballistic on me for hiking up the prices of her tickets (it's a looong story around that stupid "Auto Bid" button), but she seemed cool about it; I mean, it was for a good cause. Alison was kind enough to play along with the passes.
The Devlins' performance was all right. I didn't go to the concert to watch them, but they performed better than most of the other opening acts that Tori's had. Before Tori came on stage, Neecee mentioned that she was going to repay me somehow for everything since this was the second Tori concert I invited her to (the first was for the club tour earlier in the year and it was the first time she got something signed by the red lady). I asked her to think nothing of it.
Tori's performance was all a blur. It was like a long lasting high for me. Just seeing her on stage and jamming away with her band kept me going all night. I couldn't believe that she played "Sugar!!!!" I spent over a year looking for that Crucify single and I'm surprised that the CD's not completely scratched up from my overplaying. Towards the end of the performance I began to realize everything that was about to happen and how close it was getting for me to meet HER. I began having something like an out of body experience like, "this can't be happening to me."
After the concert, Neecee wanted to rush behind the theater hoping to catch Tori as she was leaving (we did the same for the club tour which was how she got something signed). I told her to follow me and lead the way to the stage entrance. I kept looking behind me to make sure she was following and noticed that Alison and Ashley were right behind us. Reaching the entrance, I shoved the pass to Neecee and told her to put it on. The guards led us to a waiting area near the entrance and we all stood there patiently. Neecee was still a bit dumbfounded with everything that was going on. They took us down this long hall that led to Tori's dressing room. I think it was the wine, but Neecee kept saying something like "I can't believe this is happening" and "You're such a cool friend." We waited a little before going in.
In the dressing room, I just kept telling myself, "Don't say anything stupid. Don't ask her stupid questions like ' Did you ever really have to go to the bathroom in the middle of a performance?'"
Fortunately, I didn't say any of those things.
It was just awesome... the whole thing. I can't come up with anymore words.
August 28, 1998 - on a side note, she changed the show from the actual setlist. instead of china, winter/cloud was listed....
August 28, 1998 - I can't say anything more than you guys have about how amazing the concert was, so just a few little tidbits from me:
Tori, *please* come back to the Fox. We love you at Chastain-- we love you ANYWHERE-- but the Fox really holds your passion and amplifies it to cosmic proportions.
HEE HEE-- during the Devlins, me and my friends were checking out the one and only Mark Hawley in the sound booth (is that what it's called??)...we even looked in the program to find photos of him to make sure we were seeing straight. He's such a cutie...We decided not to bother him...he doesn't seem to like attention...We were in the pit and really close to him, too, so it was like our own little close encounter. Hey, it might not have been Tori, but it was one of the next best things!!
From Alison Stine
August 25, 1998 - I was one of the RAINN charity auction winners on August 17 at Chastain in Atlanta, and I had the incredible honor and unbelievable good fortune of meeting Tori backstage. My little sister and I came all the way from Ohio to see her (and caught hell from our parents for doing so), but it was well worth it, and Tori later said that she advocates running away from home. :) The seats were very good, not in the pit, but about the second row on the right orchestra. I had a very good view of the piano and Tori's head, which looked red and little from where I was sitting. We weren't in the pit, and we didn't get upgraded like some earlier luckier RAINN winners, but it was my fault for being disappointed about that because I'd gotten my hopes up, like I always do. Still, they were very good seats and the concert, of course, was breath taking.
I'm sure many people will be writing reviews, and Mike, you're such a good reviewer, my own would pale in comparison. I will say that the show was very moving, especially secret time. When Tori played the first few notes of China, my heart skipped a few beats and spent the whole rest of the song trying to catch up. I held my breath until she released the pedal the last time. When she sang the line 'funny how the distance learns to grow' she looked right out at the audience, and my heart just broke. That was the only time I have ever heard China live. I was also thrilled to hear Jackie's Strength live for the first time. That was followed nicely by Taulua, which was kind of dedicated to Monica Lewinsky (how perfect!) with a hilarious lewd --although with Tori, nothing is lewd, everything is beautiful-- guesture and the wonderful line, 'girl, why won't you swallow'? I was very surprised to hear Caught a Lite Sneeze. I think the pele girls have put on their petticoats and are ready to come out and dance on this tour, and I couldn't be happier to see them decked out in all their finery! I've never heard a Tori mistake before. it was so fucking funny. She sang "Jamaci...whoops" and laughed for a bit, very good-natured and sweet. :) Siren was a completely surprise. These huge green light gels swirled on the crowd during this song, like moving green roses. We were entranced.
Raspberry Swirl was like a laser light show, an electric tornado of light and sound with Tori right in the middle, right in the vortex, directing all the energy right to us. The last song, The Waitress, seemed a little tiring-- I'm sure supergirl would have been exhausted after the performace she gave--until, that is, the piano interlude near the end. The yellows lights dimmed and bronze Tori's body in shadows, and right then, when she stood to play, I saw that she and the piano had merged. They were one being, one animal. And that's the way they said.
The other RAINN kids (hi guys. I'm so so sorry I don't remember your names, but you were both so sweet) and I tried to wade our way backstage, which took a while. Joel let us through with a very warm "Hi guys." One girl from the crowd yelled out, 'give my love to Tori.' I know exactly how she felt, wanting to express my love and gratitude for Tori and not having a way of doing so. Anyway, we met John, who is adorable and sweet, and after a few short minutes he ushered us down a long hallway and into Tori's dressing room. I was freaking out. I had stopped breathing a long time ago, but I figured I'd have at least a few minutes to think of something to say, and here I had NO time to think! I think perhaps I was in shock. My mind turned to jello, and yeah, I felt that bowling ball in my stomach, and that desert, uh huh. I couldn't believe that at the end of this hall was... Tori.
And there she was, standing in the middle of the room, with her arms out, like an angel. She looked so beautiful. It was very dark; there were candles burning and nice mood lights, but even in the darkness I could see her beauty. She looked so tired. I wanted to just give her a hug, but I was too scared to move. I had smuggled a camera in, but I was also too nervous to ask to take a picture (I'm a idiot. I KNOW I'm an idiot). She thanked us for supporting RAINN (US? We should have been thanking her for forming RAINN). She signed some things for us. I gave her wildflowers and a card. We didn't have a lot of time with her, myabe five minutes. I don't want to say a lot about this, because I want to follow the good example Mike always sets and respect Tori's privacy. But she touched my hand, she said my name, and she looked into my eyes and smiled. That was worth everything. That was worth the seven years I've spent alone in my room, listening to her music, and wishing with all my heart.
Do the auction, guys. Bid as high as you can. Bid higher. It is worth everything, even if you have to fly from five states away, even if your parents bitch you out. Do it for RAINN. Do it for Tori.
From Andrew Smith
August 25, 1998 - Hope you liked the show, cause i love it. Well, anything that I found disappointing was certainly not Tori's fault. Tori was destined to play with a band, that's all there is to it... She seems to love playing with them, you you can just TELL that they're having the best time of their lives. I was also pleasantly surprised to see that Tori is keeping up with current political events, especially those involving the spit vs. swallow controversy :)
*steps up onto his soapbox*
okay... Rule #69 why Tori should play at the Fox when she is in Atlanta: People might sit down and shut the fuck up while Tori is playing a song like China... well lets not limit it to china... how about EVERY GODDAMNED SONG! hehehe, okay i'm done
*gets down off the soapbox and slips past the moshpit of toriphiles, screaming to get the attention of the roadie that is about to throw away Tori's water bottle*
Don't get me wrong, I DID love the show.
From cindy26471 (posted to the Precious-Things mailing list)
August 25, 1998 - i know i am going to be attacked for this, but it is just my honest opinion. as much as i adore tori and considering the fact that the show in birmingham was the most amazing thing ever, is there anyone else from either one of the atlanta shows, especially the first night, who felt a little bit disappointed? i guess i was just expecting the same amount of energy and rawness of emotion. i felt that there were way too many people there who had just heard spark on the radio and needed something to do that night. the second night there were - tons- of little kids there with there parents and preppy women in dresses and pant suits. it just didnt seem nearly as intimate to me. i even heard one girl say on her way in that she wanted to see the t-shirts so she would know what this tori girl looked like. while i loved seeing tori again, i was just wondering if anyone else shared my opinion. i would also like to add this advice, in my own personal opinion: if you have the choice of seeing her play in an ampitheatre in your own town or driving 100 miles to see her in a nice concert hall, etc i would definately advise you to do the latter. no disrespect meant to tori or anyone else.
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