North American Plugged '98 Tour
Tori performed in Houston, TX on October 3, 1998 at Woodlands Pavillion during the main North American leg of her Plugged '98 tour.
Tori performed Icicle and Leather solo. Special thanks to Tami for calling me on the phone with the set list. I apologize for having to get off the phone so quickly when you called! I also must thank Dink, who also called me on the phone with the set list, and Molten123, who first emailed me the set list. Tori performed 18 songs, which is more than usual (even though one of the songs was the relatively short Graveyard, which Tori sang as an introduction to Talula.)
The most recently added reviews are first.
From Hollie Slaton
October 18, 1998 - hi...i just read the reviews of the houston show at the woodlands...i swear i must have seen some of those people...my friends and i had left around two in the afternoon...we didn't even know about the meet and greet...but when we got there, we found that we'd just missed tori by ten minutes...we were devastated...we had stopped to buy her flowers and some other things on the way there...and we were crushed that we'd fooled around so long that we missed her...(although reading about that meet and greet, it seems like we probably wouldn't have gotten to talk to her at all anyway)...we did notice the security guy carrying a copy of the jackie's strength single to the back (a guy mentioned that she'd asked if anyone had it during the meet and greet) and we yelled after him asking if he was getting it signed...we sat there for about 2 hours...and we could hear her doing sound check...muhammed my friend...it was so beautiful...the first time i'd ever heard tori sing live...the security guy came back and we asked him if she was going to come back after the show and he promised us that she would...so we relaxed and listened to the rest of the sound check....we couldn't bring our cameras into the pavillion, and we really wanted pictures, so we left during "she's your cocaine" to go get the cameras and the flowers...i was so full of adrenaline that i was screaming the words at the top of my lungs on the way out...got some strange looks...you know, like..."if she likes it so much, why is she leaving" type of looks...heh...there were about 25-30 people waiting for her when we got back...and we stood there smashed together like sardines for about 2 hours...i had these bulky flowers that i had to hold up so they didn't bash into anyone...we met some really nice people...(and some that were not so nice)...so tori finally came...she had brought us some water, which we all passed around...she was wearing her overalls...i could barely see her...and everyone behind me was pushing and shoving...but i somehow got my book up to her to sign, and she asked if it mattered which page she signed on!...heh...she even spelled my name right (could be because i yelled it at the top of my lungs...) this was the best show i've ever been to and i will always remember it....tori is my role model...and she is definitely a goddess...
October 5, 1998 - Could it be the weather? October 3rd, and it's still very hot and humid in Houston - typical. It even rained a little earlier in the day to make sure it was extra humid for Tori and the boys. One of Tori's few comments during the show was something like "I Don't know how you guys stand it. I thought North Carolina was hot" The Woodlands Pavilion is an open air venue. All the reserved seats have a tent-like covering over them, then open lawn seating surrounds that. Usually the stage is blown with a/c for the artist. I don't think it was working or maybe they opted for not having it so they can use the smoke machines. Either way it was hot and close and Tori made something wonderful out of it. Most performers would be melting and in a hurry to finish their show to get back to the a/c. Not Tori, she seemed to give herself over to it and got something back from all the heat and moisture and played a longer show than normal and played brilliantly I might add. I was surprised and thrilled when she played a second song during the second encore.
The timing of the Texas shows in 1994 for Under the Pink coincided with her break up from e.r. and her sadness during the Houston show was palpable and heartbreaking. The timing of her shows in Texas in 1996 for Boys for Pele coincided with the death of my father and my sadness during the Houston show left me a little insensible, so I decline to review it. The timing of these Texas shows in 1998 are, in a sense, part of her honeymoon, and her happiness during the Houston show was palpable and delightful.
Despite the heat Tori wore a long-sleeved (!!!) black leotard top and black slacks with her trademark silver apron on top of it all. At the start of the forth song, she thoroughly doused her head with her drinking water, then joined the boys who had been playing the intro to "Hotel". As she toweled off her hair she improvised something wonderful like "Come in HoustonCome in Houston Three miles out" The musical moment struck me as being like some sort of surreal variation of "Gonna Wash That Man Right Out Of My Hair" from bizarro South Pacific. ;-}
"Icicle" was the first solo tune during secret time. I'd like to know if this was on the set list or inspired by the oppressive heat. Maybe it *was* the weather that helped her nail "Leather" as the second solo tune. It was an absolutely perfect rendering of the song, and the simple lovely lights were perfect; many many small white laser spots from everywhere which were all directed at her.
"iieee" and "Playboy Mommy" seemed linked to me during this performance. She seemed to very purposely follow "iieee" with "Playboy Mommy". Not that she linked them musically, just chronologically. It's clear (and no surprise) that the tragedy of her miscarriage continues to figure predominately into the emotion she plays these songs with, and presumably always will.
Boys for Tori The guys really have brought so much to her stage work. I knew when this tour started, she and her brothers would find their groove in no time. Having seen them live, I'd say they have in spades. The quality of musicianship was magnificent. I wonder if she will ever tour again as just the girl and her piano because she just looked so happy playing with the guys, and musically challenged as well, which has to be fertile soil to so gifted a musician.
From Jennifer (shyrrl - Posted to the Precious-Things mailing list)
October 5, 1998 - This had to have been one of the saddest shows I've seen of the three texas ones so far.. my friend and i had lawn seats, right near the speakers, and thankfully remembered our binoculars. We got there for the meet and greet before the show, but were #55 and 56 so we gave up all hope and sat to the side after handing my camera and letter to a few friends in front. She mentioned maybe playing Never Seen Blue, and asked if anyone had the Jackie's Strength single so she could go listen to it, so look forward to that sometime soon! During the sound check she played Muhammad my Friend, seeming to be having trouble with the "i got a place in the pope's rubber room" part.. but from the way the rest of the song sounded, I'm jealous of who gets to hear it for the first time live :) She also played iiee and spark during the soundcheck.
When they let us in, we settled down in a pretty good lawn spot. Devlins were good, mentioned only having 2 more shows left with Tori.
Tori came out finally, here's the set list:
Precious Things - 19 sec girl
At the after show I asked her about what she was eating during the show, which is when she said ginger. Someone also asked if she was a natural redhead, and she replyed by saying no, "the grill doesn't match" which I thought was really cute cuz I am a natural redhead and she gave me this little smile when she said that
From Marcus Lambert
October 4, 1998 - I went to the Tori show yesterday and it was incredible! She played 18 songs, which is way more than she usually plays. I was in the second row of the right section (the aisle seat), so I could see everything really clearly. This was a really powerful show, and she chose most of the 'drum and guitar' songs. She played a lot from Under the Pink, which is my favorite album.
The meet-and-greet before the show was very well organized. I was #12, but there were around 80-90 people there by the time Tori arrived. (She was late, getting there at 4:45pm) Tori seemed impressed that we were so calm and co-ordinated. She mentioned how hot it was outside and some people brought us water. I managed to get my Winter c.d. signed and got in a request for her to play Talula, she said "I think we can do that, let me add it to my list, ok?" and she wrote it on her hand! I basically died when she played it later!
Anyway, the Devlins came on around 7:55pm and left around 8:25pm. They were o.k., but their music seemed kind of sleepy! Tori came on at 9:15pm while the band played the intro to Precious Things. The crowd was really into this song. She then sang Spark (amazing live!) and then introduced "her brothers" referring to her band. Cornflake Girl was next. I was so happy to hear this! Before she played Hotel, she did an improv with a towel. She poured water on her head (I guess because she was hot) then while singing some new lyrics, wrapped the towel around drying her hair!! It was so cool. The next song was Bells For Her. This sounded so different than the album version, but it was so well done. One of the best parts of the evening! My absolute favorite song i i e e e was next and was even better live than on the album. Next came Playboy Mommy which was so sad, probably the saddest song of the evening.
Tori's band then left and she sang Icicle. It was amazing. Everyone went crazy when she said the line " I think the good book is missing some pages." She next sang Leather, which is also one of my personal favorites. It was really well done, and almost identical to the album version.
The band came back on and started Pretty Good Year. This was one of my favorite parts of the show. I loved it when the band kicked in at the "hey, what's it gonna take....." part! Little Earthquakes followed which contained some different lyrics, but I'm not sure what they were. Next was Graveyard. It was real short but then the music went wild and these green, yellow and purple 'flower' looking things were spinning on the backdrop. When she said "Talula, talula...." I went weak! I couldn't believe she sang my request! The girl next to me had binoculars (don't ask me why since we were so close to the stage) and she gave them to me because she said she swore Tori was looking directly at me. I looked through them and I SWEAR she was! I waved and she smiled, so that kind of confirmed my assumption. That just made my day!! I loved this version of Talula, it was so energetic! She then went into The Waitress which was stretched out completly at the end! It must have been at least 5-10 mins of her saying "I believe in..." and mentioning different things! It was really awesome.
The first encore started with She's Your Cocaine and everyone in the pit and row A stood up, so I had to as well which was cool because everyone was dancing!! Raspberry Swirl was next with an amazing light show and everyone was just dancing everywhere. There were these two people in the pit that were just going psycho, and at one point Tori pointed at them and mimicked the moves they were making with their hands!
The second encore consisted of Cruel (the girl next to me went crazy when she heard this since she had wanted to hear it!) It was actually a better version than on the c.d. I thought. The last song of the night was Black Dove (January) and before she sang she said it was "for the people out on the lawn" or something, at which screams came from way back behind me! When she said "I have to get to Texas" the crowd went wild and these bright white lights lit up the whole audience. Very cool.
Well that was the show! Just awesome, it couldn't have been better!! The venue seemed pretty much packed. The reserved seating section holds about 5,000 and it seemed to be full. The lawn holds a lot more, but I would have guessed about 1,500 to 2,000 were on it. I'm hoping that she releases a video of this tour because they were filming this show. There was a camera guy right in front of me (which got kind of annoying sometimes, but since I was on the aisle, I could lean out! Tori had so much energy and was having tons of fun. She seemed to love the crowd and at one point (not sure when) she said she loved us and blew a kiss out into the audience!
October 4, 1998 - Hi!!!!! Oh my gosh.... this was my first tori show... and WOW!!!!! It was GREAT!! But, the best part of me was the meet&greet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I got there around 11 30 and i was the 6th person there (number system) and i met some of the COOLEST people including Tami and Marcus... all the people there were so kind!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Tami was standing next to me when we got inline waiting for tori to come! The guards kept telling us 5 more min and blah blah... we all felt like we were about to pass out and were trying to find people w/ drinks etc. Then when the tour fan came up i felt almost competely revived!!!!!!!!! It was AMAZING!!!!!!!! I was trying not to cry!!!!!!!! She started on my side and signed some of Tami's awesome friends stuff and then came to me... she didn't really talk to me but she said Hi and signed my UTP booklet!!!!!! I got lots of good pictures which i am leaving right now to pick up!!!!!!!!!! It was so wonderful i cannot describe it!!!! The concert was like a minute long for me!!!!! It went by so fast.... i can't even remember her singing most of raspberry swirl... i was in heaven!!!!! My mom thought it was really cool!!!!!! Tori got a water bottle and got her hair wet and put a towel on her head and started singing... oh my gosh it ruled so much!!!!!!! She said "i don't know how you guys stand it, i thought it was hot in North Carolina" and later one she said something like "you guys are great, we should take you on the road" AHHHHH!!! It was just so wonderful!!!!!! I'll send you some of the M&G photos once i get them scanned!!! IT WAS WONDERFUL!!!!!!!!!!
From Bonnie O'Neill
October 4, 1998 - My friends and I went to see Tori at the Woodlands last night. What an incredible rush of energy went into that performance! The first time I saw Tori was in Rudder Theater at Texas A&M University, College Station. Just her and the piano, and the Skynyrd nut (hi Alexis!). That night was so much more intimate and heart-rending. Last night, however, was an earth-trembling experience. Tori knows how to get the fires going, each number built upwards swirling ferociously, and culminating in the surprising rendition of "Waitress" She just went over the edge, and most of us just sat, awestruck. We took off during the first encore to run to the meet-and-greet. Where we waited for an hour and a half in the sweltering Houston night air. She finally came out in a white t-shirt and some cute denim overalls. She gave us her water bottle (from which everybody took a drink from the 'tori-water'. . .I know, weird, but strangely enervating) She tried her best to get to everybody in the section the staff let her near. And, though only one of our group got her autograph, all of us got a sympathetic look and got to hear and SEE her up close. Overall, it was a fantastic eventing, and I can't wait until we get to see her again.
From Bill Rodriguez
October 4, 1998 - The Houston concert was great! The highlights for me were Icicle....I can't get enough of this song live. Many women screamed at "when my hand touches myself." My next favorite had to be She's Your Cocaine...in the middle of the song her and the band broke into "Sweetleaf" by Black Sabbath. The funny thing is not that many people noticed. I guess there's not too many Tori/Black Sabbath fans. Did anyone else notice "Sweetleaf"? And of course Black Dove was great. The whole crowd went wild when she sang about Texas.
Great concert and I can't wait for the next. Unfortunately I couldn't make the meet and greet this year. oh well...I still treasure my pic with her when she went to College Station.
October 4, 1998 - I went to the Tori concert tonight in Houston and I must say, even though this is only my second time seeing her, I think her energy must have been off the chart! From what I've read from other fans, this concert was the type that people talk about a long time after it's over... compared to San Antonio (even though I was in the front row there and on the lawn in Houston) the choice of songs and power behind them was much more electrifying.
For the sound check, I could've sworn she played Muhammad My Friend and something that sounded sort of like Never Seen Blue. I asked her if she'd being playing that any time soon when I met her in San Antonio and she said that she would... so she might decide to play it in the next week or so!
Precious Things -- this sounded quite similar to the version I heard in San Antonio. Definitely a crowd pleaser.
Spark -- she didn't play this in San Antonio and I was waiting to hear it live. Just as good as I thought it would be!
Cornflake Girl -- when my friend and I heard the opening to this we nearly died. This is one of my favorite Tori songs. In a later part of the song, Tori went off on a tangent with the lyrics and started saying "You gotta bring the keys girl, you know where they are" or something to that effect.
Hotel -- I knew she was going to play this as soon as I heard the opening, but Tori went into an incredible improv before she started singing the lyrics... I remember it being something like "40 miles out... gotta get there faster, 30 miles out..." and so on. It was hard to make out sometimes, but that's what I heard.
Bells for Her -- this one sounds completely different at first... but very beautiful. I was wondering... "is this something new?" Then she started singing the lyrics and I was in awe.
iieee -- that one line always gets me... "why can't it be beautiful?"
Playboy Mommy -- my friend was in tears during this entire song because it reminds her of her own miscarriage... this was spectacular live... it seemed like Tori was having a hard time getting through the song herself... but, maybe that's just my perception.
Icicle -- Tori introduced this song by saying "some of you probably know this, but I know all of you know part of it" or something like that. I could hear the audience singing along... especially when she said "I think the Good Book is missing some pages" and "they say take of his body but I think I'll take from mine instead."
Leather -- This was pretty much the same as in San Antonio... although, I thought the all-red lighting worked better for this song than the all-white lighting for tonight's show.
Pretty Good Year -- Tori played an awful lot of songs from Under the Pink... didn't she? Which is fine by me. :)
Little Earthquakes -- during the latter part of this song where she does "I can't reach you..." she started ad-libbing between lines saying things like "but this time I have to" and "this is the last time, you know it girl." Very powerful rendition.
Graveyard -- this came out of the blue. I wasn't expecting to hear many B- sides, especially not this one. It only lasted a minute, but it was just as beautiful as, if not more so, the version on the CALS single.
Talula -- the lone song from Pele... but what a choice! Just as good as the version I heard in San Antonio.
The Waitress -- okay... Tori went a major offshoot with this song. At the end of the song she said various things like "I believe in this, I believe in something, I believe in your mystery, I believe we can make it", etc., etc. I swear, it must have gone on and on for 10 or more minutes.
She's Your Cocaine -- Everyone on my side of the lawn stood up and danced when this one came on. Ahhh... good to have heard it at least once before I die. :)
Raspberry Swirl -- even more dancing! Tori probably doesn't know how much she needs to release a live album of this stuff. Her voice is even more incredible than on any CD I've heard.
Cruel -- whoa... Tori really let it all go with this one. She went off into some lyrics I haven't heard before with this one, too... most of which I don't remember or couldn't make out. Sounded even better live than on CD.
Black Dove (January) -- Oh my God... this was the perfect choice for a last song. One thing that was definitely different about this was that she said "I had to get to Texas" instead of "I have to get to Texas"...
All in all, this was the greatest concert experience I've ever had in my life. Period. She was on fire... really. She was spewing fire, and it was absolutely wonderful. I find it hard to believe that any other concert date could've been better than this one. It's just not possible.
From Ingrid (Dirgni)
October 4, 1998 - This show was absolutely lovely. The sky was beautiful, and the music was incredible. There were probably 1000 people there. I'm not really sure what the count was.
The Devlins played from 7:55 to 8:25 pm.
Tori came out at about 9:15. She was wearing a long-sleaved purple shirt and grey (I think) pants. Over this she wore a white lace apron with flowers on it. She didn't talk too much during the show between songs. I thought she sounded a bit hoarse.
She introduced "her brothers," her band, before Cornflake Girl.
After that they started the music for Hotel. The intro was really different than at the Austin show and the intro on the album. Sadly, I can't tell you much of what she said. She repeated "30 miles" quite a few times. During this she put a towel over her hair, then she moved it over her eyes. She had her hands over the towel on her forehead while she sang and she was shaking. After that, they kicked into the song and the towel was thrown aside.
Before the quiet time, she mentioned sending the boys away and put some lip gloss on. She said something to the effect that she's from Carolina and she thought she knew heat. Then she mentioned losing water weight.
During the second encore she said that she thought the audience was great and that she wished she could take us home. She played a second song, Black-Dove, which she said was for the people on the lawn. She ended around 11. Ok, that's all.
October 4, 1998 - I went to the Tori show Saturday night expecting a good concert , and came away thoroughly impressed with what a brilliant performer and musician Tori is. I knew this was something special right from the beginning. The band played an extended intro to "Precious Things", and then this little woman with the red hair walks out on stage, and the entire reserved seating in front of me rises to their feet in unison, almost lunging towards the stage. Most of them never sat back down the entire concert.
I got to hear "Spark", "Cornflake Girl", and "Little Earthquakes". "Doughnut Hole" would have been nice, but I realize it's rarely played in concert. Most of the audience was singing along to "Leather". But the highlight for me was a bit of a surprise, an almost completely rearranged "Waitress" (that ended the regular set) that bordered on musical brilliance. Thinking of the probably hundreds of times I've heard the CD version of "Waitress", this live version was so refreshingly different that it's the memory I'll take from the show.
After going to this show, I can't wait for the legit Tori "live" CD.
From Ryan Dohoney
October 4, 1998 - Here's the set list, it should be completely accurate:
Secret Time: "this is where the boys leave and I play some songs"
Wow, my first Tori show. It was trully incredible, not life changing but close to it. The audience was well behaved (except the drunk girl who was biting my roomate on the shoulder, but I digress). Tori didn't talk much, only when she introduced the band (after Spark i think) and later when she mentioned that it was hotter than North Carolina and she was trying to lose water weight. She said she loved us and blew us a kiss and said how great we were. She improved a bit before Hotel, and did a little dance with a towel as she wiped off the sweat. Enegry wise, she was off the chart. She was more powerful and lively that I thought possible. There was a lot of Tori dancing going on during Hotel, iiee, and cruel. I'm really tired now, and I'm getting up early for Mass tomorrow, so it's time to say goodnight. Actually, it was a great night. . .
Ryan from Rice
Please give me feedback, comments, or suggestions about my site. Email me (Michael Whitehead) at firstname.lastname@example.org