North American Plugged '98 Tour
Tori performed in Amherst, MA on November 15, 1998 at the Mullins Center (UMASS) during the main North American leg of her Plugged '98 tour.
Tori performed Cloud On My Tongue, Leather, Graveyard, and Frog On My Toe solo. Thanks to Matt Page & Richard Handal for calling me on the phone with the set list. Thanks to Alison Rosen and Zachary Burnham for first emailing the set list to me.
The most recently added reviews are first.
From Deborah Ann Tinnirello
November 24, 1998 - I'm finally recovering from the most amazing weekend of my life. I don't know if Tori is psychic or she was just really in tune with the audience last night but she played the most incredible setlist ever!!! The day started of great, my girlfriend (Eva) came up for the weekend with our friend Anthony to visit and of course see Tori. We got to UMass around 1 to find about 60 people there, they were giving out numbers to keep order before they set up the lines. It was FREEZING!!!!! It's amazing how many wonderful people you can meet at these things...Everyone was in good spirits, singing dancing talking, huddling for warmth...the energy by 6:30 was amazing I knew this concert was going to knock my socks off. They opened the doors at 7, very orderly...the security was tight, but in a good way that kept things in control. There were not many people in there at all!!! I was shocked (and a little happy, it always feels more intimate w/a small crowd), there are 5 colleges in the valley and Tori fans were not well represented from a lot of the schools...oh well...enough, I'll talk about the show.
Unbelievable Truth was pretty good...best opening band I've heard in a while and much better than the devlins. Watch the lead guitarist while they play..he's so funny...maybe he's trying to imitate Caton.
Tori came out in her black outfit with a pale pink glittery apron, she was glowing from the second she walked on to the stage, looking as beautiful as ever. She walked on and kind of bowed to us...it was great
Precious Things - Wow!!! So much better than MSG iieee - incredible, "you took my little girl" was so intense and grabbing her stomach during "sacrifice"
Doughnut Song - was she listening to my girlfriend outside saying "I would love to hear doughnut song"??? It was truly amazing, the band really made it great!! I wish I knew the words to the intro...was it a cover? if someone knows the words please email me! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Hotel - Not a huge fan of this song on the album but now I know what everyone is talking about when they say you have to hear it live...it was excellent!!!
Past the Mission - This is in fact mine and my friend Anthony's song, my mouth dropped when she sang it!! A lot like the album but absolutely fab!
Sugar - I don't know if the story before really made that song, or if it was her adding profanity, one of my favorite of the night...I've seen it live before but this time it was superb!
Cloud - okay, the guy who yelled "ME" after "someone's knocking on my kitchen door," got the greatest Tori look I've ever seen! This one made me cry, so beautiful!!
Leather - quite a surprise! The whole crowd sang along as Tori's soared over ours...simply perfect (minus the wrong not which got us an "oops"), just right for the crowd
Bells - so different from the album!! Great!!
Graveyard - SO BEAUTIFUL!! one of my faves of the night! she wasn't singing to a guy tonight I wonder who it was for...this might have been my fave of the night...although I thought Tear was going to be next I was wrong...
Crucify - what a great surprise!! not the best song of the show but it was damn good!!
Spark - I have to agree w/the girl who described this song in one word ORGASM!! This is one of my songs w/Eva...which made it extra special!! The bridge was incredible tonight!!!
Waitress - 10 mins...this song is just so wonderful now always a treat! not many hang ten people in the audience, but Tori smiled at us who did!
Cocaine - this might just be my fave song on FTCGH now. Tori grabbed the mic at the end of the song and was shaking more than usual, we thought she might pass out, but she didn't, she through the mic and kind of knocked it off the keyboard stand
Swirl - amazing as always, everyone danced like crazy even though Cocaine made us tired!
Muhammed - Tori tricked me, I thought this was going to be horses!! When I heard the first cords I started crying, this is my fave Pele song (and my girlfriends fave pele song too, so she was freaking out)...I can't believe she played it, I almost died!! WOW WOW WOW!!!!!!
Frog - a complete shock, she said she was going to "fuck around with us" while the boys were setting up, I thought at first this was going to be Purple People, but again I was tricked...Great story, Tori had the worst potty mouth that night!! (it was great!!)
PGY - okay, now if Muhammed didn't kill me, this did. Never expected this one, this was my fave of the night...one of our (Mine, Eva and Anthony's) fave songs ever!!! my mouth was on the floor for the whole song and I couldn't help but cry! WOW WOW WOW WOW!!!!!! did I mention WOW???
Sorry this was so long, and late, but I can't help but gush. I hope that I can find those to lovely girls who I met in line (Amber and Megan)...Email me if you are reading this (email@example.com)...An amazing show, can't wait till NJPAC (my last show of the tour)!!!
From Rachel Gardner
November 17, 1998 - Well, I have to agree with the reviews I've seen so far, the UMass show was simply amazing. It was my first, so I don't have a basis for comparison, but it was an experience I will remember forever.
So we waited outside forever for the doors to open, but when they finally did we booked it to the floor. My friend was grumbling that she paid such and such and there were no chairs on the floor and her coat was gonna get stepped on, but I didn't care. We were 15 feet from the stage; I've never been so close to any stage in my life and I thought it was totally worth being smooshed with hundereds of other people to be so close to Tori.
The Unbelievable Truth came on and did their thing, but there weren't a lot of people there yet and we wern't very enthusiastic, but whatever. We were getting antsy, but went completely crazy when Tori came out. When she sat down and the played the first chords of Precious Things, I was shaking. I was so unbelievably excited to see her and be so close I was freaking out :). Anyway, her voice was deep and intense on Precious Things...the energy for the whole show was very directed and intense, I thought.
iieee was good...she added a long improv at the end, not all of which I could understand, but it was cool. She did a little motorcycle-riding motion before she started playing.
I was glad she played Hotel; I've been warming to it lately and thought it would be awesome with the lights and stuff and it was. The lights for the whole show were amazing.
Cloud on my Tongue was also wonderful, I was hoping the mirror balls would come on but they didn't. That was ok cause I was spinning in my own private world; it was too bad there wasn't enough to dance but we there was a little room. It was also hard to see Tori over people's heads (I'm short); they really should think about selling tickets by height. ;)
Anyway, then came my favorite part of the show: She played "Leather". Now this was the first Tori song I ever heard, which led to me buying Little Earthquakes, and the rest is history. It's still my favorite and was was praying that if she played none of my other faves, she would play this one. And when I heard the opening notes I was hysterical. All these red lights were on Tori and the whole audience was singing. It was F*@&ING AMAZING. It was slow and sultry and absolutely gorgeous. And when she was playing one of the later chords she messed up and went "oops" and smiled. It was so cute :). So I can die a happy woman now ;).
The last three songs in the main set were all favorites. I liked all the songs she did from Choirgirl Hotel. She took her time coming out for the first encore (I think she might have missed her entrance cause she ran to the Bosey and was sort of grinning). She's Your Cocaine is another favorite and it was really great and intense live.
Pretty Good Year was a delightful surprise ending. And the mirror balls came on and there were beautiful blue lights and the whole thing was breathtaking. Just watching the lights spinning off the mirror balls at the end was so beautiful I almost cried. The whole experience was unforgettable. There's a whole new dimension of love and appreciation and respect for Tori after seeing her live.
Again it was absolutely incredible and a night I will never forget.
November 17, 1998 - I'll try to just say what hasn't been glowed over yet---
I couldn't quite grab the thread of the show, like the magic carpet was just out of reach. I was plunked down in the floor 'seating' surrounded by the most beautfiul faeries and kept hanging on for dear life.
Springfield felt like a consistent story, and last night Tori was all over the place. She felt a lot more free, and played around, improved a lot more-- it was interesting to see which girls she played with--Waitress crescendoes into all-out chaos electric white noise, and even Hotel felt rephrased-- the jumping-back-and-forth stood out more than on the album. Some girls stayed pretty much the same, like Pretty Good Year-- and I wondered what made Tori need to add to the songs, what it was that made her go abck to an old song to make it new-- Spark seemed like an old lady by this point, especially for those of us who met her in April.
The whole show was waking up from a soft dream (Donut Song, Cloud on My Tongue) and crashing into the Underworld,a nd right back up again...
So sexy, too-- I'd never seen Tori all-out like that. The girl next to me kept commenting that she'd like to be the piano bench. Tori sipped some soup before Waitress and we swooned-- of course, there were the moments during the end of Cocaine with the mike--
The sing-a-long during 'Leather' was the pinnacle of what I think Richard Handal called the girl-energy--- I hope Tori was into it, too. We were giggling during Cloud on My Tongue because after 4 hours plus outside, "All the girls here are freezing cold..." But maybe it was about sex, too. :) Arctic, ice castle-y sex. Raspberry Swirl made sense on a whole new level--
This one'll keep me warm through the Winter--
From Anthony Baldman
November 17, 1998 - I was so surprised there were no seats on the floor but it all worked out in the end. The friends I went with didn't want to stand all night so I ended up going to the floor alone, but I had a great view, about 30-40 feet back in the center. I was psyched that I was so close considering I got to the Mullins Center at 6:45 pm. I couldn't believe that 3/4 of the floor was empty when I finally got into the building around 7:40.
This was my fifth Tori show and I was lucky to hear some songs I haven't heard live yet. The new version of "Bells for Her" is much better than the version on UTP. I never liked that song much, but the new arrangements on the piano, in addition to the band, make it a lot better. I was relieved to hear "Hotel" live. I was glad she did the "I have to learn to let you crash down" part on the piano instead of the keyboard.
Most of the main set was UTP and LE heavy, but I didn't mind that at all. "Doughnut Song" is my fav from BFP and she did a beautiful rendition of it. She did a lot of intros that sounded so foreign to me. I wonder if she is practicing material from future songs or B-sides. I was hoping to hear the new version of "Father Lucifer" but I have the Lowell show and the UNH show left to hear it. "Pretty Good Year" was incredible. I was glad that, for most of the song, I could really hear Tori on the piano. She wasn't drowned out by the drums and guitar. Hearing "Graveyard" was such a surprise. I wish the song was longer and I think it would be a great intro to "Marianne".
From J 2
November 16, 1998 - I'll keep this as quick and to the point as i possibly can.
i can't even explain how incredible this show was. i can only say that it was very obvious that tori was happy. she was very flirty and had this energy...that was like...the only way that i can describe it is this energy she had was working out some major issues with the songs. there was this underlying aggression that surfaced as something other than anger. i have seen several shows and this one is definitely near the top of the list. i am going to lowell and durham later this week, and at this point i can't see how they will compare. She will never cease to amaze me!!
From Laurie Sawin
November 16, 1998 - I just got home from the Tori concert and I am still in the clouds...she was truly amazing. Definitely one of the better concerts. Tori was tight black pants and a black shirt with a glittery apron thing over it(I don't know how else to describe it but she wore a similar outfit to the R.I. concert as well) She was amazing tonight,she was smiling alot and dancing. You could see she was really having a great time performing. I was so happy to be on the floor I could see her so perfectly and toward the end I went back and stood near the sound box and I noticed one of the sound engineers (I forget his name he is the tall blond one with glasses) put on a huge smile when tori told her story abut her nephew and his potty mouth. She ended with Pretty Good year which was so beautifully done..she had the disco balls going and it was truly mesmerizing.I have never been fortunate enough to be in the front on the floor but I can't even imagine how powerful it must be. I have two more Tori shows left to go to this year..one in Lowell and one in N.H. I am hoping she will play Merman at one of those shows, she sang that at the Avalon in Boston and it was the most incredible ,beautiful experience.
From Natalie Emma
November 16, 1998 - i don't usually write reviews, but this show blew my mind. maybe i enjoyed more because i was alone and uninhibited.
anyway, the show was so powerful. the first few notes of precious things began and i just knew that it would be amazing. thirty seconds into the song i had tears streaming down my cheeks. but i was sitting next to two statues, who didn't even applaud after the songs! plus, there was a girl standing up in front of me, dancing like she was going to take someone out and screaming "i love you, tori!" after every song... (there's a limit, people...) so i moved to sit by myself.
towards the end of "iieee" tori sang "i know you understand, understand, the way i feel, you took my little girl, when i get there, i'm gonna get there, when i get there i'm gonna ask you 'why?'"
before the "doughnut song" she did a little improv that went something to the effect of "you're so safe there living in your house of ice and glass, telling me what to do, telling what me and bosey can play..." i'm positive there's more to that, but i was so wrapped up. this improv was so precise and natural that i thought sure it was a song we have yet to hear, maybe "snow cherries from france".
during "leather", she hit a wrong key and giggled, "oops!"
before sugar she told this adorable story about how she got the idea for the song. it went something like this: "so i was being pushed to write bsides after little earthquakes, i think it was little earthquakes, anyway, i was trying to think of a song and all i could think about was my appetite, of course, which made me think of something sexual. which is funny, because my husband, he knows he has to give it to me first... no, not in that way. so, anyway, this guy came and he was singing to me, and you can imagine who it was, who else could it be?" (she pulls her hair back and sticks her lips out and sings, in a deep, strong voice "sugar").
i'm not sure when "graveyard" was played, but she was singing it to someone other than her grandfather tonight. she was singing it to a female.
waitress wasn't so long tonight. it was more concise and brief, which made it better than i've seen it in the past. i love what tori's done with the song, how she's expanded it, but sometimes it can be too long, especially since you know the show's almost over. and the encores are waiting. after this song, the band got together and got into their little huddle...
cocaine and swirl being the first two encores really wipes a dancer out. during the intro for cocaine, she did a little dance out onto the stage and then danced for the audience for a while before sitting. then caton danced to the end of her bosey and danced at tori a little...
the second encore was so beautiful, the whole thing. muhammed was gorgeous with the band. then she says, " while the guys are changing instruments i'm just gonna fuck around with you. i have this nephew, he's five years old, and he has such a sailor's mouth. (raises her hand) he doesn't get it from me, honest, i hardly see this kid. so i say to him, 'ok, cock-dick-motherfucker, what do you want to do?' and he looks at me and says, ' you're a grownup, you said a bad word' and i say 'yeah, i'm a grownup, i know more fucking words than you.' but, at least he hasn't been expelled from school. it's not me... i'm a good christian aunt..." then she does a heartbreaking "frog on my toe" as caton puffs away on his cig and drinks wine... love that boy.
then they ended with "pretty good year", which is absolutely electric with the band. she was so vocal tonight and it was obvious that she was in an extremely good mood. she thanked everyone for coming out to the sessions in new york on saturday night and said that they were a lot of fun.
this can't even begin to explain the energy this show had. it was almost as if it weren't under tori's control. she was having such a good time and really enjoying herself. it felt really intimate. no one could touch her tonight...
(i also want to tell suzanne, who was standing next to me at the WRONG end of the meet and greet that i'm sure tori got your box and loved it... write me if you want firstname.lastname@example.org )
From Markie Matteson
November 16, 1998 - Tori WAS in great spirits. this was my 5th show of the tour, and it was definitely the most FUN of all that i've seen. for MY money, the funniest part was MUSICAL - before the piano/vocal break in "she's your cocaine", they played a few bars "sweet leaf" and shot a sampled ozzy "all RIIIGHTnow!" thru the PA. not everyone got it, i'm sure, but I laughed my *ss off...
From Alison Rosen
November 16, 1998 - Well, I have seen a few Tori shows in my day :-) but this one was the most amazing for many reasons which I will go into. The meet and greet did not really happen, due to the annoying security people. I'm not even going to waste my time discussing that whole situation. At the show tonight I had seats, not floor (general admission) but I was content. I had really GREAT seats. I was once again bored to death by Unbelievable Truth (did tori pick these guys?) but when she finally came on, nothing else mattered!
Precious Things was, as always, amazing. (Everything has been said about this baby.) Next was Iieee, one that I always enjoy. Doughnut Song was a surprise, but a pleasant one. I was never really into this song on the album but I really like it in concert. Hotel was cool, again not one of my faves but hey, no Tori is bad to watch live ya know.
Here was where the concert took such a sharp upward turn for me, I thought I was going to pass out of excitement. She played Past the Mission next, which I have never heard live before. It was so well done and I was just so excited I didn't know what to do with myself. But then, of course, it got better.
Tori told this cute little story about how the next song was written...summary of story goes like this, she was being forced into writing B-sides but she was really hungry, and there was a voice in her head whispering SUGAR the whole time. I must say the Tori quote of the evening was when she was talking about Mark: (rough guess of quote) "My husband is so good and patient with me, he knows he always has to feed me first" or something like that. Tori said it better. But it was damn funny. So then she went into a rockin' version of Sugar.
Then, the absolute high point of my night, year, entire 3 years since I have been so involved with Tori's music. I have always been in love with Cloud on my tounge...I can't even explain why I love it so much, but it just has a lot of meaning for me and I have always crossed my fingers to hear it at every show, but to no avail. Except tonight. The second of recognition of that song was one I will never forget. My eyes welled up and my whole body just began to shake. I couldn't even believe that my dream was finally coming true. this may sound extreme to some, but if you have ever FINALLY heard that one song you have always NEEDED to hear, you know what I mean. I just sat in a state of shock and euphoria during the entire song.
Leather was fun, my roomate Ilysse was going crazy because that is just her song. I was still sort of tingly and shaky so I couldn't totally get into the fun, but Leather was just such a fun song. Bells for Her was another real surprise for me. I was so psyched for all the Under the Pink songs--its my favorite album. I really liked the way Bells was done. I am sort of an instrument ignoramus, but I liked the shaker instrument the drummer was using. (excuse my ignorance please.)
Next was Graveyard which is just so beautiful. It led right into Crucify which I have also never heard live before but I actually wasn't too into it. I don't know. Spark totally brought me up, though. There is no other way for me to describe that song except ORGASM. I think I remember it even being a tad more powerful at the Fleet Center show in August, but still, wow. And she ended off this awesome main set with Waitress, as always. So fantastically done, with lighting and all. I really love this tour.
First encore: really energized and action packed. I really felt like Tori was having fun up there while playing Cocaine and Raspberry Swirl. I was dancing like crazy! Second encore: Muhammed my Friend was another big surprise. I will admit I am very lukewarm to that song, comprable to Hotel in the way that i wasn't complaining or anything. Next Tori told a great story about her little 5 year old nephew who has quite the potty mouth! she said that she just sat down and spewed all these swears at him (I can't even remember the whole string of them!) and the kid was just shocked. it was really cute. Then she played Frog on my Toe!!! I was so excited! This song is just so touching and beautiful.
Then last--Pretty Good Year!!!!! I was screaming and jumping around out of the euphoria of this entire night. There aren't any more words to describe how joyous I was at having this song end this awesome concert. I absolutely love Pretty Good Year, and it was just the perfect ending. "What's it gonna take" is so powerful, and perfect for the tour (lighting etc.)
So now I am just riding on this Tori high...it was my last show of the tour, which is sad, but I really feel content. This was the kind of show I needed to see so that I can go without live Tori for awhile! It really was unbelievable, especially that I finally heard Cloud on My Tounge live. Absolutely great.
From Deb Whittemore
November 16, 1998 - Absolutely incredible. Tonight's show was awesome! (Of course, I only have one other show to compare it to, Springfield on Aug. 2nd). Then, Tori was sick and silent. Tonight she was definitely feeling up to performing.
First of all, it was FREEZING out there, waiting to get in! And I'm not even going to go into detail about the two guys upstairs in the Mullins Center who mooned us while we were waiting in line! ANYWAY, after the Unbelievable Truth droned on for an hour (I swear even they were bored with themselves), Tori came out ready to have a good time. She thanked everyone for coming out to the taping in New York the day before, and talked several times during the show, once about the origin of Sugar and another time about her little nephew with a foul mouth. Several times she did little dances on the stage, and before one song I saw her eating something out of a bowl.
You could tell she was having a blast. During Leather, as everyone was singing along, she messed up just a little bit, stopped and said, "Ooops!" and kept going. At the beginning of Cloud on My Tongue, when she sang, "Someone's knocking on my kitchen door," someone yelled, "Yeah, me!" she stopped and grinned, then kept going.
Standouts for me include She's Your Cocaine, which was so much better, in my opinion, live, Past the Mission, Cloud on My Tongue, and Pretty Good Year.
What a terrific ending that song was. Simply gorgeous. Yeah Tori, it has been a pretty good year.
From Richard Handal
November 16, 1998 - Richard tells me that tonight's show was likely one of his top 5 shows of all time. It was a really wonderful show and Tori was smiling like crazy. He has never seen her so relaxed and happy. Her show started at 9:22 and ended at 11:07. "The Waitress" ended at 10:38. Precious Things was fiery and passionate. During "Doughnut Song" Steve did an amazing guitar solo. Tori told a story before "Sugar" which was a good variation of the usual "Sugar" story. It was a hilarious anecdote equating food with sex and involving Ian Stanley and the composition of "Sugar." For "Cloud On My Tongue," there was a florid opening section. After the first line, "someone's knocking on my kitchen door", a wave of laughter swept through the crowd. This may have been in relation to her talk of sex and food earlier. Crucify was relaxed, expressive, wonderful--best ever. For the entire show there were these amazing dancing girls (12-20 or more at any given moment) on the floor in the back of the crowd. They were doing a cross betweeen a Grateful Dead twirling dance and a modern interpretative dance. It was the most fabulous "girl energy" that Richard has seen since the Portland, OR show on July 21, 1996. He would have been pleased to have come up from D.C. just for this one show in Amherst. Tori was repeatedly purring during Raspberry Swirl. Concerning the differences between the actual and written set lists, Tori added Graveyard between Bells & Crucify. Frog On My Toe was not on the official/written set list. Continuing with the sexual theme of tonight's show, there was the following typo on the set list: Instead of "Spark" there was "Spank."
November 16, 1998 - Just got back from the Amherst show. What an adventure it was to get there, but it was totally worth it - the best show I've been to yet. I'll posta review in a day or two, but for now, here's the lineup:
Like I said, it was fabulous!!!
November 16, 1998 - I just attended the best TORI show of my life.I don't know what else to say but she played so many wonderfull songs. Frog on my toe, Muhommad my Friend, Crucify, and Cloud on my tounge. I honestly have never had a better two hours before. I had excellent seats and had a good view of Steve smoking a cigarette on stage. There that's all, go Umass.
November 16, 1998 - Just got back from Tori's concert. She was awesome as usual. Her voice was in top form and she was very talkative tonight. This is the best I''ve heard her yet. Sorry this is short,tired and going to sleep.
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