North American Plugged '98 Tour
Tori performed in Columbus, OH on November 29, 1998 at the Palace Theater during the main North American leg of her Plugged '98 tour.
Tori performed Sister Janet, Winter and Cooling solo.
The street in front of the Palace Theatre around 7pm. (Thanks to Richard Handal for the photo.)
The most recently added reviews are after my own.
December 8, 1998 - How can I even begin to describe this show? It was my second favorite Tori show of all time and the most emotional show I have experienced. It was a real rollercoaster ride. At points during the show I thought I would just explode from the intensity of emotion that washed over me. I met sadness and joy, anger and acceptance, all during the same show. All this was made even more intense because I was in the front row in the center. (Thank you Mark. You have no idea how much this meant to me.)
Mr. Hanky from South Park was dangling from Matt's drum set. Everytime Matt would hit the bass drum, one of Mr. Hanky's arms would fly out and make it look as if he was waving to the crowd. It was hilarious! Eventually, Mr. Hanky fell to the floor where he remained for the rest of the concert.
Before introducing the band Tori said that there were only 4 shows left to the tour and that the crowd was fantastic. Before Past The Mission, Tori told a story about how the shutting down of churches in New Mexico because of the molestation of young boys inspired her to start playing Past The Mission in concert again. It was really an incredible story and I hope some of the other reviews below detail it better than I did.
Secret time was the most emotional and tear-inducing moment I have had at a Tori show. I was already weak after Sister Janet. But after hearing Winter, Cooling, and Putting The Damage On back to back, I was ready to collapse. People, including myself, were crying all over the place. A wave of tears seemed to flow throughout the crowd. I have never had such a concert moment before, and I will never forget it. The facial expressions Tori gave during Winter were both incredible and touching.
During The Waitress Tori caused her bench to fall over. She just knelt down and gave a big grin, and a tech person ran out and sat the bench back up again. At the end of the song, guitarist Steve Caton grabbed Jon Evans on the butt as they left the stage!
Tori came up to the front of the stage and shook hands with us and gave us a group hug. She also said goodbye to some of the people she knew were at their last show.
Several of the songs I heard were the best versions I have heard live. That included iieee, Siren, Winter, Cooling, and Liquid Diamonds, which is my favorite choirgirl song. While all of Tori;s shows are emotional, tonight was unbelievable. While Knoxville remains my favorite overall show of the Plugged '98 tour, the tender and stirring nature of this show makes it a close second.
From Micah Westfall
May 5, 1999 - I do not know if anyone has sent these to you, but they are the words to the inro to "Siren" at Columbus from the last tour.
And if you go and you remember
From Micah Westfall
March 11, 1999 - I hope it is no to late to give my opinion of the Columbus, Ohio show. It was phenomenal. I do have one thing in particular to say that really made the show amazing for me. Well, one of many reasons that made the show wonderful. I just found the new intro into Siren to be especially haunting and beautiful. For me, the intro ranked up there with the inro for Black Swan she did in Lowel. I think one of my favorite things of this tour was the opportunity to hear the intros. I mean, the DDI tour was, in my opinion, way better than this tour because she played more song as they were being written. Also, I think the end of this tour was far better than the begining because it was finally coming together with the band. It was wonderful to see her and the show to begin with, but it seemed more cut and dried where as the tour got going it seemed to be give a better mix of the different songs. *****This is by no means a negative comment because I think Tori is a goddess and the greatest singer/song writter of all time.
From Kelly Stitzel
December 9, 1998 - Hi Mike! How are you? I'm doing fine. Well, I've finally gotten my lazy ass around to sending you a review of the Columbus show. I had such a fabulous time at that show and am really sad that I won't be seeing Tori again for quite awhile. I had so much fun hanging out with everyone and I must give a big thanks to Megan and Eric for giving me a seventh-row seat (which was third row from the stage by the end of the evening). That really meant a lot to me and really allowed me to enjoy such an emotional show even more. The only bad thing that happened that night was that I got really sick. I'm fine now, but being sick during a Tori show sucks! Anyway, I guess I'll talk about the show now, seeing as that is why I'm writing a review.
This was my second favorite show of the tour. It was so emotional and had a wonderful setlist. I'll go song-by-song, as I usually do.
Precious Things: Incredibly powerful and sensual, more than any other time I've seen it.
Father Lucifer: One of my favorites, especially with the band. Very strong tonight. Tori got stronger as the tour wound down and you could tell with this song.
Liquid Diamonds: The best I've seen this live. This is becoming one of my favorite girls and nothing compares to this song live. She took it nice and slow, allowing it to be savored by every person.
Crucify: Very intense performance of this song tonight. The band sounds very tight on this song. A classic in every way.
Past the Mission: This song, along with the story she told right before it, was quite powerful. The arrangement with the live band is so amazing. I started getting really emotional at this point.
Siren: One of the best parts of the concert. I had not heard this girl live yet and was really excited when I realized what she was playing. She took it slow and it was very sensual. The boys really showed their chops on this one, especially Caton. The thing that made this most special was that my friend Adam had requested it at the meet & greet and she played it for him.
Sister Janet: What a shocker this was! Tori's voice was so deep and husky on this girl tonight. I hadn't heard this one since Dayton '96, and was very glad she played it. I was even more emotional now.
Winter: I really should have been bawling at this point. However, I was afraid that if I started crying, I'd get sicker than I already was. This song was so powerful and emotional for me because my Dad had gotten married the day before and this was the song he and I danced to.
Cooling: The beauty continued with this amazing song. I wasn't sure if she'd do a triple secret time, but she did. I hadn't heard this live yet, either and was so pleased to get it tonight. Every emotion crossed her face here, just like in the song before.
Putting the Damage On: Another first live for me. I wanted to hear this badly and she didn't disappoint. How intense this was. Very sweet vocal. This was my good-bye song.
iieee: My favorite from Choirgirl. Love it live, but tonight was even more powerful and special. The best I've seen it live.
Little Earthquakes: This one blew me away tonight. Highly intense and powerful, sucked me right in. Another good-bye song.
The Waitress: POWERFUL! 'Nuff said.
Caught a Lite Sneeze: I wanted to hear Talula here, but this was fine, too. The best I've heard this live, too, and Tori was really getting into it.
Raspberry Swirl: Everyone was shakin' their booties here. Fun song.
Honey: I love this son and was happily surprised to hear it. Very emotional.
Jackie's Strength: I like this song, but have tired of it as of late. It was very sweet, though.
Well, that's all for me. I'm really sad that it's all over, but will cherish every moment of every show I've been to this tour. Hope to see you all again soon!
December 5, 1998 - one word. WOW! it was my first concert i'd ever been to, and how best to start with than tori amos. i've only been listening to her for about 6 months. i have all the full length cds. working on getting more b sides and unreleased stuff. for some reason, she's made my life complete. i needed something strong to guide me. whenever i feel like i need some inspiration..i pop in one of her cds, (little earthquakes usually) and just listen. to everything. she gives me such strength so that i do not shy away from anything.
anyways, the concert-- we arrived at the palace about 5:30 or 6:00. greatly disappointed that we missed the meet and greet. a few small groups were huddled around the doors. we were greeted by a few people. i felt totally at ease. then i started getting really excited. anxiety ran through me to no avail. when the doors opened, i rushed to the front. we all were huddled around the t-shirt stand, and i finally decided on the tee with the piano...and titles of her cds, in a scrambled sort of order.
i walked up the beautiful staircase in wonder. it was beautiful. our seats were 2 rows from the last, in the 3rd section, but they were still close enough to see quite a bit. as the opening band played, i complained of an ulcer i thought would form from my anxiety. after what seemed like hours, the curtain was replaced by band members, and the lights went down, and the lasers were in full effect. i gripped dane's hand, and there she was! as beautiful as can be. i screamed and clapped and cheered as loud as i could possibly could. she was magical. throughout the show, i was in complete awe. intentively, i sat up in my seat. as precious things swelled, my body was trembling. it was the most incredible experience i think i will ever have. i was disappointed that she only had 4 shows left, but i knew how lucky i was to see her.
in the closing of the concert, i felt so sad. i didn't want this night to end, and also she hadn't played happy phantom and hey jupiter. but i have NO right to complain, because songs such as winter, past the mission, and the waitress, left me in chills and swelling tears.
i will never forget this opportunity i had to see the most intriguing woman in the world...
From Kristin Ireland
December 5, 1998 - Hi Michael!! Y'know what? I was on the lookout for YOU when I was at the concert- your webpage is so incredible. Good job, sir! I did see you from a distance at the meet&greet (I believe) but never got to shake your hand. This is my virtual handshake for ya'. (~~~~~~~) ;)
This show was so great! I was disappointed by the meet&greet- I had flown in from Thanksgiving in Florida that morning and hadn't slept because my flight was so early in the morning. I was coming from Toledo and didn't arrive to Columbus as early as I'd hoped and thus didn't snag a good spot at the meet and greet. I'll just hope that her next tour comes REAL soon!!!
Siren is one of my very very favorite songs. I think she performed really well on this one. It all just sounded so great - (and the opening band was *fab*, too.) I would imagine that the upcoming b-sides and live cd's would have at least ONE song from this spectacular show. Putting the damage on was another great one. I just REEEALLY would have liked to have heard "Take to the Sky," but I couldn't GET to her to ask her before the show!!!!!! (Isn't the Winter single the bestest?!?) I also would have loved a little more storytelling on Tori's part- her little stories are just the greatest and I wish she could have told a little more. BUT- come on, really - I should be very very grateful. She did a FANTASTIC show- how she has the stamina, I just don't understand.
I just wanted to tell a little about what went on after the show-. My friends and I waited on the 3rd level of the parking garage and waited for EVER for her to come out. It was so amazing to see all the STUFF that goes into one of these shows- it's just crazy. They were moving speakers and lights and all sorts of things out the back and I was just amazed. We were watching the windows to where Tori and company were hanging out - not to be "peeping Tom's" but people were periodically coming to the window and giving us a little "hello!" I DID feel like a nasty spy though, at one point - because I was staring blankly at the window directly in front of me and this big-haired, small figure appeared and you could see this figure undressing! As "it" hunched forward and threw "its" head down, very very red hair could be seen through the space where the window was juuuust peeped open. Whoever was there was seemingly making a point to undress in the window -but I still felt guilty for having seen it. Say it was Tori- geez, this girl gets no privacy. But, on the other hand, it wasn't like we could see "anything." Just a certain silhouette!! I think someone took a picture- that just seems kind of wrong . . . especially in respect to all the "invasion of privacy and space" our Tori has already known. Hmmm.
Anyhow, just wanted to maybe add this to the reviews. Great show. Mr. Mikewhy- YOU HAVE A BLAST AT THESE SHOWS! YOU DESERVE IT!!!!
From sara mackey
December 5, 1998 - Hey! just thought i'd share some thoughts about the columbus show! this was my third show this tour and a wonderful way to end it for me. our experience actually started sat. at the akron show. we didn't have tickets, but my husband, my brother in law and i decided to head up there anyway to see if we could catch Tori before the show. by the time we got there(a little after 4) the tour busses were parked outside and she was already in the arena. we were standing outside figuring we should just head home when i spotted Caton outside riding his bike! at first i wasn't sure it was him but i saw some people approach him and take pictures. i was feeling a bit shy so i got my husband to talk for me! he was soooo nice! he signed my over the pink cd insert and i one picture of the 2 of us and one of him riding around. the next day we headed for columbus and got to the palace around 6. my brother-in-law actually predicted she would play 'father lucifer' and 'sister janet'(hi clay!)and both were just beautiful. i think my favorite moment of the show was 'cooling', but why does she leave out the 'woman you've got too many brambles....' part? all in all, a wonderful show!!
From Stephanie Kuo
December 5, 1998 - The following entries were written in my journal, about the Tori Concert:
It's TORI DAY!! Right now it's 7:40 AM and I'm in an alley behind the palace theater where the Tori Concert is to be held. I'm sitting on some old crumbly weathered steps with my friend Carol. My dad said it was crazy for me to arrive this early and that no one would be here, but he was wrong! Three others are here already, anticipating the Meet and Greet this late afternoon. I'd like to thank Mikewhy for giving me advice for what time I should arrive,since I would have arrived 3 hours before the concert and expected to meet with tori. haha thanks so much Mike! :)
It's 9:09 AM now and people are starting to arrive. And hey! Mike's here!! Yea! A group of people started an order list to Meet with tori this afternoon. We are ordered by the time we arrived here, and I guess I wasn't so early still because I'm number 25?? Oh well, hopefully I'll still be close to Tori! I have a bag of gifts for her, I tried to make them as personalized, original and handmade as possible because I figured that see probably had received enough store bought presents and plus this way, I feel it means more! I got her a little pink glass butterfly shaped bottle with a dark and light blue beaded Faerie necklace I made myself wrapped around the neck of the bottle. Inside the bottle, I rolled up a note for her. I also have a netted colorful butterfly thingy that I luv and I got her a black and white Photo of gnomes I took and colorized in my photography class at school, a poem I wrote, a pic of me (hehe), and a stuffed octopus dude I had that I call Chester.
It's 12:42 now, and we were moved to the front of the Palace Theater to wait. Time is actually passing by fast and I'm really enjoying myself, meeting with other Ears with Feet. You see there aren't many Ears with Feet in my school, so this is a real treat! I'm looking at some people's Tori Photo Albums and I'm so amazed at how many photographs they have of her and how CLOSE UP they are!! wow i'm jealous hehe.
Right now it's 4:13 and I just SAW TORI!!!! I still can't believe it because it was my first time up close!! I waited behind a barricade for what seemed like hours until her bus arrived. She opened her window and stuck out her little puppet. She did little cute things with it like act like she was biting off her body guards hand and make it look like it was hoping in fron of her window. It was hilarious and people were cracking up. Then she got off the bus, but couldn't walk down my side of the barricade because it was blocked off. She still stood in front of it and waved and grinned, giving a thumbs up to us. Then two kick arse girls that I know, Rachel and Christy (HI!) gave Tori a huge awesome dragon puppet they bought. Tori seemed attached to it the moment she saw it. She showed it to the security guard and then opened it's mouth to find a request for Cooling, and chuckled. She then started to sign autographs, and I knew that I wouldn't be able to hand her my Little Earthquakes booklet to be signed so I asked to have it passed up. Immediatly, her bodyguard said no to me, but I wouldn't let that stop me. So I asked Christy and Rachel to sneak it up and they did, and I got it back with Tori's signature!!! I couldn't believe it, I just kept thinking, Tori just touched my Little Earthquakes booklet!! hehe I was only about 5 feet away from her, yet it seemed so far away because everyone in front was soo tall. And they've met her so many times to which I thought was incredibly unfair! oh well. I couldn't give her my present in person, so I handed it to the security guard for him to give it to her. Soon after she had to go inside for the sound check. So now, i'm waiting at the front of the Theater for my dad to pick me and my friend up. Today is the BEST DAY of my LIFE!!! I just got Tori's autograph and I still have a concert to go to! I can't wait!!
From Rachel Barrett
December 5, 1998 - So I went to the Columbus Show and I have to start by saying the show itself was INCREDIBLE. It had an entirely different feel from the other shows I've been to. Tori seemed very sad, but she used this sadness and channeled it through the music rather than let it put up a wall between she and the audience, do you know what I mean? I have a lot to say here and I will try to be brief.
The show itself: fantatastic The meet and greet: a nightmare. I arrived at the Palace around 8:00 am and was confused to be numbered #33 when I only saw about 8 or 9 people in the ally. As the day wore on, these phantom numbers didn't start showing up in most cases until as late as noon. Then a certain toriphile hearded us into a singlefile line according to our number. Ok. This is when I lost it. I looked at the front of the line at 2:00 and only recognized about a quarter of the people holding numbers 1-20. It came to light that someone had showed up at the palace at 1:00 am and started a list and put all their friends on it while their friends when back to their hotels to relax or something. THIS IS NOT THE WAY NUMBER SYSTEMS ARE SUPPOSED TO WORK. I am an advocate of the number system. In fact, I was the number girl for the detroit club show. I enjoy number systems but not corrupt number systems. So, a few people and I decided to forget the number system and became vigilantes. Yes. I attempted to ditch the people infront of me and I do not regret my action. I do regret the fact that some guy pushed me really hard as I was walking up the the gate and I regret the fact that I was threatened by someone in front who said I was going to get "fucked with" after the meet and greet. Please. Jesus christ. What is happening here.
I managed to pass up a puppet for tori and my friend, christy, and I had written inside it "Would Cooling like to come out and play tonite?" And wonder of wonders!!!! She played cooling!
I would like to apologize for anyone I offended at the meet and greet in Columbus. I was just very dissapointed to see the same 10 or so people at the front of another meet and greet and many of them did so dishonestly. I would like to share something I heard: Tori walks up to the gate waving and smiling and Steve says, "Yup. It's the people as before." And tori sort of grimaces and forces a smile and sighs. Does Tori want to see the SAME PEOPLE AT EVERY MEET AND GREET? Oh my gosh! Maybe she doesn't! I have gotten to meet tori once before on the dew drop in tour. However, It is too bad that my friends younger sister, stephanie, who had never seen a show before and waited from 7:30 am on in a cold alley was unable to be at the front where she deserved to be. I am a little ashamed of my fellow toriphiles and I am glad I don't have to deal with this shit anymore. feel free to send hate-mail to Rachel.Barrett@oberlin.edu
From Lisa Pruitt
December 1, 1998 - This was my second Tori show, the first being the show in Dayton. I arrived too late for the meet and greet, but the concert made up for it. I was in the upper mezzanine and the show was great. Tori was so full of emotion, and you could tell she was tired, but she gave us a great show. During Winter she got really choked up, and I was sobbing all throughout it, I think she was emotional that the tour is coming to an end. As Mike already said she told us at the beginning how mush she was going to miss us all. I loved getting to hear Siren live, and Putting the Damage On. Over all it was the best concert emperience of my life, and I pressed for time or I could write a book about it! Thanks so much Tori for a great concert and a great tour! We love you, all of your ears with feet....
December 1, 1998 - mike, i was at the columbus show, also, and id have to agree that it was one of the most emotional moments of my life... winter was purely amazing, and the whole show was just intense. she had me laughing one minute, crying the next, and then dancing just minutes later. Tori is truly truly great...
if you get a chance to write me back, do it at email@example.com. thanks!
From Thomas Potter
December 1, 1998 - this was my fourth tori concert, and i must say by far it was the most beautiful thing that i have ever seen........i got to the meet-and-greet around 3:30, and around 4, her bus came......she teased us with a little puppet show, and then about ten minutes later she came out and greeted her fans........i was a little disappointed because i was in the back of the crowd, and i could barely see her, but it was still good.....i didnt have the pleasure of getting anything signed though....
tori came on stage about 9, and lasted for a whole 2 hours!!!!! the choice of songs she sung was amazing.......ive always wanted to hear her sing Cooling live, and i finally got my wish.....i was in tears when she started that......her emotional Winter gave me chills all over my body......i was floored when she started Putting The Damage On......and ending the show with Jackies strength couldnt have made it more beautiful......by far, this was my favourite Tori concert that i have ever seen......
From Brad Ryan
December 1, 1998 - My friend, Elizabeth, and I were a little depressed when we started the day. We (as do many people) fee that the meet and greets are being handled unfairly. I know that when the next tour rolls along, I will not allow one fan to dominate a group of 100 other fans just so that she can be in the front row for the 200th time. However, there were too many great things that happened for me to dwell on one person's selfishness. Another one of my friend's, Sariah Cumming, generously gave my Thank You card to Tori at the chaotic meet and greet. In it, I told Tori about how I've spent my whole life thinking that I was completely talentless and that my lif is a waste, and how I needed to prove to myself that I could do something, and do it well. Two weeks ago I performed in our school comedy. I had a leading role, and I knew that this would be the night that I would either go uphill or downhill. We had a record-breaking crowd in attendance for our school (nearly 200, which is big for my little, uncultured, town). I felt so scared and unsure, so I popped Jackie's Strength into the computer in the green room five minutes before showtime. It put my heart at ease, and I gave a performance (along with a great cast) that was defintely enough to boost my confidence. If I had walked on stage without that boost, then it probably wouldn't have done so well. Our drama department is highly praised, but we've never gotten such huge compliments for a single show. Also, Jackie's Strength had never been performed in Ohio, so I told her how much it would mean to me if she would sing it for me.
The show kept rolling along, and still no Jackie. I had told everyone to keep their ears open for it. I was really starting to lose hope. After she got done performing Honey, I bowed my head and closed my eyes, and whispered, "I pray for Jackie's Strength." When those familiar opening chords began to play, Elizabeth clinched my arm and grinned the GRIN! Something possessed my body. I leaned forward and the emotion was so intense. What a feeling it is to know that someone like Tori, is singing a song just for you. I can't put the feeling into words. I was on a cloud, and I realized that I needed to snap out of it before I missed the whole song. Elizabeth and I both saw Tori looking at me. I'm fairly tall and I had an aisle seat in the centert which was only 10 rows back, so I don't doubt that she recognized me, because I put one of my senior pictures in the card. It was my third and final show, and what a way to end it. I will never forget what Tori did for me, and Jackie's Strength will forever be my favorite song.
As most people also felt, this show was probably one of the most (if not the most) emotional shows that she has ever performed. EVERY song was packed with raw intensity and a solemn emotion that really got to you. I don't think we could have asked for a better secret time. Elizabeth and I hugged each other when Winter came on because it's a big favorite (who doesn't love Winter?) I never expected Caught A Lite Sneeze to be so intense. It was much more powerful than the way it was performed in Cincinnati. [YOU NEVER DID, YOU NEVER COULD, YOU'RE FULL OF SHIT!] I danced so hard during Raspberry Swirl. I'm sure everyone around me was staring, but I don't care. This was a night to just let everything be exposed. The tears were flowing, the hears were throbbing, and the music was touching. I'll never forget this night.
Finally, I just wanted to send a shout out to all my friends that I met over the course of the shows in Cincinnati, Dayton, and Columbus. I felt extremely loved, and I will never forget any of you. These shows brought us all together in a way that I never expected. I hope that these shows were special for you too. My love and gratitude goes out to Lori, Stacey, Lindsay, Carrie, Sariah, Ruth, Danica, Mikewhy, America, Terra, Stephanie, and anyone else that I left out.
P.S. Caton is the coolest! Hey Mike! Elizabeth's mom loved the show. Elizabeth was soo wrong (LOL)!
From Greg Willms
December 1, 1998 - I was there too, what a fantastic show. "Winter" nearly had me in tears and "Precious Things" was probably one of the best openers I've seen at any concert I've been to.
One question though, who opened for Tori? It said nothing on the ticket and I wasn't about to hang around the merchandise counter after the show just to get a glimpse of one of thier CD's.
From The Columbus Dispatch
December 1, 1998 - This review is from The Columbus Dispatch and was sent to me by Toriphile Jupitr18. It likely appeared in the November 30, 1998 edition of that newspaper.
Singer-pianist Tori Amos, playing her first tour with a full band, proved up
to the challenge at a sold-out concert in the Palace Theatre last night.
From her "Plugged 98" tour, Amos enlisted Steve Caton (guitar), Matt
Chamberlin (drums) and Jon Evans (bass) to surround her with a dense web of
moderate rock. The trio made the show more interesting than if Amos had played
For example, on Crucify, Chamberlin played the drums with what appeared to
be spoons, giving the tune a different character than heard on Amos' first
album Little Earthquakes. Amos reciprocated with a different vocal approach.
Elsewhere, the band seemed to rein in Amos' excesses and provided
cathartic releases on tunes like Past The Mission and Little Earthquakes, even
if they sometimes made it difficult to hear what Amos was singing.
Amos herself presented a striking figure, with her aggressive stance
astride the piano bench. Petite with red hair and milky skin, Amos played a
Bosendorfer piano with a grandly flowing technique and interesting gestures.
Sometimes she would take her hands off the keyboard, briefly putting her hands
behind her back or on her hips, before playing again. Somestimes she would
simultaneously play the piano and an electric keyboard behind her back.
Amos was of two voices. Her primary voice was breathy and girlish, often
recalling Kate Bush. A darker, more mature voice resembled a nicotine-less
After six songs, the band departed, leaving Amos bathed in light for three
solo piano pieces. Of those, Winter, with its refrain of "When you gonna make
up your mind," resonated most deeply.
(No doubt Amos played more solo piano than what I've mentioned, but a
deadline prevented me from staying for the whole show.)
Then the band came back for tunes like iieee off her latest album, from
the choirgirl hotel.
Why do the added musicians matter to me? Well, I'm not a "Toriphile", and
I don't talk in "Tori-speak" (Well, maybe around my cats). Nor do I believe in
the "Faeries" Amos thanks on her CDs.
But I respect Amos and her work. I believe her when she says, "I want to
explore the dark side of Woman." (Musician magazine, May 998). Amos strikes me
as the female equivalent of Trent Reznor (a friend of hers), sometimes
movingly baring her soul. And having a band helps.
From her "Plugged 98" tour, Amos enlisted Steve Caton (guitar), Matt Chamberlin (drums) and Jon Evans (bass) to surround her with a dense web of moderate rock. The trio made the show more interesting than if Amos had played solo.
For example, on Crucify, Chamberlin played the drums with what appeared to be spoons, giving the tune a different character than heard on Amos' first album Little Earthquakes. Amos reciprocated with a different vocal approach.
Elsewhere, the band seemed to rein in Amos' excesses and provided cathartic releases on tunes like Past The Mission and Little Earthquakes, even if they sometimes made it difficult to hear what Amos was singing.
Amos herself presented a striking figure, with her aggressive stance astride the piano bench. Petite with red hair and milky skin, Amos played a Bosendorfer piano with a grandly flowing technique and interesting gestures. Sometimes she would take her hands off the keyboard, briefly putting her hands behind her back or on her hips, before playing again. Somestimes she would simultaneously play the piano and an electric keyboard behind her back.
Amos was of two voices. Her primary voice was breathy and girlish, often recalling Kate Bush. A darker, more mature voice resembled a nicotine-less Stevie Nicks.
After six songs, the band departed, leaving Amos bathed in light for three solo piano pieces. Of those, Winter, with its refrain of "When you gonna make up your mind," resonated most deeply.
(No doubt Amos played more solo piano than what I've mentioned, but a deadline prevented me from staying for the whole show.)
Then the band came back for tunes like iieee off her latest album, from the choirgirl hotel.
Why do the added musicians matter to me? Well, I'm not a "Toriphile", and I don't talk in "Tori-speak" (Well, maybe around my cats). Nor do I believe in the "Faeries" Amos thanks on her CDs.
But I respect Amos and her work. I believe her when she says, "I want to explore the dark side of Woman." (Musician magazine, May 998). Amos strikes me as the female equivalent of Trent Reznor (a friend of hers), sometimes movingly baring her soul. And having a band helps.
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