Tori performed in Basel, Switzerland on December 13, 2001 at Messe Basel during the 2001 StrangeLittleTour.
Thanks to Josh, Dor, Lisa, John, and Matt Page who called me by cell phone with the set list!
'97 Bonnie & Clyde
Latest reviews are added to the bottom of the page.
Added December 13, 2001 - Josh called me on his cell phone after the show and left the set list and some comments on my answering machine! He said that the call was courtesy of him, Dor, Lisa, John, and Matt Page. Josh said it was a great show and that he was really amazed at the audience. The only change from the official set list was Tori had Pandora's Aquarium written down, but decided to do Jackie's Strength instead.
Josh later sent me a full review, which you can read below!
Added December 22, 2001 - Tori's show in Basel, while not quite my favorite of the tour, definitely stands out as a great show and a wonderful night.
From the moment Tori came on stage I knew this would be unlike any of her concerts I had ever seen in the US because of the audience. There was polite applause but no standing ovation when she came on, and the crowd went silent as soon as she sat down at the piano.
Little Earthquakes was quite profound -- she added the lyrics "I can't reach you, though I feel you in my hand" which she repeated several times. I had never found myself quite so emotional at a Tori show as I was during this song, and that caught me by surprise.
Rattlesnakes was its usual self -- I could really tell how much Tori enjoys playing this song and that made it more enjoyable for me.
After Rattlesnakes Tori addressed the crowd, saying she had a question for them. "How do you people stay so skinny?" She commented on how good the chocolate there is, and asked the audience "Do you just puke it up? Not eat it? Are you just over it?" Nobody responded, so she looked sort of embarrassed and said "Okay, I'll just play."
Tori seems to play Leather a lot, especially in Europe, and the crowd's response to this one showed me why. It was very apparent that this was the song she was using to really make a connection with the audience.
I always love to hear Marianne live -- nothing really to say about it tonight.
Take To the Sky was, oddly enough, fascinating. I've heard it in concert so many times, but the great part tonight was nobody clapped! The clapping always annoys me, so tonight I just got to see why Tori plays the song so often -- she has so much fun with it.
It's ironic to me that some of the songs that made us fall in love with Tori's music now annoy the hell out of us. Nonetheless, China annoys the hell out of me almost every time. Tonight was no exception.
However no matter how many times I hear Spring Haze solo it is a highlight every time. This song showcased the fact that Tori's voice had definitely recovered from her having the flu the previous week.
Never Seen Blue was, as usual, gorgeous. She ended the song with the lyrics "don't give up on me now" which changes the focus of the song in an interesting way.
I hadn't heard Real Men live yet, so I was excited to hear it. (It was more profound to me two shows later, so I'll comment on it more in my review of the Milan show.)
After Real Men Tori went over to the wurlitzer and again told the story of the organ's origins. People seemed impressed that it had been at Woodstock -- the people around me gasped. She said that three months of touring had taken its toll on the instrument and that it was badly in need of repair -- so she was going to play an old song. Then into Crucify. During Crucify she sang the bridge for the first time on this tour.
I really like the visual aspect of the way Tori did Little Amsterdam this tour. For those who haven't seen it, she changed the song around a bit so that the "Girl you've got to know these days which side you're on" part comes 3 times. The first two times she begins the line playing the rhodes and then on before singing "Which side you're on" she pauses and turns to the piano side. Then on the third time she is playing the piano and before "which side you're on" she pauses and turns to the rhodes to finish the song. This song was another crowd pleaser.
Me and a Gun is different every night in subtle ways, but it's hard for me to tune into this song, and so I don't have anything to say about it.
Hey Jupiter is a nice way to end the main set. I enjoy how she rearranged the accompaniment for this tour -- it really keeps things interesting. The high vocal parts are always powerful.
After Hey Jupiter the American crowd rushed the stage, followed gradually by more of the audience. A single venue security guy stood between us and the stage and asked us to go back to our seats. We pretended we didn't understand him -- actually we ignored him altogether. Then just as Tori was coming back onstage we all surged up toward the stage and he sort of had to shut up.
Tori took a bow and then sat down to play Siren. She started off in the wrong key, and then without missing a beat she switched to the regular key. She giggled a bit and I did too. I was right in front of her at this point and she winked at the few of us who had laughed along with her. What happened next is my absolute favorite moment of the tour. Since several dozen people had rushed the stage, Tori could now see that part of the audience better than before. So as she frequently does when the audience is up close, she makes eye contact with the people in the front. She started by looking to the far left of the stage and slowly scanned the crowd, sizing up each person in the row. She looked past me to Matt Page, gave a little grin, and then kept looking to her right. She looked past Dor, John and Lisa and then immediately turned back to look at them again. She didn't know we had planned to come to Europe, and her eyes got so large at this point with surprise! (Although I have met her a couple of times, she doesn't really have a concept of who I am; however she certainly knows John, Dor and Lisa, and was very excited to see them.) Tori managed to keep playing, and now to keep from laughing she looked into the piano.
Doughnut Song was longer than usual, with Tori doing more of the background lyrics than usual. She included the line "Don't let yourself down now" which I thought was very powerful. After this song she came to the front of the stage to greet John, Dor and Lisa and talked to them very briefly.
I think Suede loses something with the rhodes. (No Mike, I'm not just saying that to make you feel better.) I liked in live in 99 with the band, and the versions that I've heard with piano only are cool too, but it just seems too long and monotonous with the piano and rhodes together until she gets to the "little sister" part. It loses the atmosphere the song should have.
Cloud on My Tongue was pretty standard.
Pandora's Aquarium was on the setlist next, but she played Jackie's Strength instead. I always like this as a closing song. I think it is fairly upbeat and crowd-friendly without being too simple, and that makes it a nice way to end a show.
There was an after-show meet and greet, and I had found out beforehand that it would be indoors. Basically they opened up an area off the lobby to set up the barricades and bring Tori out. When I got back from calling in the setlist, there were only five people there -- all of them my American (and French) traveling companions. So of course I got a great spot in the front! We waited for quite a while for Tori to come out, but it wasn't a problem because there were so few people there (fifteen at the most) that nobody was pushing or being impatient.
Quite a bit later, Tori came down the escalator and sauntered over to talk to us. She was very calm and collected -- and talkative. I gave her a letter asking her to play Losing My Religion for me at one of the two final shows (of course she didn't) and talked to her briefly. She talked to pretty much everybody there, and then had a sort of group conversation with all of us. We discussed her plans for the next tour, and she started explaining that she wanted to go more places but then stopped, looked bewildered, and said "I don't know what I'm going to do." Somebody mentioned Australia and she said she really wants to go back, but the problem is the plane ride with Tash. "She does really well, but it's so long. And we will not go without her. We just have to get her a little older." People also mentioned some songs they wanted to hear before the tour was over, including Spark and iieee. She said there were a lot of songs clamoring to be included at the end of the tour and she wasn't sure what would happen.
A great show and a great night.
The reviews below were taken from the concert reviews section of The Dent Forum and added here on January 7, 2002
Review by peleashre
As usual she was more than incredible.. but whatelse..
The Basel show was striking mainly due to the conduct of the audience. The dynamic between a 'reserved' Swiss audience and Tori who's up there having sex with the piano- was interesting.
She barely spoke, saying at the beginning, 'So it's been awhile since we've been here in Switzerland.. we're almost done and then we're going to go bye for a long time. I just have a question... how do you people stay so thin? I've been (downing) these chocolates all day.. I have them hidden all around' (and she pointed to inside her clothes and in her pianos) 'do you like puke them up or what?' People giggled a little but that was about it.. so she's like 'OK.. I'll just play'. And she didn't say anything else.. oh.. until she said 'don't worry, I'm not getting nationalistic on you' andintroduced the woodstockbaby who 'needed a massage'.
Everybody was seated and pretty quiet during the main portion of the show- no screaming or whistling till later.. which was nice on the one hand but a bit cold on the other.. and her performance was SPECTACULAR.. really cool new beautiful things. After the first encore everybody seemed 'happier' and more engaged and everybody then went up to the edge of the stage (like.. got out of their chairs).
That's about it.. jealous of milangoers.. sorry if my quotes aren't 100% (I'm SURE somebody will correct me).. but hopefully mike'll be a little more informed
Review by surfling
i've been just too busy these last days. also i should be writing a review on the show, which i find a little difficult. it was the first time i saw a tori show, and i liked it a lot, but have to admit it didnt really turn out as amazing as i had anticipated. which kind of puzzles me cause i cant really say why that is so. maybe because i did not know quite a few of the songs. and maybe because i had hoped for a few more songs from "strange little girls", especially possibly "rining blood" (does she ever play that song live?).
for me the show really took off only with "me and a gun" which was just incredible, and after that the rest of the concert was great and for my taste could have gone on for another hour...
one thing that really put me off though was the huge echo/hall effect the sound guy had put on the piano and tori's voice throughout the concert. i thought it really took away a lot from the atmosphere and drowned out all the fine little details of her performance. is that so at all her shows? is it on purpose? or just cause of some odd venue peculiarities in basel? i listened again to "after the rain" and must really say i prefer the "cleaner" sound of that show.
also, does anybody have an opinion on the stage set? i thought it was creating too big a room around tori, distracting from here. then again, people on the balcony may have appreciated it, who knows...
i have one request - can someone tell me which of the songs from that show were new? i'm not really too familiar with b-sides and stuff... thanx!
Review by Dor
I just wanted to say that this was the single most respectful audience I have ever been a part of. Extremely quiet and reserved and appreciative and GREAT. It was my first European show and I was really impressed by the crowd. Milan was um, NOT like that at all! The Vienna crowd was okay.
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