Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Tori Amos at the Alte Oper, Frankfurt: ADP Tour

So, Saturday night, June 30th, Charlotte and I went to see Tori Amos in concert. We had 12th row seats (pretty close) on the left side. The opera house was very full, but there were a couple of empty seats here and there (one right next to me in fact).
The opening act was Josh Radin who was ok. He did a couple of duets with Schuyler Fisk (the daughter of Sissy Spacek!!) that were much better than his stuff by himself.
Anyway, this was Tori's 23rd show on the American Doll Posse Tour and her 5th appearance as Isabel, the "political" doll in her posse. The idea is that she opens each show with a set from one of the 4 dolls: Isabel, Pip, Clyde and Santa (each with her own personality and different wig). Isabel songs on the album are not my favorites, so I wasn't thrilled about getting her (I wanted Clyde or Pip), but Tori is such a great performer, I still (with one exception) enjoyed the set. (The above picture was taken during Isabel's set by the way).

Isobel's set:
Yo George
Sweet Dreams
Tubular Bells (theme from the Exorcist)
Devils and Gods
Almost Rosey
In the Springtime of His Voodoo

Yo George, Devils and Gods, and Almost Rosey are ok songs from the new album, and the only Isabel song I really like from it (Mr. Bad Man), she left out this show, though she did play it at her other appearances. I did like Sweet Dreams (a Little Earthquakes B-side which I had only heard 1 other time in concert) and Tubular Bells which was really wild and cool. In the Springtime... is a track from Boys for Pele which I never had (and never liked so did not miss) because I had the import version (bought in Japan) of that album.

Then there was a costume change and Tori came out as herself. The next songs (with the band) were:

Big Wheel
Spring Haze
Cornflake Girl
Bells for Her
Glory of the 80's

In general, I prefer Tori without the band, because the band can be overpowering and distract from Tori's piano and voice. Big Wheel is her first single off the new album, and though I am not crazy about it on the album, it was great live, performed with a lot of energy and audience interaction. Spring Haze (from To Venus and Back) is one of my favorite songs and this was my second time seeing it live. Parasol is a good one from her last album (The Beekeeper) but I did see it last tour and wouldn't have minded something I haven't heard yet instead. Cornflake Girl is of course one of her most recognizable songs (from Under the Pink way back in 1994) and though I have seen it live 3 times before, I was more than happy to have it again. Bells for Her is also an Under the Pink track which she plays on harpsichord as is very pretty but I've seen it twice before live. Glory of the 80's is a To Venus and Back song that I hadn't seen live before and really like and enjoyed.

Next was a solo set with just Tori and the piano:
Silent all These Years
The Wrong Band

Silent all These Years is a classic track from her first album Little Earthquakes which I have already seen live twice. But The Wrong Band is a super rare song from Under the Pink which Tori has only played in concert a total of 8 times (out of nearly 1000 concerts) so it was a real treat. She said she would probably mess it up, and she did stop in the middle and say "scheisse", but loved it! Marianne is a beautiful Boys for Pele song that I had only seen once before live.

Then there was another short set with the band and 2 encores:

Putting the Damage On
Code Red
Precious Things
Bouncing Off Clouds
Hey Jupiter

Out of this group, all the songs were great. Code Red and Bouncing off Clouds are two of my favorites from the new album. God, Precious Things, Putting the Damage On and Hey Jupiter are favorites from early albums that I have seen many times live but never get old. And Tombigbee is a Scarlet's Walk B-Side that I had never even listened to before, but really enjoyed - plus it was a debut for this tour.

All in all, it wasn't my dream set list, but it was a solid one. I would've loved to have seen Digital Ghost, Secret Spell, Beauty of Speed or Velvet Revolution from the new album or Northern Lad, Mother, Sugar, 1000 Oceans, Strange or Gold Dust, favorites from previous albums that I have NEVER seen live. Or even songs like Winter, Siren, Bachlorette, Raspberry Swirl, A Sorta Fairytale, Black Dove, Blood Roses, Cooling, Josephine, Taxi Ride or Tear in your Hand which I have seen live before but LOVE. Well --- there's always next time.

More Tori stats anyone? Like that I have seen her perform 97 different songs out of 311 that she has done live (130 of those are covers, most performed during her "Piano Bar" segment on the last tour)? Ok, ok, I will stop. :)

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