This isn’t the setlist I would have chosen for my perfect Tori Amos concert but I have to say that it was surprisingly satisfying all the same. Tori doesn’t play for the casual fan anymore (I’m on the fence if she ever did). The casual fan gets dragged by their spouse or bestie and sits in the audience and gets chewed up by the experience and spit out. Tori is a beast.
The entire show was solo piano (except some interesting back tracks but I’ll get to that.) But even solo, it isn’t just the piano. It’s the organ and the keyboards and Tori herself. She reworked some of the numbers into remarkably unrecognizable shape (the set opener Parasol and creepalishious iieee) and others she just banged out with abandon (Mr. Zebra.) Bliss is a song I’ve always loved live and this fell into the latter category.
There was lot of old stuff in the set, and only a few newer songs. It’s the kind of setlist where you hear songs you haven’t listened to in ages and realize you know every word like the gorgeous haunting rendition of Jackie’s Strength. This why people love Tori. She also played my favorite obscure-album-track-played-live Dragon to perfection. I’m obsessed with this song. Occasionally she detours off the beaten path melodically before nailing it in the same song (Another Girl’s Paradise).
The Lizard Lounge covers were amazing. She’s been doing a lot of mashups on this tour and the groovy backing track transformed When Doves Cry / Edge Of Seventeen into a psychedelic disco prom night.
Then came Cornflake Girl and the show jumped the shark. Tori has been playing this as her main set closer in the States so it’s clearly a purposeful presentation. The backing track for Cornflake Girl and the encore Wedding Day included the entire recording, drums, bass, loops, vocals and all. It went straight off the rails and it was one of the craziest, worst thing I’ve witnessed on stage. Whether or not Tori was actually playing piano during those songs or doing any singing, you couldn’t tell. Her live performance was completely swallowed up by the prerecorded song to the point where it was comical and horrible all at once. You could see her banging on piano keys and singing into the mic and there was no connection to what you were hearing. Bringing it down to earth again for Hey Jupiter – a song I usually enjoy – was a relief but a little too late.
Tori Amos setlist
Caught A Lite Sneeze
Please Come To Boston/More Than A Feeling
When Doves Cry/Edge Of Seventeen
Another Girl’s Paradise