Saturday, 14 November 2009

Y Kant Tori Indeed!!! - Tori Amos at the Regent

Ok ... it was a beeaauuutiful night. Perfect even (if only we didn't need the rain so much)!

The city was positively buzzing with tribes of many sorts and colours ... here-a-looney, there-a-pretty, everywhere-a-smiley smiley (a bit too much?) We scoffed down a couple of sushi rolls each by the Starlight Foundation's Christmas event, the battery operated daisy lights were twinkling in the twilight like little stars, casting a cheery glow over the assembled crowd and a smile on my face (I must admit).  But they could have combined thousands of those and the resulting glow could not match the bright red beauty about to step onto the stage at the Regent theatre round the corner:

I know that Tori has dissappointed me of late, putting out patchy albums requiring a strict weightloss regime in order to strip off the fat and excess waste (although the buzz on her Christmas album - Midwinter Graces - is promising), but Tori Live is an entirely different prosposition altogether. What really comes through is how each of her songs is a mini-drama in itself. When she is singing live, she's telling you a story, welcoming you into her world, or confessing a secret like she's your very best friend ... perhaps this is how she "speaks" to her Torifreak fans .. and maybe I'm just a little too jaded and can only find obfuscation in her lyrics ... who's the poorer in this equation?

If you're a keyboard player or are in anyway intereseted in the piano, then whether you like her music or not, you should try and catch her show ... bitch is a mother of a player ... I know that the piano is amped a little bit, but when she bangs out those chords, it sounds like the piano is about to crack open and the ceiling fall down on us punters ... and I don't know what it is she does, or maybe its down to hubby's skills at the mixing desk, but when she softly whispers words in between, its soft and guttural at the same time ..  and boy does it pack an indescribable emotional punch .. whoo ... I'm breathless just typing this (oh god ... I am a Torifreak!!). And it still seems a little obscene when she straddles the piano seat to play both piano and bank of synths, exposing her crotch to the audience ... like a pre-pubescent girl flipping her skirt up to show off her knickers with the tiny rosettes ... I almost have to look away. And I amazed at the fact that she pedals with her left leg ... go on ... you try it ... what that must do to her back muscles ...

The setlist was unusual, just a few from the newie, her version of We Three Kings from the upcoming yuletide cd, and a number of audience favourites judging from the enthusiastic reaction from the crowd. AND she played a song that I've been curious to hear live - I can't see New york - from Scarlet's Walk (I know ... shock horror ... I even enjoyed Taxiride) ... and of course I yelled as much as the next (oh that would be M - fast asleep) ... so the next person after when the single note strut of the opening of Leather rang out of her Bosendorfer.

It felt like the entire building leapt up in welcome when Tori first stepped onto the stage. Wearing a black and white satin dress and silver sparkly tights, she calmly struts to the piano which up to this point dwarfs her with its imposing frame ... sitting down and casually flipping her ginger mane, she opens the show with Lady in Blue (my favourite track off Abnormally Atractted to Sin) and the instruments surrounding her diminish in size in an instant ... and there's nothing else in that auditorium but her elphin sparkly self.

Trawling through most of her middle period, I was surprised by the audience reaction to "Flying Dutchman" .. a b-side that I didn't think was that well known .... or at least that beloved ... maybe they thought she was playing Mother? The only dud in the set was "Barons of Surburbia". I admit that my concentration waned at this point and the mood shifted a little for me. But what about "Little Earthquakes" hey?? And "Cool on your Island" from her first album Y Kant tori Read??? So from beginnings right through to pendings ... loves it!!! And that primeval howl in Pretty Good Year - shivers!!

But as with most live propositions ... you'd really only appreciate it if you were there. So if you were, wasn't it FANTASTIC!!! And if you weren't., well get organised next time.

After a late supper, we left the city to its midnight machinations, Tori still ringing in our heads. Shine on Melbourne!


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