Tori Amos is releasing her 14th studio album, Unrepentant Geraldines. It will be available for purchase May 13th in North America, May 12th (UK). Amos and her piano(s) will head out on a world tour, starting in Ireland on May 5th and rounding things up in Miami, Florida on August 24th. People who have not yet had the chance to see Amos in concert should definitely get to a show this summer. Here is an outline of what any newbie can expect to experience from attending America’s sexiest pianist/singer/songwriter in concert.
Amos is a serious road warrior, and has been known to tour for up to 8 months at a time. Her fans can tell she thrives from performing. Her fans are also known to be just as passionate about travelling for the love of music, many of them buying tickets for several of her shows at a time, following her from state to state.
‘Ears with Feet’
It is not uncommon for some Tori fans (or ‘Ears with Feet’, if they are still calling themselves that), to save up their money every year just so they can follow the entire tour with their friends.
One may see this as a bit much, but Amos’ fans know that every show is different. Every performance is special – a new set list, new improvisations, and stories from Amos herself.
Set lists are a very unique part of the night. If anyone has ever been up close at one of Amos’s concerts, they might notice black sharpie writings on her hands. These, besides lyrics Amos might forget mid-song, are the names of songs requested by her fans that she’s jotted down.
Usually, the morning before every performance, there is a meet and greet outside the venue for fans to get a chance to speak with their idol, get autographs, share stories and request songs. More often than not, if Amos is feeling it, she will make good on those requests. Amos changes her set list up every single night which is a huge challenge considering there are over 14 studio albums to choose songs from as well as B-sides and the occasional cover thrown in now and again.
If one is interested in attending a meet and greet, their best bet is to arrive before dawn, bring snacks and bring a friend because bathroom breaks will be needed.
“Soon before the sun, before the sun begins to rise I know that I, I must give so that I, I can live” – Give
It is this connection with her fans that keeps every concert lush with energy. As a newbie, one can expect to see Amos flutter out on stage to greet a cheering crowd, dancing perhaps to a drum beat and or, some sick bass line with her usual touring musicians Jon Evans (bass) and Matt Chamberlain (drums) that is if she is not performing solo. It has not been announced yet if she will be joined by them this summer.
From song to song, one could cut the energy in the venue with a knife. Don’t be surprised to hear screams and whistles to burst out from the audience when they can tell exactly what the next song will be, with only hearing the first few notes that tickle the piano. This is a passionate crowd. A crowd that knows all the words. It is wise to get listening before you attend because knowing the words makes it all the more intimate.
During a particularly sexy song like Leather or Strong Black Vine, people can get pretty rowdy. One would not think to see head banging at a Tori Amos concert either, but it does happen. During a an emotionally tense tune like Cooling or Baker Baker one may just find themselves getting teary eyed, as Amos is continually able to perform at the highest level of emotion, pulling you into her world.
Every so often, between songs, Amos swings her heels over to the front facing side of her piano bench, crosses her legs, and takes a break to tell a story and maybe apply a little lip gloss while she’s at it. Her stories are always quite witty and she’s not afraid to curse – in fact, one of her stories was about her daughter who told her she was a really great ‘cusser’. This part of the show, which Amos calls ‘story time’ usually gets a lot of laughs and lets people in on her life beyond the stage.
This will be Amos’s 17th tour if one can imagine that! Don’t expect this flame haired pixie to quit anytime soon. No one tells Amos what to do. Especially not the record companies. This singer/songwriter continually fought for her artistic freedom her whole career. Amos has a right to remain heard because her music will always be relevant and her fans will never stop coming to see her play.
There was no doubt she would have to eventually compete with a younger generation of music makers, but in one fans’ opinion, there is no competition. In the song Curtain Call, Amos describes her feelings towards the idea of people in the industry wanting to ‘set her out to pasture’ so to speak. “Right on cue just act surprised when they invite you to take your curtain call,” She sings in the song Curtain Call.
“We held gold dust in our hands” – Gold Dust
A Tori Amos concert is not just a about the amazing compositions people have come to hear played live, it’s not about watching the songstress stretch out her arms to play two pianos at a time and it’s not even about being ‘taken to church’ ironically, by hearing the power in this singer’s voice. The shows are about the community of fans coming together, all sharing the same energy, the same “cosmic flavor” in a night they will most probably never forget. It is really something special, indescribable unless encountered first-hand.
Amos has just as much stamina as Lady Gaga, just as much sex appeal as Robert Plant, and she plays the piano like an electric guitar. As any one of Amos’s fans could tell you, it’s a pretty wild ride.
For any newbie who would like to get the “Tori Amos” experience, they should know tickets for this summer tour are now on sale. More information can be found on her official website below. Expect seats to get snapped up pretty fast.
By Katie Sevigny