Concert Review: Tori Amos at The Fillmore Miami Beach

Categories: Concert Review
toriamosfillmore.jpg
Photo by John Hood
Tori Amos performing at the Fillmore Miami Beach Thursday night.
Tori Amos
Thursday, July 29, 2009
The Fillmore Miami Beach

Better Than:
You can imagine -- twice

Hard to say which was better: sitting in the front row next to a dynamite dame for Tori Amos's Fillmore Gleason show, or catching her earlier that day, when Tori performed what was basically a private concert for me and three local shooters. On the one hand I got all that's great about attending a concert -- a great show, by a great artist, in a fantastic venue, experienced alongside someone special. On the other I had the once-in-a-lifetime privilege of catching this great artist in about as much intimacy as one can imagine. I mean to stand before Tori with nothing but the click of shutters between us while she sang "Flavor" was nothing short of breathtaking.

Not that I didn't get chills later on, during the concert itself. I've been a fan boy of the flame-haired goddess since Little Earthquakes rumbled into my life and you've got the makings of one enthralling experience.

As I told Tori in my New Times interview with her last week, I used to use her first LP as sort of a seduction record, so hearing "Winter" and "Precious Things" live had a particular resonance for me. While "Winter" remains intrinsically beautiful, even after 17 years, it was "Precious Things" that really wowed me then, and it's "Precious Things" that wowed me last night. It's a mesmerizing work, full of cause and attraction, hurt and hope, and it reaches many levels of violence. Live it made me swoon.

Another absolute highlight was when the band took a break for the "Lizard Lounge" segment of the show and Tori performed Leonard Cohen's classic "Famous Blue Raincoat." Already a stark and harrowing song, she stripped it down to an essence that cored my very soul.

The rest of Amos's set was heavy on her latest Abnormally Addicted to Sin, from the opening "Give" to the aforementioned "Flavor" and including the single "Welcome to England." There were tracks off of every other LP as well, among them the hits "Cornflake Girl" (Under the Pink) and "Caught a Lite Sneeze" (Boys for Pele), and each was delivered with Tori's customary odd cool.

Do I wish she would've sung "Crucify" and/or "Silent All These Years"? A little, yes. But not a whole lot. Because that would've been too much like pandering. And Tori Amos is one dame who's never pandered for anyone in her life.

Nor should she -- ever.

Critic's Notebook

Personal Bias:  Little Earthquakes shook me way back in '92, so you might say that we've got a history.

Random Detail:
My sidekick Kasia called it: In that yellow and green and silver, Tori came off like a "Space Age Cleopatra."

By the Way: Tori's performing at Radio City Music Hall on my birthday (August 13), which is another very hallowed hall. So if you don't see me lurking around town that night, you know just where I'll be.
 

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