Tori Amos at The Paramount

Back in 1994, one of the first concerts that I attended that was by choice was Tori Amos at The Fulton Theater in Pittsburgh.  I was still in high school and had my ticket paid for because I had started a fan club.  There weren’t very many members in said regional club, but one of the guys said to bring a cassette and he would give me a copy of the show.  So I did.  No idea where the tape is now.

I learned about Tori Amos because her cover of Smells Like Teen Spirit once aired on MTV.  I bought Little Earthquakes and really enjoyed it.  I bought Y Kant Tori Read and traded someone a copy of it for transferring the vinyl to cassette for me.  All of my early Tori material was on cassette.

Anyway, I bring up that show because like tonight’s show at The Paramount in Oakland, it was mostly solo.

Over the years, I have lost my love for seeing Tori in concert.  I enjoyed the show in 1998 at the 9:30 Club even though I got kicked out for taping.  Since then, I have liked parts of shows, but the love turned into like and like into tolerated and tolerated into giving a ticket to a more interested friend.

I found myself liking the backing band of Jon Evans and Matt Chamberlain and for one tour Dan Phelps more than Tori herself in concert.  I only tolerated one song from the dreadful Abnormally Attracted to Sin album.

Since the tour to support that one, Tori has made a Christmas CD and for the first time in over a decade, her latest CD, Night of Hunters, is one I really like.

Tonight’s show is the first of three we will see this weekend.  We saw lots of friends and fans that we have gotten to know over the years, crossing fandoms with Repo and Vienna Teng.  And we saw a great mostly solo Tori Amos show, featuring a string quartet.

The new songs from Night of Hunters were pretty amazing.  New arrangements of Spark, Cruel and Siren were the highlights for me from the show.  I look forward to tomorrow and Sunday, where we will take a journey with friends south to Los Angeles and see Tori twice more.

It felt great to finally enjoy a Tori show again… after all these years.

To the blind man who kept yelling out how much we loved Tori, the bitch that was taking shitty cell phone photos and blocking the view of a girl in a wheelchair and the stupid people asking for Tori to talk to them when she was trying to start a song… I dedicate the point in the show where Tori flipped off the audience.  That one to me will always be for you.

To the friends and fans, I dedicate the smile I had on my face as we were leaving.  Live concerts are experiences you can sort of relive on digital media of some kind, but like the Brandi Carlile show we are listening to on the ride home, much better experienced in the moment in which they are created.  I am glad to have shared the experience tonight.

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