October 03, 2011

Tori Amos

If you’re reading these lines and have any idea about the world of alternative rock, you are probably familiar with Tori Amos and her music. In case you came here by mistake or you have spent the past 19 years in a cave, not being born or on another planet, then don’t be a lazy bastard and use the source of all modern knowledge at your immediate disposal, also known as the Internet. Now, those of you, who have at least some vaguely proper taste in music and follow the news, must be aware of the fact that just a couple of weeks ago Tori Amos released her 12th studio album called “Night Of Hunters” and embarked on a world tour bearing the same name.

Like in many other cases, the tour’s starting point was Helsinki, Finland. There is something special about attending the first show of any tour: the performers are still fresh and a bit nervous, they try a little harder and go that extra mile to make it an especially intimate experience for the audience before they get the ball rolling and it all becomes just a routine of ‘same show, different day’. But I digress. Night Of Hunters is the first tour that Tori is doing accompanied by a string orchestra. That’s right, there’s just her on stage playing piano and synthesizers and four other musicians with a cello, viola and two violins, the orchestra also known as Apollon Musagète.

That night Helsinki Ice Hall looked a lot different on the inside as there was only seated audience. Of course, there are always seats around the arena, duh, but now the floor, where I have seen so many moshpits, was also covered with chairs. This was indeed the most appropriate way to watch the show that was about to start. Tori went out on stage wearing a beautiful long hot pink dress and comfortably placed herself between the piano and synthesizers, which she would be playing simultaneously on many occasions throughout the performance.

The concert started with “Shattering Sea” off of the new record and suddenly the only thing that existed in the world was Tori Amos’ voice. It is always fascinating to watch musicians put up a breath-taking show without the use of any special effects, pyros, etc. Just you, them and the music, but Tori exceeded all possible levels of this fascination. I have never seen her live before and just like the rest of the audience, I was astonished by the immense power of her voice. She slowly moved on through her discography, combining new songs with the old ones which always got loud cheers from the crowd.

At times the orchestra would go off the stage, leaving the singer alone in soft lights, but their absence was hardly noticed during the performance of solo compositions. When the musicians were back on stage, they had to tune their instruments over and over again, because according to Tori “that’s how real instruments work” and during this pause she improvised a little Tune Song which you can now find on Youtube, naturally. Somehow nice words like “fucking” sound especially sweet when sung by Tori Amos.

Closer to the end, as the singer was performing solo “Tear In Your Hand”, people in the audience must have gotten frustrated about not being able to come closer and someone tried to come to the stage and stand in the passage between the rows of chair. Security asked them to get back to their seat, but Tori noticed the whole scene and said that it’s okay, inviting the rest of the audience to come closer to the stage as well. Naturally, most of the crowd rushed over, forcing the rest of the people to stand up, because it was impossible to see anything anymore. Now this seemed more like an actual rock concert!

After “Tear In Your Hand” the singer asked the people what song would they like to hear and preformed “Silent All These Years” much to everyone’s delight. This song was not mentioned in the original playlist and seemed to be a gift to the Finnish audience. The show ended with “Carry” also from “Night Of Hunters” album, which is a variation on one of Debussy’s works. Tori Amos was very much awaited in Helsinki, as her previous appearances in Finland were outside of the capital and finally the dream came true. The opening show of the Night Of Hunters tour was a great success in our opinion and hopefully the rest of it will go just as smoothly.

Shattering Sea
Baker Baker
Mrs Jesus (Solo)
Marianne (Solo)
Girl Disappearing
Cloud on my Tongue
Star Whisperer
Running To Stand Still (Solo)
Sister Janet (Solo)
Caught a Lite Sneeze (Solo)
Nautical Twilight
Snow Cherries From France
A Multitude Of Shades by The Apollon Musagete Quartett
Your Ghost
Mr Zebra (Solo)
Tear In Your Hand (Solo)
Silent All These Years (Solo)

Text: Tanja Caciur
Photography: Jana Blomqvist