Singer/songwriter Tori Amos came to the DFW concert scene last Thursday night for a small, intimate show at the new Toyota Music Factory. With a catalog full of hit songs, a desire to do her own thing her way and a captive, adoring audience in front of her = Tori would be in the spotlight all by herself.
England’s Scars on 45 did an excellent job as this shows opening act, their quick seven song set was full of beautiful melodies and interesting stories. “Beauty’s Running Wild” kicked off their set with great harmonizing between the whole group and a new, unreleased tune, “Teenage Superstars” finished it off with great up-tempo, flowing pop music. In between, their songs centered on love & relationships and they proved their skill by playing flawless throughout the set. Lead vocalist Danny Bemrose relayed interesting stories before and after most of their songs, which created a great rapport with the audience. My favorite was about two of their single friends who finally got together after much prompting by the band… so just to remind them – they wrote “Crazy For You” just to remind them.
With only a single stool between a piano and a keyboard, Tori was going this one alone and from the first song to the last – that was all that was needed. Her voice is just as sharp as ever and the audience was loving every moment of it. Starting off with “Cruel”, the audience’s squealing and clapping was invigorating and with every little glance or stare from Tori down into the crowd = the screams got louder. The funky vibe on “Little Amsterdam” gave way to the sweet echo effects of “Muhammad My Friend”. Her skills as a pianist have never been questioned and seeing it live for the first time made me a firm believer as well.
She portrays her emotions throughout songs as well and that was most evident on “Father’s Son” as her vocal range was amazing and the audience’s reactions were magnificent. Her Fake Muse Network section of the show included wonderful covers of Fleetwood Mac’s “Gold Dust Woman” and Elton John’s “Daniel”. The first one was re-imagined differently quite well and the letter was a beautiful tribute to one of Elton’s most gorgeous songs.
Playing almost a different set list each night of the tour is great for the fans and must be very fulfilling for the artist – Tori seemed to blaze through her songs “… I’m just doing something different on this tour” while the appreciative audience sat there and soaked it all in. For my benefit, other standout songs on this night include “Russia” (a bonus tune from her most recent Native Invader album), 2003’s “Precious Things” and the show closer “Raspberry Girl” from 1998’s From the Choir Girl Hotel. It was a fantastic ending to a wonderful night of music from Scars on 45 and the stunning Tori Amos. Even though the audience was not that massive, the ones that showed up were treated to some great, wholesome music.