The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world




NOVEMBER 18 2014

SETLIST: Parasol | Doughnut Song | Carbon | Liquid Diamonds | Silent All These Years | Siren | Sister Janet | Marianne | Snow Cherries From France | Oysters

Lizard Lounge: I'm on Fire (Bruce Springsteen cover) | Someone Saved My Life Tonight (Elton John cover) | Taxi Ride | Little Earthquakes | Rattlesnakes (Lloyd Cole cover) | Apollo's Frock | Precious Things

Encore: Cornflake Girl | 16 Shades of Blue | Baker Baker

One of the most exciting and frustrating things about a Tori Amos show for a fan must surely be her wildly fluctuating setlist. Great if you can get to a few shows, but in a country like Australia impossible! The fact that so few attendees go home disappointed is a testament to the wealth of material in her lengthy catalogue which is so ripe these days that the casual fans would perhaps be surprised that she also manages to embellish her set with a choice few ‘covers’ too.


Tonight’s packed house in Perth is positively trembling in anticipation as she drags out her start time whilst the in-house speakers blast out Led Zeppelin which is probably a nod to her collaboration with Robert Plant. Sadly tonight there’s not a jot from that particular collaboration.

It’s a long time since I’ve been to a show with a predominantly female audience, but that doesn’t make tonight any less rowdy with a couple singing along word-for-word behind us in a sadly very off-key manner. Sure it’s nice they know all the words and excitedly identify each song but it doesn’t take long till those three rows ahead of us have a word and as a result we get to enjoy the rest of the show.


 One woman and two keyboards with a satin back drop and some up and down lighting is visually appealing and neutral enough to not distract from the music and from the off the partisan crowd is entranced, and even if the opening track of ‘Parasol’ from 2005’s ‘The Beekeeper’ is to be expected (it has started every Australian show so far) but for the rest of the set we are at the mercy of the untalkative but very communicative Ms Amos. Neither Adelaide nor Melbourne saw what we did after ‘Doughnut Song’ as Tori launched into first ‘Carbon’ and then the equally new (to Australia) ‘Liquid Diamonds’ which drew the biggest coos from the crowd so far.

The next trio ‘Silent All These Years’ (Little Earthquakes 1992); ‘Siren’ (from the 1998 movie Great Expectations) and ‘Sister Janet’ (a sinister B-Side from 1994’s ground-breaking ‘Under the Pink’ album) were equally fresh to the antipodean audience and relished in their alliteration. You half think Tori was playing with us with a trio of songs beginning with ‘Si’!


‘Marianne’ a relatively obscure tune from the difficult third album ‘Boys For Pele’ gives way to ‘Snow Cherries From France’  which gives us a first taste of the autobiographical and also the first recent song appearing first on 2012’s ‘Gold Dust’.

It’s only when ‘Oysters’ rears its head that we get a taste of the album this tour is named after – Unrepentant Geraldines, and it closes the first part of the set before we enter the ‘Lizard Lounge’ – a section of the tour where Amos dabbles with cover versions.  Previously Tori has played a couple of covers, always varied each night, but tonight in Perth we get three rather than the two in Adelaide and solitary ‘I Touch Myself’ (by the Divinyls) in Adelaide. Tonight it’s a touch of Springsteen with a beautiful “I’m on Fire’ before Elton John’s ‘Someone Saved My Life Tonight’ and a favourite of hers – Lloyd Cole’s ‘rattlesnakes’.


Along with the covers we also get treated to wonderful renditions of ‘Taxi Ride’ and ‘Little Earthquakes’ before the set proper closes with ‘Apollo’s Frock’ and ‘Precious Things’.  

At this point it’s hard to take it all in. The appreciative crowd too seems to be assessing what has gone on – material has been a combination of mainly early material with a lot from Tori’s debut but there has been very little from recent releases and only one track from this year’s ‘Unrepentant Geraldines’ which the tour is after all named after (as a contrast Sydney got none from the latest album but six tracks from 2012’s ‘Gold Dust’).


The Encores come all too soon and of course we get the loudest response of all for ‘Cornflake Girl’ before we close out with the wonderful “Baker Baker’.


It’s been a wonderful evening and an interesting set, and though we received a few rare treats you can’t help feel that you need a few more hours with Ms Amos to even scratch the surface. Simply wonderful.


by Jo Rockpit - November 2014



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