Friday, October 5, 2012

Tori Amos at LPR, (for NPR!)

Every now and then something will remind me that I am blessed, that I am a lucky woman, and that I should be thankful. It's easy to forget to count your blessings and see only what you're lacking, it's the way we are programmed. Luckily for me, these reminders come often with an awe-inspiring grace so as to not shock my system.

I got to see Tori Amos, with an octet in an extremely intimate cabaret style setting at Le Poisson Rouge for the cost of a cocktail.

How did I get so lucky? I enter contests almost everyday, because you can't win the lottery if you don't buy a ticket. I also encourage my friends to enter contests. Yes, I'm that annoying friend. I am relatively realistic about my chances of winning. I know I probably won't win. And as of Monday, October 8th, 2012, I have only won one contest... And it was NOT to see Tori Amos. My friend I encouraged to enter the contest won, which meant I got to be her plus one. Teamwork, people! TEAMWORK!

When we shuffled inside, our NPR tickets in hand, we saw a sea of black linen tables and cloth covered chairs crammed in to the relatively small venue- back to back ledge to ledge. It was unforgivably tight in there, but I liken listening to Tori Amos to an awkward first kiss with a new person anyway, so, it doesn't pay to be shy. Without any hesitations and my good friend in tow, we made our way through the complicated jigsaw of tables 'til I found two open seats at the front stage left, a bit "far" from the piano, and facing the "wrong way" but a good spot nonetheless. I smiled at a man and a woman, and a pair of ladies, and asked frankly, "are these seats taken?"

They were not. As we squeezed in we huffed about the fact our backs were positioned AWAY from the piano, but we remedied that ill immediately by pivoting our forms towards the stage. After having successfully ordered our required two drink minimums, we hunkered down for the imminent estrogen surge.

An audible HUSH fell over the crowd as the musicians took the stage. There were so many gloriously beautiful string instruments awaiting their moment to be plucked. Then just as suddenly as it had come- the silence was immediately broken when Tori Amos entered the small venue. Demurely dressed in a tunic and pants, her fiery red hair down and flowing, with her narrow black frame glasses perched upon her nose, she looked like a mature and composed mother with great taste, who was about to pick her children up from school. This is not an entirely inaccurate description considering what occurred next. We were all her children that night, the music was our lessons, Tori Amos' voice and quirky gesticulations were her coy little ways of telling us she loved us without having to say it outright (the way a good mother can do).

The set was a peppery sampling from her 20 year long career. A diverse blend of playful to melancholic, then romantic, and blends of all these emotions and more. The rapture of the audience was intense and plainly visible. The attendants were all fixated and staring at their ivory tickling siren blinded and enchanted, drifting off towards the jagged rocks of self UN-awareness. I say unawareness because there were many shameless tears, eager grins, and of course ample amounts of lip syncing and head swaying among the crowd. Of course the QUEEN of uninhibited behavior is Tori herself, who had plenty of winks, cocksure grins, grimaces, full body contractions, and a very frank manner of ripping off her eye glasses as if she was about to make a VERY good point (which she always did). She also didn't fail to impress her musical prowess upon us, by twisting her torso and simultaneously playing the grand piano and keyboard, with mics set up at each stand.

She seldom spoke to us, preferring to let the music do the talking, but one of my favorite snippets of dialogue would have to be when Tori revealed to us her daughters compliments as being a "real good cusser". I don't know, it just tickled me.

The show was an enchantment, LPR was like a toadstool ring that I danced and danced in for a few hours and I never even truly suffered from it. It was more than I ever expected to get out of a Tori Amos show, and that says a lot, considering my expectations!

Set List:
Cloud on My Tongue
Fairy Song
Jamaica Inn
Purple People
Snow Cherries from France
Smokey Joe
Putting the Damage On
Taxi Ride
Jackie's Strength
1,000 Oceans
Hey Jupiter

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