Tori Amos played a wonderful concert at the Palais in St Kilda on Saturday night. I was thrilled to get my request of Wild Way! I said to Tori at the meet and greet that it moves me to tears it’s so beautiful. Four and a half hours seems like a long time to wait just for an autograph but the opportunity to make a request is worth it, and when you hear your request being played it’s so thrilling.

torisignedcd Tori Amos at the Palais, Saturday 15 November 2014

There was a loud ‘fuck!’ from Tori as she messed up the start of Doughnut Song. And we got one of her charming improvs about being forgetful due to menopause. She made another error in Almost Rosey but kept going. That was a lovely version otherwise. The complete setlist is below.

I Touch Myself was brilliant. In terms of innovative arrangements, Bouncing Off Clouds was the highlight of the night for me. I hope someone made a video of that.

I love how Tori improvises and interprets her songs when live solo, so it was something of a disappointment to see her push a button on the electric keyboard and start a full backing track for Cornflake Girl, to which she played along. It was populism and obviously popular as most people in the audience loved it, but to me it broke the intensity and intimacy of the set thus far.

Riot Poof used a percussion track but not from the original recording so while the live performance was supplemented it was fundamentally different to the recording and thus a unique interpretation of the song. Wedding Day also used a full backing track.

Tori referred to the forthcoming 3rd Sydney show as it is planned to feature all requests, and then said that this show would be mostly requests too.

Some people are raving about the setlist and I’m happy with it, albeit some of the requests from the most dedicated fans at the meet and greet being typical serious fan requests, such as Cooling and Flying Dutchman. But it’s been a long time since I heard Mermen so that was great. I would have liked more from Unrepentant Geraldines, 3 was adequate but a live 16 Shades of Blue would have been amazing.

Tori banged the lid of the piano down for affect more than any previous performance I’ve seen. She seemed alternately sweet and furious, varying her voice from cutesy lishp to growl. She whispered more too than I’ve previously heard.

For Melbourne audiences this was a far superior performance to her quite lacklustre 2009 show. Tori seemed to be enjoying playing solo like she did in 2005. Overall it was a great show. Casual fans probably were thrilled with many familiar old songs. If only it was a little more intimate and a stronger presentation of her very strong new work.

Tori Amos at the Palais, Saturday 15 November 2014

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