Her Posse Can Do: Tori Amos, Manchester Apollo - 5th July 2007


9 Jul 2007, 21:20

Seeing Tori Amos live is like a religious experience. You truly feel like you are in the presence of an otherworldly Being when you watch her perform. So it’s no surprise that the atmosphere at the Manchester Apollo was one of almost religious ecstasy. People of all ages and walks of life – rockers, Goths, gays, students, frat boys, girlies, lesbians, married couples – were all preparing to worship at the church of St Amos, in town to promote her fantastic new album American Doll Posse, an exploration of the female psyche from a Greek mythological perspective. Despite its lowly chart position, it’s emerging as one of her greatest and best-loved albums, a return to the visceral, fiery Amos of the late 90s, but this time the piano is complimented by a white wall of electric guitar. I won’t attempt to review the album as I could never do it justice – reviews are never a substitute for experience – but THESE GUYS did a pretty fantastic job.

This was my sixth time seeing Tori Amos, a love affair which began when I saw her for the first time back in 1998 on the Plugged tour, yet I think I was more excited about seeing tonight’s show. As the tour rolled through Europe and the setlists were published and discussed across the net, me and my setlist partner (hugs to Ophelia <3) savoured the detail of each show like a vintage wine. “Oh my god – they got Santa! I’m praying for Northern Lad (my favourite girl)/ Caught a Lite Sneeze (her favourite girl)!!! Those lucky Germans – look at the songs they got!” By the time last week came about, we’d both whipped each other into an absolute frenzy. And Tori really did not disappoint.

The show opened with an ambient, electronic track and the stage bathed in blue light. I knew it was Clyde, my favourite doll. When she wandered shyly on to the stage and settled at the Bosendorfer, I felt like I was going to float up out of my seat into the air. The opening piano melody from Bouncing off Clouds sounded and the place erupted – people cheered, punched the air, clapped wildly. I think this was probably the most rapturous reception I’ve seen yet at a UK Tori Amos concert. The entire evening was punctuated with people shouting “I love you!”

Clyde’s performance ran like a dream setlist for me: Bouncing off Clouds, Juárez, Rattlesnakes , Beauty of Speed and the wonderful Roosterspur Bridge are all favourites of mine – this list was emerging as a terrific combination of the old and the new. Even Little Earthquakes, a song I’m not particularly fond of, was a revelation - about halfway through, I realized I had a massive grin on my face and tears in my eyes. …and it didn’t stop there.

(the audio is a bit distorted, but you get the idea ;o) )

Tori gave and gave and gave. When she took to the stage in a sparking pink-sequinned catsuit following the Professional Widow interlude, she was full of boundless energy. She laughed, winked, smiled, shook her booty - I’ve never seen her so full of joy to be performing in front of us. She didn’t talk much but it just didn’t matter – the music spoke for itself. Big Wheel with its fabulous percussion went down a storm with the crowd, Cornflake Girl was mindblowing; Siren was a welcome surprise; Parasol and Amber Waves were DAMN soulful and funky with the Hammond organ; Precious Things and God were bombastic encores – she truly breathed new life into her back catalogue. It was also really nice to see the new tracks getting such a great reception too: Secret Spell was an excellent choice as an encore and the audience showed their appreciation by cheering wildly.

Just before the T & Bo section, she didn't do an improv or anything. The lights went up and she said "let's have a chat, what were you guys saying before?", referring to all the people shouting requests and "I love you" and "Go Tori!" as she introduced the band after Big Wheel. Then she said something like "there was a guy with a funny accent asking for something? What was it you were asking for?" Of course, then EVERYONE started screaming for their favourite song...and she just sat there laughing LOL. It was so cute! She picked up on Merman, put a mischievous grin on her face and played it. So beautiful. She had planned to perform Take Me With You but changed it for the crowd, a testament to her spontaneity and command of her own music.

And then came the finale: Hey Jupiter. I’ve never seen this song performed live in person so this was a very special moment for me. The new arrangement (a synthesized take on Hey Jupiter (Dakota Version)) took the song to new heights of beauty. She really couldn’t have picked a better way to end such a wonderful show.

I think I floated out of the venue. Everything had come together so wonderfully: the band played fantastically, Tori’s voice was absolutely FLAWLESS, her setlist choices were inspired and inspiring, the light show was incredible and the arrangement, or in some cases, RE-arrangement of older songs took them to a new dimension. It really felt like a reflection of everything Tori wanted to achieve. Armed with her posse of songs, old and new, she took the audience to a very special place. This was the best show I’ve ever seen her perform.

Footage posted by mitzli13 and patrosfeta on www.youtube.com

Photos kindly provided by deborah77 from Toriphorums at www.yessaid.com


  • dissgirl

    really, really nice review;)

    11 Jul 2007, 10:50
  • gecko18000

    Lovely review of an amazing night.

    22 Jul 2007, 15:52
  • MelonsBev

    I'm SO insanely jealous now. I wish I'd gone after all. :(

    23 Jul 2007, 17:04
  • stromata

    Excellent review! I'm glad you had a wonderful time. A Tori concert really is something else. I cannot wait until she comes 'round my way!

    25 Jul 2007, 16:05
  • Jonie

    Fantastic- it's so nice to read this... I was there and the video of Big Wheel is mine lol :) Several of my vids are too long to upload on youtube though, and I still regret not bringing an extra memory card/battery to record Somewhere over the rainbow. That performance was AMAZING. Glad to see you enjoyed it too!

    7 Ago 2007, 22:53
  • troutsocks

    I just stumbled upon this while looking at the Merman song page, and I have to say, this is a great play by play! I love Tori, she is the artist I have seen the most... I jumped on for my first show on the Dew Drop Inn tour... but you have me beat, I am so jealous of you, I've never seen Siren live! It is one of my favorites, and I've never been so lucky. Thanks for sharing the story!

    20 Oct 2008, 9:22
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