Tori Amos, Pianist/Songwriter extraordinaire, brought her Native Invader Tour to the O’Shaughnessy at St. Catherine University in St. Paul. Tori, one of the most successful, prolific and influential artists of her generation, performed as part of the Women Of Substance series at The O’Shaughnessy. She is touring in support of her latest release Native Invader. With more than 14 albums to her credit, she had a lot of material to choose from. She went deep into the vault on Tuesday night.
Tori came on right around 8:45 and went old school, opening with “iieee” off the 1998 release Choirgirl Hotel. Her set was divided into 3 parts. The first part she sat balanced between her monster Bosendorfer piano and an electronic keyboard. On the huge backdrop behind her, flames leapt into the air. With mad dexterity, she switched between instruments, many times playing them simultaneously. She pounds the keys with the passion of a rock pianist. “Crucify” had the crowd up on its feet, cheering wildly as Amos screamed “these chains are breaking down!”
For the second part of the set, the graphic backdrop was changed to Fake Muse Network, the logo resembling a well known cable news network. She stated that she wanted to honor musicians we lost this year This part featured some very tasty covers performed with a passion that only Tori can deliver. And deliver she did, with a smoldering version of “Purple Rain” She was very engaging with the audience, proclaiming “It’s great to be fucking home!”. She also took time out to give Youtube the finger.
The backdrop changed again for the third part of the set to a frozen landscape. This was a fitting image for Tori to perform “Reindeer King” the only song I could recognize from her latest release. While “Winter” was also a favorite in this segment, she saved the best for last. She started by stating that she “had never performed this song before and this could all go horribly wrong.” After applying lip gloss and adding she would see us on the other side, she broke into a beautifully arranged version of “Doves Cry” in the middle of “Way Down”. She closed out the evening with the only tunes to use drum tracks, “Flavor” and “A Sorta Fairytale”.
On a stage usually reserved for dance recitals and poetry readings, Tori Amos crushed it Tuesday night. At 54 years old, she is still as confident, passionate and seductive as ever.
Setlist: iieee – Space Dog – Amber Waves – Twinkle – Climb – Father’s Son – Crucify- Songbird – Purple Rain- Reindeer King – Bells For Her – Graveyard – Marianne – Way Down _ Winter
Encore: Flavor – A Sorta Fairytale