concert reviews

Tori Amos at the Warner Theatre, Washington, DC, Wednesday 6 April 2005

Although Tori Amos performed solo Wednesday night at the Warner Theatre, she had four instruments to choose from onstage: two organs, a Rhodes keyboard and a grand piano. She spent most of the compelling hour-and-45-minute show at the piano, often turning around to the Hammond B3 organ behind it. She sometimes alternated between them in the same song, allowing the turbulent piano verses of "Marys of the Sea" to contrast with the more reverent and restrained organ-backed choruses.

Occasionally, Amos even played both instruments at the same time, straddling her bench to attack one with each hand, adding a depth of sound to songs like "Angels" and "Mother Revolution" as she engaged in a one-woman keyboard duel.

Showmanship aside, the songs in which she stuck to one instrument were the most moving: She moaned a cover of Madonna's "Like a Prayer" to the crowd's delight, and during a trancelike "The Beekeeper" her vocals droned over her organ as she fervently chanted, "I must see the beekeeper."

Midway through her set, Amos flubbed the lyrics to "Snow Cherries From France" and recovered by ad-libbing a verse about her lack of rehearsal time because of a full day of radio interviews. With a quick glance at a lyric sheet, she launched back into the song and glided smoothly over the words as a supportive fan shouted, "You got it!" Indeed, the crowd gushed at Amos all night, shouting comments like "You're amazing!" and "I love you!" and greeting every song, new or old, with the same enthusiastic yells of recognition.

-- Catherine P. Lewis

.: Originally published: The Washington Post, 8 April 2005
.: Selected discography: The Beekeeper (Tori Amos, 2005); Scarlet's Walk (Tori Amos, 2002); Strange Little Girls (Tori Amos, 2001); To Venus and B ack (Tori Amos, 1999); From the Choirgirl Hotel (Tori Amos, 1998); Boys for Pele (Tori Amos, 1996); Under the Pink (Tori Amos, 1994); Little Earthquakes (Tori Amos, 1992).