With Trevor Moss & Hannah-Lou
Fillmore Miami Beach
Sunday, August 24, 2014
Better Than: Listening to "Stairway to Heaven" again.
At first it made no sense that a medley of Led Zeppelin's greatest hits would be playing at the Fillmore Miami Beach as the seated crowd waited for Tori Amos to take the stage. If you would pick Kate Bush as number one on Tori Amos' list of musical heroes, you'd probably put Robert Plant and Jimmy Page somewhere around Tupac and Weird Al. But even a casual listen to both acts' lyrics reveals a shared love for the type of paperback fantasy novels where they always spell little, magical winged creatures as f-a-e-r-i-e-s.
See also: Tori Amos' Unrepentant Geraldines Echoes With a Grace and Sigh All Her Own
The opening act was Trevor Moss and Hannah-Lou, an English husband and wife who strum acoustic guitars and sing so closely into the same microphone that it seemed they might kiss at any moment.
But judging from the audience's audible impatience during their set, it appeared the night's attendees might not have the attention span for a long night of music. For more than a half hour, Trevor Moss and Hannah-Lou were just too pleasant and polite to drown out the chit-chat and steal the attention away from the bright light of people's Instagram accounts.
However, when Tori Amos came out with the energy of a mythological creature, phones were being used only to record her raw, channeled emotions, and the only crowd noise was the occasional, random, awkward scream of "I love you, Tori!"
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A little after 9 p.m., the Zeppelin was turned off, the house lights dimmed, and out in a silver robe/dress walked Tori Amos to a standing ovation. With her famous fiery red hair, she bowed to the crowd and sat at a majestic black grand piano, where she kept the crowd in rapt attention for nearly two hours as she dug into "Parasol," the first of more than 20 songs she played on the final night of her Unrepentant Geraldines Tour.
She was accompanied by an impressive light show, but that was superfluous. On this night, the singer who was trained at a conservatory as a child and found fame in the 1990s with confessional ballads like "Silent All These Years" proved all you need for a night of powerful entertainment was music and passion.
On "Caught a Lite Sneeze," she straddled the bench between her legs, playing the piano with her left hand and a keyboard with her right, playing the instruments against each other. On "Cornflake Girl," the final song of the main set, Amos broke through the posh format in which ushers were letting people back into the performance space only when a song ended and had people on their feet dancing.
It was almost jarring that this woman who brought such power to her songs would require you to strain your ears when she spoke her asides to the crowd. This hurricane-level force of nature turned into a mild breeze as she expressed sadness in the tour ending and pride in being a Floridian playing for her home state.
Perhaps she was conserving all her energy for the music. Never more so than on the aspect of the show she dubbed "Lizard Lounge" in which she played a pair of unlikely covers. Throughout the tour, Amos has changed it up, playing Nirvana, the Cure, and yes, Led Zeppelin. On this night she broke out the Trip Hop of Massive Attack's "Teardrop" and then an almost unrecognizable rendition of "Billie Jean." Maybe on the next tour Tori Amos will make us find parallels between her and Michael Jackson.
Tori Amos' Set List:
-"Caught a Lite Sneeze"
-"Don't Make Me Come to Vegas"
-"Sweet the Sting"
-"i i e e e"
-"Drive All Night"
-"16 Shades of Blue"
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