10/11/01…Tori Amos with Rufus Wainwright @ Beacon Theater, New York City

Tori Amos @ Beacon Theater 10/11/01

Tori Amos @ Beacon Theater 10/11/01

This was a huge show for me.  I had been a big fan of Tori’s for several years and I decided it was way overdue for me to see her perform live.  I was so determined, in fact, that I did everything in my power to make sure I had the best seats possible.  I wasn’t concerned with how much it would cost me.  I knew that seeing Tori in such an intimate setting was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so I took full advantage.  And I ended up seated in fourth row center.  I was so very happy!!  This was her Strange Little Tour in support of her album Strange Little Girls.  Because this was a covers album, it really wasn’t one of my favorites by her.  But no matter, since she sang such a wide variety of her originals.  First let me say that her opening act, Rufus Wainwright, was a great choice for this tour.  He’s also an emotionally driven singer/songwriter who uses the piano as his instrument of choice.  I had and liked his self-titled debut album from a few years earlier, so I was definitely looking forward to his performance.  Not only did he sound great, but he actually engaged in some very witty stage banter.  He performed alone with his keyboard, so it felt like a one-on-one kind of show.  I’ll never forget this story that he told about Bea Arthur (Golden Girls, Maude).  He said that he was always such a fan of hers and of her shows.  And one night he was at a party and he saw her there.  So he thought he would take the opportunity to tell her how great he thought she was.  When he went to talk to her, he told her how much he admired her and how she reminded him of his grandmother.  Apparently, she turned to him with daggers in her eyes and spit out, “Listen, kid, I’m not your fucking grandmother!”  And he just slinked away.  I was dying laughing at this story.  How funny.  His sister was also in the audience sitting a few rows behind me.  Yes, I had better seats than Rufus Wainwright’s sister.  He called her up to the stage to do a song with him.  She literally climbed over seats and jumped on to the stage to sing with him.  It was all so casual and unexpected.  Once Rufus was done with his show, I could feel the audience’s excitement rise.  We were all excited for Tori to come out.  Once she finally did, she started her show with the creepiest song off of her cover album, “’97 Bonnie & Clyde”, the Eminem song.  She wasn’t messing around.  I loved her set list.

  1. ’97 Bonnie & Clyde
(Eminem cover)
  2. Icicle
  3. Little Amsterdam
  4. Leather
  5. Upside Down
  6. Rattlesnakes
(Lloyd Cole cover)
  7. Winter
  8. Beauty Queen
  9. Horses
  10. Flying Dutchman
  11. This Old Man
  12. Not the Red Baron
  13. Crucify
  14. Yes, Anastasia
  15. Me and a Gun
  16. Landslide
(Fleetwood Mac cover)
  17. Encore:
  18. Honey
  19. Hey Jupiter
  20. Encore 2:
  21. Playboy Mommy
  22. Time
(Tom Waits cover)

She had a piano and a couple of keyboards on stage with her.  And she definitely knew how to work all those instruments in very interesting ways.  She had a very unique stage presence.  She spoke about her songs as if they were her children and kind of let them decide if they wanted to be sung.  Her performance was just brilliant.  In my opinion, she’s one of the best female artists out there.  She’s absolutely one of my favorites.  The most unexpected, but intense moments, was when she started singing “Me & A Gun”.  This is an a capella song that details her rape.  It gives me chills every time I hear it.  So you can imagine how it affected me to hear it live.  You can then imagine how pissed off I was that someone’s cell phone started ringing in the middle of it.  I wanted to punch the person who had left their ringer on.  It really ruined a deep moment in the show.  But I didn’t let it ruin my entire experience.  And it really was an incredible experience. It was the perfect way to escape the pain that this city, this country had gone through just one month prior.  This was also the one and only time I’ve ever seen Tori live.  I hope that I have the chance to see her perform again one day.

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