The Victoria Apollo became the best piano bar in town last night – for one night only. Tori Amos performed solo. No band, just the piano and keyboard. That’s the third time I have seen her live now; the second time up close. She really is a gifted artist; luminous, like a ray of sunlight pouring through the window of a forgotten medieval chapel somewhere in the mountains. She radiates so many visions and emotions when she performs – some of them earthly, some of them mythical – that I think she’s close to the peak of her ability as an aesthetic conduit in performance. There’s much more to an Amos show than the creation of sonic shapes and part of that “much more” is an element of reaching for the “sacred” sphere. It was difficult to tell, last night, whether she was actually highly sensitive to the moment or whether everything she did was controlled, contained and mastered: probably a bit of both. Every now and again, she’d “drink” from the audience and there was a kind of “chalice” transference, but she’d never get “drunk” on it. It’s probably taken some years to get that balance.
Highlights for me last night were Northern Lad, Space Dog, Hey Jupiter, Take To The Sky and – (the best) – Tori’s version of Personal Jesus by Depeche Mode in the encore. Wonderful (Can't match being there, though, whoever got it on camera.)
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